Tributes to former town mayor Peter Knight

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A popular former Lutterworth mayor, district and county councillor Peter Knight has died. He was 88.

His friend, current Leicestershire Police and Crime Commissioner Willy Bach, has payed tribute, saying: “Peter was a sort of Mr Lutterworth.

“He was a highly respected local politician, a very popular figure in the town and the villages around, and a man who always put Lutterworth first.”

Present Lutterworth Mayor Cllr Geraldine Robinson said: “Peter did a great amount for Lutterworth and was a very popular mayor and councillor.

“He was very well known around the town and very highly thought of.”

Peter Knight was born in the village of Leire, north of Lutterworth, in 1928, and lived in the Lutterworth area all his life.

Many of his childhood years were spent in a cottage linked to Riddlesden Farm on the Leicester Road, near Lutterworth, where his father was a shepherd.

He worked as an engineer for several companies including Alfred Herbert’s aero engineering works in Lutterworth, Armstrong Whitworth and Rolls Royce.

He was a member of the Amalgamated Engineering Union (AEU) and president of the Lutterworth branch.

He took voluntary redundancy from Rolls Royce in 1984, and had a succession of jobs including small business co-owner, production supervisor and security guard.

Right up to his death he was still working, as a gardener and handyman at The Elms, Lutterworth, even though a stroke in 2013 had affected his health.

He became directly involved with politics in 1958, when he was elected as a Labour councillor on Lutterworth Town Council.

He went on to be mayor of Lutterworth twice - in 1981 and 1991.

Mr Knight sat on Lutterworth Town Council for 39 years altogether.

He was a district councillor for the town for a decade in the 70s and 80s. He was also twice elected to represent Lutterworth at Leicestershire County Council level.

He said his main concern when he started in politics was finding good housing for local people.

But he remained interested in Lutterworth matters, from the De Verdon Road allotments to Magna Park, until his death last week.

In 2008 he was presented with a Labour Party long-service award by Government Chief Whip Geoff Hoon at a Lutterworth Labour Party dinner, to celebrate his 50 years in the Labour Party.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Knight thanked his wife Sheila and their four children for all their support over the years.

Peter was also a magistrate, and had ties to numerous local organisations including Age Concern, the Boys Club, the Co-op, the British Legion, Wycliffe Bowling Club and Lutterworth Town FC.

“He had a passion for working with the community and working with people” said his daughter Alison.

“People used to say ‘is he ever at home?’” joked Sheila, Peter’s wife of 62 years.

Peter leaves behind Sheila, four children - Chris, Marie, Alison and Jim - seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

His funeral will be held on Saturday, April 29, 11am at the South Leicestershire Memorial Park and Crematorium in Countesthorpe and after at the Wycliffe Rooms, George St, Lutterworth from 12.30pm.