FORMER sports editor of the Post and writer of Merv’s Mentions, Mervyn Palmer, has died, aged 71.
Merv, as he was known, joined the Cornish & Devon Post in the accounts department in the late 1960s. He went on to work for a short time at a newspaper in Tavistock, before returning to the Post as the sports editor.
It was in the 1980s when the then editor, Geoff Seccombe, took Merv to his home town of Camelford to meet some of the familiar faces. This was to be the start of Merv’s Mentions.
From then on, every Friday lunchtime, Merv would switch off his computer, pack up his desk and head off to Camelford, and later Bude, Holsworthy and Launceston, immersing himself in various events, and often just popping into someone’s house for a cup of tea — always with a notepad and pen in his hand.
The thought of appearing in the Mentions made many apprehensive to utter a single word when Merv was about, but they still loved to see him.
Both at work, and in his spare time, his number one love was sport. He could regularly be found on a damp and drizzly Saturday afternoon watching at a football or rugby ground, or watching a game of cricket. Merv himself played football for Bere Alston in his younger days.
He was also a keen supporter of the Children’s Hospice South West, helping at the Post annual Gala, and supporting the event after he retired from the company.
Merv became ill in the last few weeks. He was admitted to Derriford Hospital and sadly passed away on Saturday morning. His funeral details will be announced in the next few days.
Suzanne Cleave, managing editor of the Post, said: “I think I can speak on behalf of my colleagues, both past and present, when I say how shocked and upset we were to hear of Merv’s death.
“Merv was a friendly and caring member of the editorial team, who was popular among all staff. He took a keen interest in people’s lives, not only getting to know them, but also their families.
“His routines, such as his morning banana time — announced to the entire office — and his regular diary entries, were missed by everyone when he retired, and they are even more poignant now.
“Merv will be sadly missed and our thoughts are extended to his family at this sad time.”