MIDHURST is mourning the death of ‘Mr Fix It’, Mike Southin who turned his hand to everything from church bells to nuclear reactors.
Mike,73, died suddenly while out on a shoot at Selham on Thursday (January 23).
He was brought up in Ebernoe with his younger brother Roy, the son of gamekeeper Leslie and Eileen Southin.
He attended Midhurst Secondary Modern and later went to Exeter University where he gained qualifications in engineering. He worked for Paine Engineering, later taken over by Frazer Nash, and continued in Midhurst until 1981.
He then opened his own specialist metal engineering workshop at West Lavington.
During his varied career he worked at the Dungeness Nuclear Power Station rectifying the heat shield on a reactor, for the Institution of Oceanography USA and NASA’s space shuttle programme.
He was also a countryman who regularly took part in shoots and loved his dogs.
Midhurst Town Council chairman John Etherington said: “ He will be sorely missed. I met Mike when I needed an awkward shaped bracket. It was impossible to phase him and over the years he helped with many things including a socket for a bell in Easebourne Church. We once presented him with the tangled tubes of a tent frame and he straightened them saving us the cost of a new tent.”
Richard Comber, who has farmed Manor Farm, Heyshott, for than 40 years said: “If you had a break-down he would always drop whatever he was doing and get you going again. Something you would think was impossible he would always be able to fix. He did a lot for me and often refused payment. He was a lovely man, he could made silk out of a pig’s ear.”
Mike leaves his wife Anne daughter Gail and son-in-law Brian.
The funeral will be at Chichester Crematorium on Wednesday, February 5, at 2.45pm. The family have asked for donations to the Cinnamon Trust providing dog walkers for those in need.