Tributes to former Rotarian and well known shop owner

Peter Gofton, who ran Gofton's, in Park View, Whitley Bay.
Peter Gofton, who ran Gofton's, in Park View, Whitley Bay.

Tributes have been paid to a former Whitley bay businessman who died last week aged 76.

Peter Gofton was well known in the town as he had a shop in Park View, Gofton’s, which sold greetings cards and fancy goods.

He was also an active member of Whitley Bay Rotaract and Rotary Club.

He was born in January 1938 in Pykerley Road, Monkseaton, the younger son of William (Billy) and Margaret Gofton, before the family moved to SouthWest Farm in Front Street.

He was the first child to be baptised at St Peter’s Church in Monkseaton, which had just been built by the family firm, RA Gofton and Sons.

His funeral will be held in St Peter’s on Tuesday, May 20, at noon.

Like his elder brother, Alder, he went to Tynemouth School for Boys, but as he suffered badly from asthma he spent long spells at home, during which time he read voraciously.

He and a friend used to perform piano duets at the Coliseum, and he was also an excellent dancer.

Neighbours from his flat in Brighton Grove – where he lived for many years – will recall how he liked to play his records loud, and friends often found a CD posted through their door with music he wanted to share.

Peter remained close to his many cousins. He never married or had children but was generous to his nieces and nephew, his godchildren and his huge number of friends.

He never forgot birthdays – even if several months late.

He was excellent company and had a mischievous sense of humour. Even during his recent months of poor health, he kept in touch with friends by phone.

He loved travelling to far and distant places, and also owned a flat in The Hague in The Netherlands, where he enjoyed entertaining his friends.

He will be missed by many.