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Peter Cooper - Cornwall and Devon Group

Peter Cooper and Polly

PETER COOPER (LDWA No 3??)


It is with the deepest regret that I report the death of another LDWA and Cornwall & Devon stalwart.


Peter Cooper passed peacefully away on Thursday 5th March 2015 at Beaconville care home in Ivybridge.


Having established the Mortimer Forest Marathon in Shropshire and the Ingleborough Roundabout in Yorkshire, where the walk started from their house at Feizor, Peter was also on the team which set up the Offa’s Dyke Long Distance path.


Peter and Betty moved to Devon in 1989 and soon after devised and organised the Chagford Challenge. While testing out the initial route of the Challenge in April 1990, Martin (Dyer), Tony Grimes and I had already walked 30 miles by the time we arrived at Scorhill Gate where Peter met us. We told him that the stated 30 miles should be more like 34 but Peter just smiled and said, “We’ll see”, a simple, slightly humorous but firm response which was typical of the man.


His connections to Devon were already strong as his daughters lived in the county; Sally in Exeter and Susie in Tavistock. He completed more than one 100, including the first Dartmoor in 1979 and another one with his dog Joey, though it is not stated if Joey’s time was recorded.


We first met Peter and Betty in 1985 on the occasion of the Yorkshire Dales 100. He and Martin had dropped out at the breakfast stop at Dent and, as they were waiting outside the base at Settle, I was asked to take them home – Peter lived only four miles away at Feizor, a hamlet which was on the route of subsequent 100s in North Yorkshire. Hazel and I had camped on their lawn (field!) on the Friday before the walk but didn’t get to know them really well until they moved to Devon.


Betty and Peter offered the use of their home as a checkpoint for the Marshals’ Walk for the Dartmoor 100 in 1994 and they both were happy to call in to the Jubilee Hall at Chagford to meet walkers and helpers on several Chagford Challenges when Peter handed over the organisation to others.


Peter also led many walking holidays both in Britain and abroad for various agencies until the late 1990s.


We send our sympathy to Sally and Martin and all of the family. 


The funeral will take place at Chagford Church at 2.00pm on Friday 13th March 2015.


Terry Bound
Cornwall & Devon LDWA email terry.hazel@blueyonder.co.uk