It is common within the funeral profession that many independent businesses are looked after by several generations of the same family. A.H. Cheater Funeral Directors are proud to have been run by three generations of the Peace family, who continue to serve the community with their emphasis on traditional family care.
The family’s connection with A.H. Cheater started in 1966 when Peter Peace moved from St Cross to Romsey with his wife Barbara and their two children Jane and Simon. He took over the running of the business from Sammy Fields, who stayed on the help Peter for a while. Peter carried out his duties for over 35 years, with much dignity and respect, and was well known within the local community.
Living on the premises, Peter and his wife Barabara arranged funerals within their own home. Eventually a room at the rear of the premises was converted to see families instead. In those days, Peter arranged and conducted all funerals. Moreover, he made the coffins by hand, went on all removals, prepared deceased for visits and cleaned the vehicles in readiness for the funeral. He really did have to turn his hand to all aspects of the business. Barbara also saw families in his absence and dealt with administration duties. This was a time before mobile phones, so they completed tied to the business and someone had to be always around.
Becoming involved within the community was important to the family. Peter became a long-standing member of the Rotary Club of Romsey and a Trustee of Romsey Conservative Club. In his spare time, he liked to keep livestock and started off renting a field where the Harrage now is. There he kept a cow which he used to milk every day, and he even kept pigs in the shed at the back of the premises. Later, having purchase land at Greatbridge, Peter kept Welsh Black’s which he showed at Romsey Show. There is a story about his being dragged around the ring and ending up in the Mothers Union Tent.
Many can fondly remember Peter performing in Pantomime’s at the Plaza Theatre in Romey and he would be invited to give after-dinner speeches at many local events. His dry sense of humor appreciated in tandem with his professional vocation.
Peter died suddenly in 2003 aged 76 years, but he was still active within the business. Although numerous things have changed dramatically with the business over the years, we still hold the same values that Peter instilled and hope that he would be proud that his son and grandson continue to take the business forward.