The RNLI saves lives at sea.

Peter Curd

Also known as: Pete.

Picture of Peter Curd.

Peter left Harvey Grammar School, Folkestone, at the age of 16 with 8 GCE 'O'-levels, joining Kent Constabulary as a police cadet. Perhaps it was the hours of directing traffic in Maidstone that persuaded him that a career in uniform was not for him, and a chance conversation with an old school friend working on a local newspaper led to him becoming an apprentice journalist on the Folkestone Herald. He would often recall the hours of taking down minutes of parish council and WI meetings, but as he progressed through the ranks to Chief Reporter, he was given a freer hand: on a particularly slow news day one summer in the early 60s, he wrote a piece about the recent sighting of a ghostly Roman legionnaire in the woods above Hythe. Thankfully noone will now ever know that the evidence for this was helpfully provided by Peter and his two friends crawling through the undergrowth with torches late the previous night, to the surprise of several suggestible local pensioners. Several national tabloids were interested in scooping the story, and it was only the assassination of President Kennedy the same day that knocked him off the front pages.

Most importantly of all, Peter met Barbara in 1962 and they married three years later. They moved to Croydon in 1969, where Peter continued his journalistic career at the Croydon Advertiser. These were especially happy times, during which Peter and Barbara became firm friends with Tony and Marion and they together developed an interest in bridge; they remain lifelong friends. Anna was born in 1972, followed two and a half years later by Steven. It was also at this time that Peter worked as a press officer at the City of London Corporation, entitling Anna and Steven to go to the Lord Mayor's annual children's Christmas party. They were five and two at the time, and were dressed as Red Riding Hood and the Wolf, though Barbara deftly changed this to Red Riding Hood and the Mouse when Steven was too terrified to get into the costume. Peter was proud to be made a Freeman of the City of London, though regrettably never exercised the accompanying right to drive his flock of sheep across London Bridge.

After over a decade working in public relations for the nuclear industry at Harwell, and lecturing on the subject around the world, he took a well-earned early retirement at the age of 50. He spent seven very happy years walking the hills and valleys of Wiltshire and Gloucestershire with Barbara, developing a thorough understanding of country pubs along the way, and very much enjoyed playing bridge - even though he didn't always agree with his partner. He made model aeroplanes with an exquisite attention to detail, but unfortunately many of these pleasures were curtailed following his diagnosis with Parkinson's. Despite this, he faced his illness with tremendous courage, and his wicked sense of humour was never far away. On being asked by Anna what he felt about getting really old, his answer was: 'I'd rather be eaten alive by rats'. As he was only 66, we think he had the last laugh ( there was a toy rat on his coffin).

Added by: Steven Curd on 16 July 2010.

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