Salisbury and South Wilts Branch, and a number of other organisations, lost one of their stalwarts this summer with the passing of Peter Wicks. A tall bearded character Peter’s presence in the room was never in doubt, nor were his friendliness, enthusiasm, attention to detail and love of a pun. With this came a man of gentle and caring nature, someone who thought about, cared about and acted on behalf of people, particularly those he perceived as less fortunate than himself. A gentle man in every respect.
Born in South Wales he moved as a child to Bournemouth where he became a lifelong and avid supporter of Bournemouth FC, the Cherries, and it was this along with his size caused him to be given the name Big Cherry when he joined that semi-mythical London drinking organisation The Ring. He became a CAMRA life member in 1985 and was an active member of West Middlesex and later Salisbury branches.
As branch pubs officer he was known for his attention to detail and encyclopaedic knowledge. He was a man who revelled in detail and if he started to relate something to you could be sure no detail would be left out. Whatever Pete started whether it be visiting football grounds or collecting different beers he had to visit or collect them all. His insightful description of himself was “I am a completist”.
At various times a local councillor he was also churchwarden, keen member of the Salisbury civic society and supporter of many groups and advocate of public transport.
He was buried wearing the clothes he always wore to football and with a season ticket tucked in his back pocket. At his interment his wife Claire added to his grave his supporters cap and scarf and with the assistance of friends poured on four bottles of vintage ale. Instantly, applause broke out from the 150 family and friends who had travelled from near and far to bid him farewell.
We will miss you big fella.
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