Family

familyPeter was born on Sunday 14th August 1983 (the day Steve Cram won the World 1500 metres title) at Bart’s Hospital, the son of John and Marion and younger brother of Charles who is two years older. At the time the family lived in Islington, which was also the home of a famous football club. His love for Arsenal soon blossomed. Peter always had a good appetite. Before he could walk he would sit on the floor in the kitchen with his back against the freezer looking like a Buddha. His toys were all spread around him and he used his long reach to play with them in turn. He never needed to get up, so he didn’t until it was time for the next meal. It is extraordinary that this chubby child grew into such a tall, lanky young man.

When he was 2 ½ the family moved from Islington to Bromley following John’s office move there. His favourite game some time later was ‘Monster Crunch’ – not the current online shooting one. Two players, each with a stick tipped with a small suction pad, would vie to choose, from the spread out cards, the one which matched the monster created by the rotating wheels of a small fruit machine. His reactions were incredible and the crunch of his stick on the card always (literally) beat his opponents. Many adults were rendered speechless at his prowess.

Peter’s first school was Clare House Primary School, Beckenham, to which he travelled standing on the cross piece of my Moulton bike (No Health and Safety in those days – and no helmets either!) and then on to Dulwich College Prep School where he briefly (fortunately!) played the violin and started to find his way around a drum kit. He joined Charles at Eastbourne College in 1996.

He became a Cub in 1991 where he was in goal as his Pack won the District 5 a side, and followed Charles as the District breaststroke champion. He always said that Cubs was the best fun he had as a child and he certainly made the most of it. Peter’s first skiing holiday was when he was 3 ½ in Villars, Switzerland. The Company we went with – Ski Esprit – looked after the little ones in the morning and brought them up the mountain by train to meet us for lunch. I soon discovered the real pain incurred by skiing a long way in the snow plough position holding a small boy between my legs! He soon started ski school and grew into a most elegant – if totally reckless – skier. The first photos we have of him skiing in fancy dress are when he was 17. The rest is history!

In 1984 we bought Wild Goose Cottage near Stodmarsh in Kent, where we have spent our summer holidays ever since. Peter loved the place. It was good for football and cricket in the garden (or the lane outside) and an ideal setting for barbecues. As the years passed, parents became less relevant there! He used to stay there with his friends and cousins, going to the local Red Lion pub in Stodmarsh for whatever meal happened to be due. It was at the Red Lion that he was astounded when his request for a beer many years ago resulted in a pint of bitter rather than lager which he drank at the time, served by the old school landlord, the tip-top Robert Wigham. We have donated a memorial bench to the pub, and his ashes have been interred in St Andrew’s churchyard just next door.

During most of the Nineties on August Bank Holiday, Peter could be found riding in the 100 mile Action Research Bike Ride from Bath to London. His Uncle Richard was the chairman of the Ride and the whole Westropp clan was involved either riding or marshalling. Peter did it first when he was just nine and never stopped complaining – every year!

In the first decade of this Millennium he was the drummer of the Westropp Band who played covers at a variety of parties, weddings and other events which were always hugely popular. Their first performance was at the Westropp family’s 750th anniversary celebrations in 2000 in Ireland. Their swansong was Edward’s Argentina bash in March 2011. Much has been written about his love of music, none more so than that produced by Charles in a variety of bands. At an Operators, Dissidents or Empress gig you would always find Peter, usually with the Clapham lads, right at the front leading the crowd, surfing, singing, drinking and generally enjoying himself. But never too far gone to look after his parents in case they couldn’t cope!

He loved the music but he also did it to support Charles, his very best friend.