Death of former newsagent, Pete Toogood

PUBLISHED: 13:40 25 March 2008 | UPDATED: 21:38 15 June 2010

RESPECTED former Honiton newsagent Peter Toogood has died. Mr Toogood, who was 81, died at Honiton Community Hospital on Thursday, March 20, after suffering a series of strokes.

RESPECTED former Honiton newsagent Peter Toogood has died.Mr Toogood, who was 81, died at Honiton Community Hospital on Thursday, March 20, after suffering a series of strokes.He is survived by his niece, former mayor Sally Casson, her siblings, Gina, Martyn and David, and their families.Peter George Toogood was the youngest son of Florence Annie and Francis Gordon Toogood, a farmer. He was born on April 8 in 1926 at Chapeltown, Tiverton.Together with his brother Francis (Sonny) and sisters Dorothy and Freda, the family moved to Collinhayes Farm at Combe Raleigh. Tragically, the farmhouse burnt down.The Toogood family were re-housed in Streamers Meadows, Honiton, and Peter attended the local school where he excelled in all subjects, especially mathematics, going on to achieve his school certificate and a Cambridge University degree.His real passion was sport. He played rugby, football and cricket for Honiton and, as a boy, had trials with Exeter City. However, his main love was cricket.Mr Toogood trained to be an accountant while working for Chard Borough Council, a skill put to good use in later years when he voluntarily kept the books in order for many local organisations.With help from his elder brother and sister, he eventually purchased a newsagent's business in New Street, which was to become known simply as "Toogood's". Mr Toogood was commonly known as just "Pete".The shop was a treasure trove - selling everything from newspapers to cake decorations, musical instruments, sheet music, toys and gifts. It even boasted a lending library!Mr Toogood worked diligently from 4am to 10pm every day of the week, and never minded opening out-of-hours to help anyone who had run out of toothpaste or some other essential.He surprised everyone when, in his 40s, he announced he was selling the shop and retiring.With his new-found freedom, Mr Toogood discovered another talent - gardening.Although this occupied much of his time, his love of cricket led him to become the scorer for Somerset County Cricket Club. One of his jobs was to make sure that Ian Botham and Viv Richards arrived for matches on time! He told stories that would make most people's hair curl!After two seasons with Somerset, he decided to follow the England cricket team on tour, leading to a new interest - travel.During the latter 40 years of his life, Mr Toogood visited no fewer than 114 countries. He kept immaculate records of all the places he visited and had many interesting stories to tell of his adventures and the various people he met - some famous, some not.Mr Toogood was an accomplished pianist, his speciality being boogie woogie. He was proud of the fact that when the pianist fell ill at the Jamaica Hilton, he stepped in and played with the orchestra.Although officially born on April 8, Mr Toogood's mother insisted he was actually born two days later. She ensured his birthday was celebrated on April 10.The story goes that, being farmers, the Toogoods only managed to get into town on market day. It was some days after he was born that his father visited Tiverton and registered the birth - so long, in fact, that he got the date wrong!Mr Toogood's funeral service will take place at St Paul's Church, Honiton, at 3.30pm on Friday (March 28). Family flowers only, but donations, if desired, will go to The Stroke Association via Layzell Funeral Service.

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