Patrick died in May after a short illness soon after celebrating his 80th birthday. He had been secretary of the Dulwich Society since 1994, and secretary of the local history group since 1990. He was efficient and thorough in these offices, dealing with the vast amount of correspondence and officialdom required for a number of the Society’s projects such as the raising of the Edward Alleyn statue, the restoration of the post cart and the placing of the twelve memorials to WW2 air raid victims in 2013. Unknown to most members, he took it upon himself to regularly paint and varnish the numerous seats the Society has placed for use of the public around Dulwich.
Patrick lived in Dulwich all his life, attending Miss Hoe’s kindergarten in Croxted Road, going on to Dulwich Prep and then to Dulwich College. He was very proud of his family’s long Dulwich connection and was particularly delighted to find that when he and Merrill moved into 7 Pond Cottages in 1969, it was once the butcher’s shop owned by his great great grandfather James Haydon, an enumerator for the first Dulwich Census of 1841. After leaving school he followed his father, who had been decorated with the Military Cross and Bar in WW1, into the profession of a chartered surveyor, and studied at the College of Estate Management. After qualifying and gaining experience he joined the firm of Spencer & Kent which had been founded by his father. Later Patrick would expand the firm to take in the estate agency of Kennedy’s. He disposed of the company in 1994 when he retired. By coincidence the last office, in Calton Avenue was sold around the time of his death and so the name of Spencer has disappeared from the list of Dulwich estate agencies.
It was through his mother’s side of the family that Patrick inherited his talent for amateur dramatics, a field in which his uncle, Richard Lydall had also excelled. Patrick performed in many stage roles with the Dulwich Players and was one of its vice presidents and he also performed with the St Stephen’s Players. Retirement created the opportunity for him and Merrill to indulge their love of travel and he also became a keen watercolour painter.