Obituary: Ronald Ivo (Pete) Cottingham


The funeral service for Ronald Ivo ‘Pete’ Cottingham, aged 87 years of Snitterby, was held at Waddingham Church.

The Rev Kathy Colwell officiated at the service and arrangements were by J Marshall of Market Rasen.

Born in Messingham, the second son of John and Dorothy Cottingham, his names have been the topic of conversation on many occasions.

His parents wanted to call him Peter, much to the consternation of the Messingham branch of the family, as this was the name of the village vagrant. So they registered and christened him Ronald, after his mother’s younger brother, and Ivo, after a character in a novel his mother had read in her confinement, but called him Peter anyway.

In the early 1930s, the family moved to Top House, Snitterby having bought the accompanying farm.

Pete attended Waddingham School until he was 13 and then became one of the first pupils at Huntcliffe School in Kirton.

Leaving at the age of 15, he went to work full time on the family farm; during the war he taught other farmers how to plough and drive the new tractors brought over from the States.

Pete and his young friends converted the stable at Top House into a type of youth club, playing darts, dominoes, records on an old wind-up gramophone and cooking their supper of chips - on a stove they had installed to heat their ‘log cabin’ as it became known. It became a favourite haunt for the young men of the village.

At the age of 21, Pete spent six months on farm exchange, working in Denmark.

And on July 28, 1956 he married Joan Dent and so followed their daughters - Hannah, Debbie and Rachel.

They lived in the back of Top House until designing and building their own home, Ivon House, which they moved into on the night of Waddingham Feast in 1964.

Sadly, Joan died in 1983 and since then Peter lived alone, although supported by his extended family and friends.

Animals of all kind loved Pete; he would and could train anything.

He had pet robins, pheasants - usually called George - and ducks. He also adored cats and dogs.

When he was younger, he bred rabbits for their skins, which were sold to adorn the backs of gloves; ferrets were another passion.

Pete spent many summer holidays in Mablethorpe, both as a boy and a man, although later life saw him travelling further afield to America, Greece, Spain and Turkey.

Pete was a practical man - of many talents.

Hairdressing - owning a set of cutting shears and scissors, he was often called upon to trim and style people’s hair.

Engineer - after getting cold from ploughing up the Cliff, he designed and constricted a tractor cab, without actually seeing one, out of wood, Perspex, tarpaulin and pulp bags; a design much envied and copied by numerous farmers around the district.

Electrician - while at Top House, he installed a generator and wired up the house to produce enough electricity to power the lights.

Carpenter - on their marriage, due top post-war shortages, Pete and Joan didn’t have a rolling pin, so he made one on his wood-turning lathe and it is still at the house 57 years later.

Pete was also a great supporter of Snitterby Church, cutting the grass, sorting and getting rid of rubbish, repairing the fabric of the church and attending numerous fetes.

After retiring at the age of 70, he spent a great deal of time in his garden, mainly growing vegetables as he couldn’t see the point in growing something you couldn’t eat.

And when he did plant the occasional flower, everything was in straight lines, reflecting his desire for everything to have its place - neat and tidy.

Family mourners were: Rachel Cottingham, Hannah Gill and Deborah Gill (daughters); Peter Gill, Brian Gill and Paul Whyte (sons-in-law); Eleanor Gill, Francesca Gill, Phoebe Gill, Camilla Gill, Patricia Gill, Madeleine Gill, Lydia Gill, Daniel Cottingham-Boss and Matthew Cottingham-Boss (grandchildren).

Friends at the service were: Mr and Mrs J Keedy; Bill and Joan Scott; Mr and Mrs I Smith; Ted Waite; Colin Everett (also rep Mrs C Everett); Mrs D Woodliffe; Mr and Mrs Dannatt; Mr and Mrs Woodliffe; Mrs L Whitings; Mr J and Mrs S Jackson; Mr and Mrs M and P Tector (also rep D and J Elliot); Mrs E Skilton; Mr and Mrs D Belt; Mr and Mrs D Barwick; Mr and Mrs P Brian (also rep Mr and Mrs K Rylatt); P Richardson (also rep S Cooper); Mr B Waite; Mr J F Parkinson; G Smith; S Korkmaz; Mr I Korkmaz; I Cook; Mr and Mrs J Patchett; Mrs L Horsewood; Mr R and Mrs L Dent; Mr and Mrs J B Tutty; Mr R Harry; Mrs Harry; R Wilkinson (also rep Waddingham Shoot Syndicate); Mr P Cousins; Mr N Everett; Mr P R Bradshaw; Kath Brooks; Mrs M Pike; Mr and Mrs Ray Hunt; Mrs Durham (also rep Mr D Durham); Mrs E Dent; Mrs S Stobbard; Mrs Kunzler; Mrs J Major; Dick Parker (also rep Joan Parker); Mr R Parker; Mrs M Tector; Mr R Tector (also rep Mr J T Tector); Elaine Marsden; Mr and Mrs J Fulston (also rep Mrs M Wilmot); Mr T W Faulkner; Stan Eyre; Mr K Hedison; Derek Hudson; Phil Richardson; Mr and Mrs G Everett (also rep Katie); Mr and Mrs T R Cottingham; Eileen Brackenbury (also rep Richard Brackenbury); Ben Brackenbury; M Robertson; Mr K Dent; Mr and Mrs D Marshall; Mr B Fryer; Mr P C and G B Smith; Jean Smith; Mr J Cousins; Ian Mitchell and Barbara Mitchell; Richard Dent; Mr and Mrs R Dinsdale (also rep Robert Dinsdale); Mrs J Clapson (also rep Mr S Clapson and family); Mr and Mrs R Hammond; Leslie Usher (also rep Blenheim Care Centre); Claire Fryer (also rep Alan Stoddart); Mrs U Talintyre (also rep Ralph and Suzanne Tutty); Donna Fryer; Mr and Mrs R Cottingham; Mr D Cottingham; Mrs G Cottingham; Mrs R Cottingham.