Peter Reddick
1924 – 2010

Today, Frances and I were happy to be able to join many scores of his family and friends as Peter Reddick was laid to rest in the remarkably welcoming acres of the woodland burial site close to his home town of Bristol.

Of course, the weather smiled on the event. From morning, it was a scintillatingly beautiful day – with bright and warm sun and a cooling breeze that moved the leaves of the established trees at the margins and the young ones planted near individual plots. “Peter would have loved it”, everyone said.

People greeted each other over coffee and then moved to a beautifully reappointed stone barn that was the chapel/meeting house. We opened our throats with some good singing (as Peter had done when he elected to join choirs very late in his life). We had readings of various sorts and long moments of deep silence during which individuals spoke of how much they had valued Peter’s friendship. The variety of these, wood engravers, teachers, Quakers, as well as Peter’s children and a sturdy crew of grandsons.

After this, we all made our way to the spot where Peter was to be laid. Crackly dry leaves were thrown into the grave and we returned to enjoy delicious plates of food and further conversations with friends.

This was the point when I took up my camera, to aid our memory later.

This is taken through the door of the chapel where, still burning strongly, are the candles which all who were there had moved forward to light.

This is the same scene from inside the building. I had taken the photograph at that moment because that is just how it happened. It was not until I was working on it a bit that I realized quite how remarkably fortunate and apt that moment had been. That is not a fixed light on the floor. Rather, the strong sunlight was simply shining through the window and, at that precise moment, was falling on the exact spot where Peter had been laid, in his gentle-looking basket made of twisted rushes.

Extraordinarily, a wonderful day. Peter’s day.