Peter Townsend 31st January 1934 – 4th November 2006
From the Parish News – January 2007
A large congregation at St Mary's Church at his funeral service, which was led by our new Rector, the Reverend Linda Butler, showed the measure of respect with which Peter and his family are held in Denton Village.
Peter was born in Alpington on 31st January 1934, the eldest of a family of eight. His mother died when the family were quite young, and as a young lad he was a great help to his father, who was struggling to bring up his large family. Some of the children were taken into a children's home for a while, their sister Sheila was adopted and more recently became acquainted with the family again after being apart for 48 years. On leaving school, Peter worked on farms in the area until he was called up for National Service, during which time he was taken to serve in Hong Kong. After he was demobbed he returned to farm work again. Peter started coming to Denton after he met Pat, who happened to be going out with his younger brother! Pat was the only daughter of Bob and Gladys Leverett. Although Pat was born in Topcroft, Bob and his family moved into one of the houses which were behind the present council houses on Trunch Hill when she was very young. When these council houses were completed, the family moved into No. 5. In 1954 Bob bought the cottages in Norwich Road which he renovated before the family moved in. It is here that in 1956, Peter and Pat started their married life together, and from where Peter just managed to live to celebrate their Golden Wedding at Denton Village Hall.
Peter continued with farm work after their marriage, working for a while at Park Farm, Earsham and later at Chapel Farm, Denton with Mr Brown, following which he did various jobs with builders and had a while with a coal merchant at Earsham. Later after an injury caused him to do lighter jobs, he helped out doing seasonal casual work on local farms until his retirement.
On the birth of their two children, Diana and Terry, Peter became a very devoted father, giving loving support throughout their lives, and later when grandchildren came onto the scene, a strong bond developed between them. He had a very keen sense of humour and loved to play practical jokes, one of the most memorable occasions was when he posed as a travelling salesman, blackened face and took a tray of trinkets to his family next door who were actually fooled by his antics! The devotion to all his grandchildren, including his step-grandchildren was made manifest by the very moving poem, composed and read by grandson Neil at the service at St Mary's.
Our sympathy and condolences are extended to his widow Pat with their family Diana and Malcolm, Terry and Pauline, and grandchildren David, Robert, Kevin and Neil, also to David, Michael and Stephen.