Keen amateur photographer and Diss Express contributor dies
Diss Express contributor and keen amateur photographer Peter Hawkins has died. He was 79.
His name will be well known to readers. He regularly contributed photos for the newspaper’s See It Snap It feature, including shots of the turbines at Eye Airfield, the Crinkle Crankle wall, and the River Dove.
And his snaps also made the news pages - the Eye resident was a regular at the town’s events, including Christmas lights switch-ons, the annual duck race and the Town Show.
Born in West Ham in 1937, he went to Forest School in Snaresbrook. A Tottenham Hotspur fan, he played football, hockey and cricket.
It was during a cricket match when he saw a doodlebug fly overhead and land close to his home, and memories of the War were one of the reasons he developed an interest in serving in the Royal Navy.
He joined when he was 17 and served until 1978, working his way up to commander - the best years of his service were a two-year stint in Sydney in 1961.
Every time his photos were in the newspaper, he would tear the page off and keep it
Upon leaving the Royal Navy, he had a job as a bursar at Micklefield School in Seaford in 1979, and in 1983 he returned to Forest School, where he spent ten years in the same position.
A father of two, to Julia and Patrick, he retired in 1993 and moved to Eye with his late wife Maureen. They married in 1967.
His daughter, Julia, said he was “unfailingly supportive” of his children.
“He was always on our side,”she said.
She explained he only developed an interest photography after his son Patrick gave him a point-and- shoot camera for his birthday about 10 years ago.
Since then, he became a regular contributor to the Diss Express, and Eye Magazine.
“Whether it was the mayor’s parade or a fete, he’d often be out there taking photos.
“Every time his photos were in the newspaper, he would tear the page off and keep it.
“He ended up with a huge pile of clippings and used to show us the latest one every time we visited him.
“We had lots of lovely letters and cards and emails, and people he has known since he was a young man have said he was a gentleman when they first met him so many years ago and he is still a gentleman now, which I though was really touching.
“The funeral was perfect. There were so many people from Eye and the St Henry Morse church congregation there, as well as friends and family from far afield - he would have been absolutely thrilled.”