COMMENT: We may not see the likes of patriarch Patrick ever again

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In an age of internet shopping, will we ever see the likes of Patrick Marriott again? Here was a man who was born and raised in the very same Portsmouth premises where he was still working up to his death at the age of 91 after a short illness. He even lived over the shop.

He was the father figure of long-established city firm Marriotts Furnishers in New Road, North End and was well-known to many people in the city.

It’s no exaggeration to say that patriarch Patrick devoted his life to the family furnishing firm. Indeed the only time he was away from the business was when he and his parents and siblings went to live in South Wales during the war, when he did his National Service in the RAF and when he was caring for his dear wife Rhoda at their Hayling Island home.

  Patrick spanned the generations, one of the city’s oldest shopkeepers but still very much in touch with today's trends. Simply put, he loved to work and to be part of the, well, furniture.

As Mark McCullough from Marriotts said: ‘Even when he officially retired he was back in the shop. He was great, a real inspiration and he was always upbeat and full of wisdom. He had a great personality and he was a very generous and kind man.’

What a lovely tribute to a man who saw the business grow from a small concern run by his parents Ted and Margaret, who moved into their first home together and turned it into a retail furniture shop.

While a shed in the back garden served as Ted's cabinet-making workshop, Margaret did the sewing, looked after the finances and brought up Patrick, twin Peter and sister Sheila.

In a lifetime in business, you'd think Patrick may have made a few enemies. But not a bit of it. He was popular with everybody.

Rest in peace Patrick, a man who was part of the fabric of life in Portsmouth for so many years.