Sidmothian Peter Ford “lived life to the full”

Sidmouth’s Peter Ford was vanguard of bringing colour TV to town

A BRILLIANT television engineer and a local character, who lived life to the full and maybe beyond it at times.

Those were among the fond memories expressed by family and friends this week in tribute to Sidmouth-born Peter Ford who has died, aged 70, after a short illness.

As a member of the old-established family firm, Ford and Sons of Sidmouth, he was, with his father, Owen, in the vanguard of bringing colour television to the town.

“He was a great character to Sidmouth whom we will all miss very dearly,” said his brother, Derek. “He worked hard and played hard and, with the family, helped play a major part in the growth of the company.”

Peter Anthony Ford was educated at Miss Bellamy’s School in Vicarage Road, Sidmouth, Bramdean School, Exeter and at Wellington Public School in Somerset.

He learned his trade in electronics in London before coming home to lead a team of seven engineers that ran the televison side of Fords founded over 100 years ago by his grandfather from a shop in the High Street selling hardware, paraffin and wireless accumulators.

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Peter subsequently came out of the company to pursue other interests although he never lost his love for Sidmouth where he was both captain of the golf club and a member of the team that won the Devon cup.

Recalling those days this week, John Govier, a lifelong friend, remembered Peter’s business flair and ability and, as a local character, his go-getting zest for life.

“He was full of fun and fun to be with,” said John. “He certainly lived life to the full and maybe beyond that at times! His bonhomie and conviviality was infectious to his many friends who will be saddened by his death.

“We will all remember him with a smile because, yes, he leaves some wonderful memories.”

Peter Ford, who leaves three sons and a daughter by his first wife, Janice, returned to Sidmouth last year from Taunton with Una, his partner of six years, to live at Cedar Shade in All Saints Road.

They married quietly four months ago.

“Although he was so ill he was determined to make the most of our time together,” said Una, who has been praised by the Ford family for caring for Peter at home with such loving support.

“He planned our honeymoon himself and kept it as a surprise just for me. We had both come back to our roots here in Sidmouth with so much to look forward to and it is so sad that we had no time at all, really, to enjoy it. It was just not to be …”