Tribute to Peter Jackson who will be remembered for his ‘caring and entertaining personality’
- Credit: Archant
A leading light in the award-winning campaign to make Huntingdon more attractive through its floral displays has died after a long illness.
Peter Jackson, 90, will be remembered through the construction of the replica Sebastopol Cannon which forms part of Huntingdon Town Council’s garden in George Street.
Peter, from Woodhurst, had been chairman of Huntingdon In Bloom, supported by his partner Ann Colbert, at a time when the organisation was growing and achieved a series of awards, including striking gold regularly.
He was also a well-known Huntingdon businessman and pilot, having expanded his business Specialised Mouldings, which was started with his late brother David, from London to the town in 1967.
Specialised Mouldings became one of the most highly-respected composite companies in the business, building bodies for many of the leading racing car firms including Lola, Lotus, Brabham and Ferrari, as well as carrying out top secret development work for the automotive industry which took place in secure parts of the factory.
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Peter was a keen pilot and was a regular sight in the skies over Huntingdon in his yellow vintage Tiger Moth with a butterfly design on its wings, followed by a second Tiger Moth after its restoration, which he flew as part of the Diamond Nine display team.
Specialised Mouldings also moved into the aerospace industry as well as making a series of full-size museum-grade replica aircraft.
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Nephew Paul Jackson said: “ As a child he was inspired by Amy Johnson flying to Australia in her ‘Jason’ De Havilland Gipsy Moth.
“Peter used his engineering skills and built composites parts for his own Tiger Moth. He was always willing to take customers, family and friends up for a flight of their lives.”
He added: “For 15 years Peter was part of the Diamond Nine display team, flew Mach 2 in the iconic Concorde, and flew with one of the Red Arrows.”
Mr Jackson said: “ In 1995 Anglia in Bloom gave Peter the opportunity to improve the town environment, leading the team by involving the community to meet the standards of Britain in Bloom.
“Over the next 10 years, coveted Gold Awards from Anglia in Bloom were followed by highly acclaimed golds from Britain in Bloom and this continues today.”
He said: “ Peter’s ambition was to use his skills to manufacture a replica Sebastopol Cannon for the empty plinth in George Street, and when he retired, with support from the town council, took a mould from the cannon outside Ely Cathedral.
“The project was completed In November 1990. Each year since, the town council has planted the site to commemorate an anniversary. In 2020, the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale, appropriately in the Year of the Nurse.
“In the words of the town council ‘His caring and entertaining personality, along with his admirable pride, will live on in Huntingdon through the many projects he has been a part of, and the Sebastopol Cannon will act as an everlasting reminder of his great workmanship’.”