Popular Worthing entertainer dies

WORTHING entertainer and hospice volunteer Peter Lock has died in hospital at the age of 91.

Peter Lock, who joined Worthing Musical Comedy Society in 1946, with memorabilia W29204H13
Peter Lock, who joined Worthing Musical Comedy Society in 1946, with memorabilia W29204H13

Decribed by friends as ‘an amazing character’, Peter was a member of Worthing Musical Comedy Society for 69 years and appeared in more than 130 large-scale musical productions at major theatres in the area.

Mr Lock, who died from cancer on Monday, was also a long-standing volunteer at St Barnabas House hospice in Worthing.

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Hugh Lowson, chief executive, said: “Before becoming a volunteer, Peter was one of the first members of staff at St Barnabas at Columbia Drive, having formerly been a theatre technician at Worthing Hospital, where our founder, Dr Gusterson, recruited him.

Mr Lock, right, with friend Ray Tasker at the 2013 HMS Hood Memorial Service at Worthing War Memorial

“Peter’s initial role at St Barnabas was to care for the patients in the morning and, in the afternoon, to turn his hand to anything that might need attention from painting old iron beds to chasing away the ponies that used to stray into the hospice’s vegetable patch!

“Peter was also very active in local amateur dramatics and, as well as putting on shows and events for the patients, was often found singing in the corridors.

“Once retired, Peter very kindly continued to volunteer for St Barnabas for many, many years. He will be missed by everyone at the hospice.”

Peter entertained in hospitals, care homes, at fetes and charity events. His act included singing, tap dancing and old-time musical hall characters.

Friend Ernie Barnes, of Fircroft Avenue, Lancing, said: “His infectious smile brought love and joy to all.

“His picture was often seen in the Herald, talking to the famous over the years, including the Queen. He was extremely proud to have served her and his country.”

Peter and Ernie were friends for 52 years, having bonded because they both served in the Royal Navy.

Peter served on board mine sweepers served during World War Two.

Ernie said: “This was an extremely dangerous activity, after which he was notable in marching, proudly displaying his medals at Remembrance Parades in London and Worthing. He also performing at the Armed Forces Day in Steyne Gardens and even sang in a chorus at the Albert Hall.

“With his love of performance and theatre, he decorated the stairs of his home in the style of a theatre entrance auditorium, with wallpaper, photos and bills.”

Peter’s much-loved wife Ann died some years ago. He leaves three sons, Stuart, Robert and John.

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