From being a very young boy, PETER had numerous hobbies and interests – the favourite of which was Plane Spotting.
According to his Mother, Margarite, he would often be found peering through a pair of his Father’s binoculars at planes as they flew over the family estate, and that he could identify every one of them merely by the sound of their engine. He would spend much of his spare time drawing and making models of aircrafts – his favourite being the Sopworth Camel, a picture of which hung on his bedroom wall.
PETER (far right) clay pigeon shooting ⇒
At school, PETER enjoyed a range of sports, from Rugby Union (he played on the wing) and Cricket (he was an accomplished Fast Bowler). He also liked Boxing – both watching and participating, and would often pay a premium to SKY to watch late-night bouts on TV.
His greatest sporting love, however, was Tennis which he played almost on a daily basis until the last 10 or 15 years of his life (the square behind his home had its own private tennis courts for residents), and he was a regular visitor to Wimbledon for the famous tournament.
When he was no longer able to play himself, he watched every British and overseas competition, and was huge fan of Andy Murray.
When he gave up smoking in 1980, he took up Jogging, and could often be seen running in Holland Park or around the square near his home. He had a routine whereby he’d run once around the square at jogging pace and then he’d sprint the next. In between each jog/sprint set, he’d do at least 20 pull-ups using the children’s playground equipment in the garden square.
Although Jason King would often say that he’d never carry a gun – not least because it would ruin his pockets, PETER himself was a marksman, both with a pistol and shotgun.
He took up Pistol Shooting (at targets) in the 1960’s and was a member of the United Kingdom Pistol and Shooting Association (U.K.P.S.A.). He was latterly a Full Member of various other clubs, including The Kensington Pistol and Rifle Club, The Old Windsor Rifle and Pistol Club and the 26th Middlesex Enfield Shooting Sporting Club.
⇐Some of the medals and awards he won for his Pistol Shooting.
In 1994, when handguns were banned in the UK, rather than completely quit a sport that he loved, PETER took up Clay Pigeon Shooting, which he proved to be a natural at.
On several occasions, he competed in regional and national-level competitions, and took part in a number of charity events. PETER was amongst marksmen who participated in a charity clay-pigeon shoot at Dame Vera Lynn’s country estate at the end of May, 1999, and helped raise £8,000 for the S.O.S. Appeal.
A more sedate pastime that PETER enjoyed was Bridge, which he would play several times each week. Two of his better-known Bridge partners were Dame Diana Rigg and Liz Fraser.
His passion for the game lead to him being invited to take part in the first charity Pro/Celebrity Bridge Tournament, which was held at the White House Hotel, London, on 13th February, 2000. Eight tables were in play, with a lot of enthusiasm and good will from all sides. The event was in aid of the Millennium Charity, Save the Children, and was won by Su Burn and tenor, Ian Partridge.
For those who don’t know, PETER was very read, and had a huge collection of theatrical and cinematic biographies. However, his favourite genre was murder mysteries – especially those based on real events.
His favourite book of all time was ‘Midnight in Peking’ by Paul French. He met Mr French a couple of years ago, and the two men spent some time discussing their writing. PETER also wrote several scripts based on real-life incidents which were never published.
Another of PETER’s passions was fencing, which he’d taken up in the 1950’s after being given lessons for a play he was to appear in. He attained such a level at the sport that he was invited to compete at the world-famous Green Club. He used his skills in numerous television and stage productions, including The Saint (‘The Man Who Likes Lions’) and Jason King (‘All That Glisters’).
One of the reasons that PETER bought a farmhouse and adjoining land in Gloucestershire back in the 1970’s was so that he could indulge in one of his favourite pastimes, which was riding.
He bought a horse which he housed in stables at the farm, and he’d ride on his own land, which amounted to over 60 acres. Unfortunately, on one of the occasions he’d taken the horse out, it began shaking its head uncontrollably and ran, at full gallop, into the side of the house. PETER immediately called a vet who found that the unfortunate animal had a brain tumour, and it had to be put to sleep. Although he did ride again, PETER never sought to replace the horse.
Latterly, PETER enjoyed nothing more than completing word games – crosswords and word searches, which I’d often join in with. He was also a compulsive TV viewer, who enjoyed American comedy – most notably ‘Seinfeld’ and the crime series, ‘True Crime’.
⇐ One of PETER’s beloved Porsche’s
I suppose that his real life-long passion was for classic sports cars. He’d owned numerous over his lifetime, including a Jowett, a Studebaker, a TR7, a Bristol, Triumph Sprite, plus several Porsche’s.
His last car was a red Porsche 911 Carrera.
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