Peter Gardiner

It was with great regret that we learned of Peter’s death; he had been a good neighbour, kind, obliging and convivial, when he and Juliet lived at Willows, in Stream Road, across the stream from us.

Peter, we soon found out, was another English teacher, and had actually taught a friend of ours when he was at Charterhouse.   Such are the concatenations of coincidence, even in a small village.  And his love of English Literature showed in so many ways.  He master-minded a number of Readings on a theme, and I always marvelled at the breadth of his sources;  in their new home in Goring, he spoke of a group who met to discuss poetry, even when Parkinson’s was taking its toll.   He acted with Blewbury Players, too.

Other contributions to the village were pieces of historical research in local record libraries, his civic-minded litter collection on his regular walking of the footpaths, his service as the transport representative for the village – he and Juliet rarely used their car and set a great example by using the bus to shop and even to visit the dentist, along with suggestions for planting the circuit of the Recreation Ground.

He cared for his garden in his headmasterly way: everything was strictly under control. But he had a genuine love and knowledge of plants, too.   We had many interests in common, so conversation was always easy. We even did the same crosswords – and we also agreed they were getting harder by the year. He was an impeccably courteous and convivial host, an ardent environmentalist, a much missed asset to the village community, and we in Upton who remember him send Juliet and their family our deepest sympathy in their loss.

Malcolm Wright, with some help from Margaret Maytham.