Today on the blog my big sister Becca and myself are sharing a tribute to our grandad, Peter.
Our grandad passed away at the end of December and today is his funeral. This past month and a bit has been a sad time for our family with the sudden loss of our wonderful grandad.
He left behind his wife of 61 years, our grandma Marjorie, our auntie and uncle, our parents and six grandchildren. We wanted to share some of our favourite stories and photos in memory of our grandad as we celebrate his life today.
Grief has been a difficult situation for us to deal and come to terms with. At 26 and 24 years old, we luckily haven’t experienced much grief before in our lives. Grandad is the first person we’ve ever lost in our adult life and we’re dealing with this loss along with our family one day at a time. We know we’re both very lucky and we couldn’t be more grateful for all the supportive and caring friends and family we have who have reached out and are helping us all through this hard time. Reading the cards and hearing how highly people thought of our grandad is so lovely.
Grandad was a truly remarkable man and a true gent. He was the most caring, gentle, polite and loving man. Every single person speaks of our grandad as a gentleman and a family man, and that really is the perfect way to describe him. You honestly would never of met a kinder man and we’re extremely lucky to have had such an amazing person in our lives for as long as we did.
Grandad was the biggest supporter of us both and constantly encouraged us. Grandad would call Becca ‘The Roving Reporter’ as she’s a journalist and grandad was proud of me being a trained chef and food blogger. We all definitely have a sweet tooth in our family and shared the same love of desserts!
Whenever our grandparents came round the house, we’d all sit together and discuss the stories Becca had written about for work and I’d tell them what I’d been up to at work and show them what recipes I’d been creating for my blog. Grandad was amazed to hear my blog receives readers from all corners of the world.
Grandad lived a long and fulfilled life. Like us he was born and grew up here in North Essex. He was an only child, and growing up he lived on a farm with his mum Violet and dad Charles, who was a farmer. Grandad went to the local grammar school and during his career he worked in accountancy, and later on he worked as a local government officer in the education department which covered all the local schools. He was admired and well respected for the work he did whilst working in that role.
He did his military service for the British Army in Tripoli, Libya. Over the years we loved hearing all the interesting stories he had to tell us about his time serving in Libya.
Grandma and grandad met in 1956 and later married in 1960. Their relationship was a true love story. Grandad treated grandma like a princess because he was an absolute gent and their marriage was full of love and respect for one another. I told my mum that if I’m with someone one day who’s half the man grandad was then I’ll be very lucky. They welcomed their first child, our uncle, the following year and our mum was then born a few years later.
Our grandma and grandad loved holidays in the UK during their life together and their favourite destination was the Isle of Wight. They also loved day trips going down to the West End in London to see musicals and spending the warm summer days down at their beach hut on the Essex coast.
Grandma and Grandad on their wedding day
Grandad with our mum
More happy times and funny memories over the years were the summer holidays when we’d spend a lot time at grandma and grandads house. When we were little girls, Becca and I would go round to grandma and grandads and we’d have a good dance around the front room where they had a record player. Grandad would be in charge of the putting the music on and our favourite song to dance to was ‘Don’t’ Go Breaking My Heart’ by Elton John and Kiki Dee – it’s still a favourite song of ours to this day! Whenever we listen to that song it always puts a smile on our faces and takes us back!
We’d also had lots of fun in the garden playing games and using grandads wooden tennis rackets and cricket bat that he would get out of the shed when we were there. Grandad was a big England and Essex cricket fan and went to see Essex play several times with my other grandad.
When I started going to school in the year 2000, I would only do a morning at school as I was born at the end of July and the students born later in the academic year would do half days instead of a full school day. My grandma and grandad would pick me up as both my parents were working and I’d go home to theirs and have lunch. They’d cook me a scrumptious lunch (my absolute favourite as a child) of roast chicken, mashed potato and iceberg lettuce. I’d have lashings of salad cream on top of my lunch. My grandad even joked that once I did a full day at school, the local supermarket would wonder why their sales of salad cream were suddenly so low!
Between us all we would take grandma and grandad out for the afternoon to down to Manningtree waterfront on the River Stour. We’d bring along coffee/tea and some biscuits (or a bake I’d made for my blog) with us and if the weather was nice we’d sit on the benches, and in the cooler months we’d stay in the car and have a chat. We’d also go to down to garden centres and cafés and have some cake on our trips out with each other.
This Christmas wasn’t the usual for anyone, but I’m so thankful we had one last Christmas (2019) with grandad. I had Christmas Day off work last year and we cooked a tasty dinner for everyone to enjoy. We had my mum’s side of the family round for our annual Christmas Eve get together and we served up a table full of nibbles and homemade cake. We all spent the evening together, exchanged and opened our presents from one another and had a fantastic time. Grandad was with grandma and surrounded by all his grandchildren and he had a blast. Christmas Day (2019) we had grandma and grandad round for lunch and looking back at the photos we took before we ate, grandad looked so happy and that means a lot to us all because we really all did have a fabulous last Christmas together.
Tonight grandad we’re having a meal to celebrate your life, we’ll enjoy a plate of fish and chips in your honour and we’ll raise a glass to you. You taught us so much, we learnt to be more content and happy and also to smile every single day.
We will always remember the fantastic and truly special times we all had together. Sitting in the garden during the spring and summer with our rabbits whilst enjoying drinks and ice cream, trips down to the seaside, going to see shows with you, meals out and the smile on your face when you were enjoying a custard tart, raspberry trifle, slice of Victoria sandwich or lemon meringue pie (all your favourite desserts). We’ll all miss those times, but we will cherish the memories.
We all love you so much and miss you tremendously. You were the best dad and grandad anyone could wish for, you’ll be forever in our hearts. ❤️