Trevor Hill Mercer, the familiar face of Hillmount Nursery Centre for more than 70 years, has passed peacefully away at the age of 82.
Suppliers, customers, staff and family of the late Mr Mercer have paid tribute to the driving force behind the family business and a book of condolence has already been filled at Hillmount.
Trevor loved his daily routine at the shop and was very proud of all that he and his family have achieved at the centre.
Born in Hillhall on the August 4, 1930, Trevor and his parents moved to Lomond Avenue where his mother ran a grocery shop. In 1940 his father bought a smallholding in the Gilnahirk Hills which was to become Hillmount.
Trevor’s father and brother worked the land, his mother ran the shop during the day and, as it was wartime, the family evacuated to Hillmount.
Trevor then attended Gilnahirk Primary School where he often took his pet white mice.
After leaving school at the age of 14 he worked in Jameson Green, the shipyard and SD Bell’s.
One night, on a significant trip to the Floral Hall, he met Pamela Watson and they got married in 1952.
They moved into Hillmount Cottage, which had no electric or running water.
During the 1940s and 1950s more and more greenhouses were built and the nursery business began to grow. 1957 saw the start of the decoration work at Balmoral which was to become a very big business over the years.
In 1962 Trevor took over the Hillmount business from his brother John. With the help of his wife Pamela and father Hill, they put in long hours of d work, including growing flowers and plants, landscaping and garden maintenance for Mission Manufacturing, Shorts, JP Corry and many more,
Trevor turned a small nursery into the centre it is today. He even laid the lawns for Dundonald House and maintained James Young’s garden.
Trevor and Pamela, who passed away in 1991, had one son, Robin, born in 1954. When Robin married Edith in 1975 they began to expand the business and they have three sons — Alan, David and Andrew.
When Alan was born, Pamela opened the first cafe at Hillmount known as The Coffee Cabin and family man Trevor spent every Monday night with his grandchildren when they were growing up. Fourth generation Alan has now taken the reins at Hillmount.
In the last few months Trevor was cared for at the Ulster Hospital. Trevor was laid to rest at Gilnahirk Presbyterian Church after a service of thanksgiving there.