Tributes have been paid to a paper boy who became one of East Preston’s most familiar faces.
Peter Field worked at Hedgers Newsagents in Sea Road, East Preston, since he was 12, working his way up the ranks to eventually own the business after the previous owner Tom Chamberlain retired.
He ran it for over two decades, becoming what his daughter-in-law Dawn Fletcher-Field described as ‘East Preston’s paper boy for 60 years’ before passing away from an eight-week battle with acute myeloid leukaemia on March 10 aged 72.
She said: “It was an absolute shock to the family. Unfortunately he got an infection; we thought we might have 12 months with him but the doctors couldn’t treat it.”
The family expect hundreds of people to attend Peter’s funeral, which will be held on Wednesday, April 4 at 12pm at St Mary’s Church in Vicarage Lane, East Preston.
A copy of the Littlehampton Gazette, a paper delivery bag, and a photograph with a flower arrangement will be placed on top of his coffin, and the funeral director will get out of the car and walk in front as the vehicle passes his newsagents as a mark of respect.
Dawn described her father-in-law as a ‘key member of the community’: “He was a kind and generous man, and extremely well liked by all.
“He was an integral part of the community, acting as a free notice board and box office for all village events.”
His dedication to the job was such that he delivered papers to more than 370 customers every day, without having a day off other than Christmas Day for 12 years at one stage.
The East Preston Film Society will dedicate its new outdoor concrete football table that is being installed next week to Peter in recognition of his contribution to the community.
The memorial plaque will be unveiled on April 12 at 12.30pm.