On Tuesday we said goodbye to one of the Swans longest and most loved customers, Mike Parfrey, who passed away on 16th January. Mike was a lovely, funny man full of character and who enriched everyone lives who knew him. He will leave a big void at the Swan which can’t be filled and will be sorely, sorely missed. People like Mike don’t come around too often. The number of people who attended Mikes service lay testament to what a much loved and valued person he was.
Mike would announce his arrival at the bar by bellowing “SERVICE!”, to which he was unenthusiastically served. It may have only been a few seconds, but he would say with total disdain..”Right. .this kind of service is totally unacceptable…do you know how long I’ve been waiting here..I shall have to report back on this..”
“Now listen… I’ve been to the bank ( which would be Coutts bank it was always suggested ) and I’ve got ten pounds of my hard earned money to spend in your establishment, but I want 3 pints of your expensive San Miguel. Is this enough or do I take my custom elsewhere?” The response he would always get is unprintable..
Mike would then often ask for his lottery to be checked, claiming to be weeks in advance, knowing full well he’d been to the caravan for a month and was well in arrears…again he would be in total dismay!
Mike liked to sit by the door with the early regulars, but more often than not within a short time of his arrival most would start to leave as there time was up and Mike would be sat with one or two others and would offer to return later to help clear the pub then as well!
He also knew that where he sat, he’d have to move from to make way for the skittles at 7.30 ish, so a reserved card would be shoved by his glass, to which he’d moan and groan, but he used to look forward to doing battle with Barry who he knew would ask him to move when he came in. “Now look mate you can’t stay there, we need the table” and Mikes response.. “Do you know how long I’ve been sat here and how much I’ve spent and know you want me to move..” to which Barry would normally react as Mike wanted..
Then on the odd occasion if Mike had forgotten his phone or something, he’d ask if we could phone Maureen for him to come and get him, and the call would go in and we’d say “Maureen, can you come and get him he’s had too much too drink and is playing up again!”
Unfortunately those scenes will not be played out again, however, just the thought of them will bring a smile to the face of those who witnessed them and which will be Mikes legacy. He can rest assured us young ones will continue to work to pay for peoples pensions!
Rest in peace Mike.