Peter Midlane - Barking and District Historical Society

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Peter Midlane 1943-2013

Pat Manley, Richard Chapman and I were present at the celebration service for the life of Peter Midlane at St. Margaret’s Church, Barking on 10th January 2014;  he had sadly passed away on 28th December. The packed church was testimony to the esteem in which he was held and his varied community interests including the allotment society; he  was a member of the Poulter’s Company and a Freeman of the City of London. Bishop Trevor Mwamba officiated and paid tribute to Peter’s long and devoted service to the church.

Peter himself was very proud of his long association with St. Margaret’s; his parents first took him when he was seven years old and he remained a member of the congregation until his death. Peter was a member of the church choir for an astonishing  61 years, a sacristan for 36 years and churchwarden for four.

Tributes were paid by his three sons, Simon, Neil and Craig; one son revealed that his father’s diagnosis coincided with his own wife’s pregnancy confirmation.

They also spoke of their father’s regular walks as a child passed the Cape Asbestos factory; like many other Barking people from that era Peter died of an asbestos related disease.

We all had our own memories; Richard of his scouting days with Peter, Linda Rhodes remembered the help he had given her researching one of her books and I grateful for all his help during our 70th anniversary celebrations when a number of the events took place at St. Margaret’s. He also attended our meetings from time to time.

The celebration of his life at St. Margaret’s was followed by a private cremation at the City of London Crematorium at Manor Park.

Peter greeted every visitor to the church with a ready smile and always willing to share information about his beloved church and curfew tower.

Dorothy Lockwood, a vice-president of the society, remembers that Peter always liaised with her late husband Bert over church history and guided tours and was hugely co-operative when Bert died particularly in regards to the many donations received by  the church in his memory.

What is surprising is that Peter was a lifelong resident of Ilford, where he was born on 1st June 1943, yet he will be forever associated with Barking.

John Blake, January 2014

Peter Midlane 1943-2013
Peter’s branch of the Midlane family came from Newport, Isle of Wight. His paternal grandparents Arthur George Midlane (1873-1944), a compositor and printer,  and May Ann Bessie Jupe (1872-1952) were both born in the Isle of Wight and married there in 1895. They had settled in Upper Holloway, London by 1896 and then moved to Little Ilford by 1901 and Ilford in 1902 when Peter’s father was born.
Peter Midlane was born in Ilford, Essex during the war in 1943, the only son and eldest child of Arthur Albert Trussler Midlane (1902-1990), a chemical worker, and Irene Beatrice Selwood (1908-1990), who had married in September 1933.  Peter’s  sister, Betty, was born in 1944. Peter married Lesley R. Patmore at Barking in 1969. He leaves behind three sons, Simon (born 1971), Neil (1975) and Craig (1980), and four grandchildren, Matthew, Sophie, Jensen and Samuel.
Source: Barking and Dagenham Post 2nd January 2014
Photographs taken and text assembled by Peter Midlane
Peter sadly lost his battle with lung cancer on Saturday, December 28th at the age of 70. In his spare time he enjoyed  working on his allotment.

A fine tribute to Peter, written by Mark Shales, was published in The Barking and Dagenham Post on 2nd January 2014. This included many personal recollections by Peter’s friend Canon Pat Nappin, another great stalwart of St. Margaret’s.

Compiled WHG 24.01.2014
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