Peter sounds far too formal a name for the 'lad' we came to know and love. Pete/Westie/West-dog/Windthorpe joined Gerald Eve in September 2007 as one of 10 graduates that year. Pete broke the mould really when it comes to what you imagine a typical surveyor to be. It's questionable how he ended up being one really, but almost certainly one of the most appealing aspects of the job for him was the social one!
Pete's most infamous moments were outside of the office. We joined Gerald Eve in the pre-recession 'good times'. The working social calendar was jam packed with 'networking' events. A weekly custom for the Gerald Eve graduates at the time was to go for a few swifties in Bonds (our local watering hole) and then on to The Loop for 2-4-1 cocktails, ridiculous dancing and getting your feet stuck to the floor. Ring leader Pete could regularly be found yelling at us to 'chin it you mugs', as we downed one of his favourite tipples, 'The Suitcase'. Pete often provided a lost, 'forward slash', stolen and not so often found report of items which had gone astray on his late night journeys home. Big ticket items included Charles' coat, Charles' iPod and his wallet.
It was outside Bonds that Pete once undertook a pork pie challenge. Amidst devouring the pie, Pete began to choke, with a fellow colleague having to come to his rescue and perform the Heimlich Manoeuvre to dislodge it. Owing to his continual 'bant', nobody really understood the seriousness of the situation, until a purple tinge came to his cheeks! Feeling a little worse for wear on a Friday, it wouldn't be unusual to see Pete sporting the previous night's shirt, untucked at the back and bed hair. Usually about 9.30am, after returning from his toilet power nap, we would be treated to a graphic description of the effects of the previous night's intake on his bowel movements, which we always enjoyed.
Anybody that worked with Pete would know that he described himself in business terms as 'kind of a big deal'. Gaining landlord consent and settling a rent review here, a rating appeal there. Pete's day involved doing 'deals, deals, deals,' and in 2007, with a little help from his friends, he made the Property Week Roll of Honour list as a rising star in the world of property. This was in recognition of his individual achievements-details of which seem to be a little hard to get hold of!
Despite his heavy workload, our days were regularly punctuated by emails from Pete. This would consist of receiving all manner of photos, carefully selected from the Google Images Library to brighten our day...often titled 'your mum'. Lunchtime was the opportunity for Pete to go and pick up what he termed the 'Smorgas of Triumph' from Bon Bouche on Marylebone High Street; a chicken, bacon and spinach baguette. He was always willing to show the chewed up contents of such when eating at his desk, by sticking it out on his tongue.
As 5pm came, the emails took a different form, providing almost a minute-by-minute reminder of how many minutes left until home time. The most stressful time for most of the graduates was in 2009, when we had to sacrifice our weekends to revision in the office, in order to pass our APC and become a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. However, while most of us sweated over the finer points of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954 in preparation, Pete could be found playing his 18 hole golf course around the office, with the office tea cups forming the holes for his par 30 course.
Pete always brought a contagious energy to work and his happy go lucky attitude rubbed off on all those around him. As all circles of friends and family know, Pete had a tremendous love for fancy dress, his most memorable costumes for his work colleagues being the Christmas Parties where he turned up as a banana, a gorilla, and although not really fancy dress, who can forget that neon-shell suit jacket. In July 2011, he even won best fancy dress at the Land Aid fun run in Battersea Park. In November 2011, his Gerald Eve friends organised the first Banana Pub Crawl around the City in his memory. 50 bananas, a mix of colleagues, family and friends walking the streets of London, belting out some his favourite tunes, which is set to become an annual event.