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1937: Women laugh as coffins pass

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

Women laugh as coffins pass

"Would parents keep their children quiet or kindly leave the church grounds?”

So pleaded the Rev. JP. Glossop, vicar of Shoreham, to a crowd of laughing women and children gathered round the parish chinch doorway yesterday as two coffins were being borne up the path.

Mr Glossop was burying a tragic mother and son — 77 year old Mrs Louise Minter found drowned at Cuckfield after enjoying herself with an old folks outing, and 55 year old Arthur Ernest Minter, who died on the day of the inquest on his mother.

Said a member of the funeral congregation:

“There were about 20 perambulators. Children scrambled over gravestones and their gaily-dressed mothers laughed and talked. It was more like a wedding.”

More reverent were Shoreham's old folk - among them Mrs Minter’s 75 year old friend, Mrs Coppard, who last saw her alive.'

They had tears in their eyes as they lined the street and church path.

Daily Mirror Friday 20 August 1937

Contributed by Malcolm Davison.

Jill Harwood added on Facebook's Cuckfield Gossip group:

To expand the story, Mrs Minter was last seen alive eating biscuits on an outing to the Chinese Gardens in Hurstpierpoint on 14th July 1937. Her body was discovered in the river at Balcombe by George King of Western Road, Haywards Heath who was fishing. Her son in law identified her by the brooch she was given for her diamond wedding by music hall artist Ernie Mayne, and the handbag she still had with her. The coroner was not able to ascertain how she got from Hurstpierpoint to where she was found but declared death by drowning. The son who died on her inquest day had been ill for some time.

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