Andy Peers was born on 19th August 1955. He was a son, a brother, a husband, a father and a grandfather, as well as a friend and colleague to many people.
My role in his life was that of irritating little sister. I arrived on the scene in September 1956. We lived in Penwortham at 11a Wembly Avenue with Dad Ian and Mother Vicky.
Andy’s first successful project in life has had a lifelong effect. He successfully changed my name from Christine to Moppy and I have remained Moppy ever since. The tale behind this was, that I became a very mischievous child and generally called a moppet. Andy couldn’t get his tongue around moppet and so the new name Moppy was created and STUCK.
Our early years were mostly spent in the garden at Wembly Avenue. One of Andy’s pastimes was digging, holes that would lead us to Australia. I was a willing accomplice, but our attempts never got further than next door's privet hedge. His skill at hole digging was extraordinary, not only were they deep but the sides had to be smoothed and looking pristine.
As youngsters we were fortunate to spend many a happy hour at St Annes, on the beach, and in the surrounding rock gardens. Andy and I would build sandcastles (not sure how much credit I can take for these creations). They usually had 4 or five towers adorned with seaweed, feathers, twigs, shells and stones. Our sandcastles always had a moat, and I CAN take credit for this as I was sent down to the sea to get buckets of water.
Though I paint a picture of an idyllic twosome playing in harmony, this was not always the case. We often made numerous murderous assaults on each other. The worst I recall was when Andy tried taking my finger off with a brick (I still have the scar and the finger). My retribution was a spearing with a knitting needle. I was caught and immediately put behind bars …in the play pen. However, despite this love/hate relationship we survived and spent many carefree hours playing unsupervised in the rock gardens at St Annes. On one occasion we had a bright idea of how to get money for ice cream without having to ask mother. There was a cafe just by the rock gardens and they stored their empty ‘pop’ bottles by the back door. In those days you got money back on empty glass bottles. Along came the entrepreneurs. I was the one elected to go forth and Andy shoved me over the concrete wall, and I passed him the bottles. We then went to the front and claimed the loot. RESULT. Back to the wall, more bottles more loot. We were busted on the third visit and told to clear off before we got a thick ear.
We moved to a new house when I was five and Andy six. Fabulous! There was so much building going on, and empty fields to play in, it was great. We built dens and played on the building sites. There was no health and safety in those days and the girls and boys played happily side by side until one day girls became despicable as did the boys. Andy made friends with Graham and Nigel who lived down the road. I have no idea what they got up to all day, but sometimes I was included, but only on a concessional guest appearance basis only and probably only to make up the numbers.
Andy and I went to boarding school in Wetherby Yorkshire. Andy went in the first year, and I joined him in the 4th year. Andy was well established as a popular pupil with his peers and teachers alike. His name was now Peery. Peery was responsible for caring for the pool and his study area was the pool house. It was more like a storage area for the beginnings of his ‘quality merchandise’ collection, stuff that he scavenged and saved for use, at-a-later-date.
It was at school that it became evident that Andy could make things and use his hands. Andy with one of his pals spent a lot of time in the woodwork shop and they built a canoe. Progress was slow, but eventually there was a bright yellow and blue sailing vessel ready to launch. A procession of kids and the woodwork teacher (Frank) trooped through the courtyard to the swimming pool. The canoe was placed in the water and loaded with its cargo of Andy and his pal. They set sail for the opposite side of the pool. Slowly the vessel started taking on water, and the order to abandon ship was called. It hadn’t reached the other side of the pool! Undeterred, they fished it out of the water and left it to dry. It was returned to the workshop and placed back on its trestles ready for essential repairs, but to my knowledge it never set sail again.
We were a mischievous bunch of kids. Andy’s antics caused great hilarity. One occasion he and his pals were responsible for tying the bumper of the caretaker’s black van to a drainpipe. The caretaker was not a man with a sense of humour, which caused even more sniggering as he realised he no longer had a bumper on his vehicle, but it was attached to a piece of rope on the ground.
Andy was an expert home brewer and produced excellent wines and beers. His first foray into brewing was whilst we were at school. A still was ‘found’ in the woods, probably cobbled together with various pieces of said quality merchandise. The chosen product for this project was potatoes, and the minions involved were sent to gather potato peelings from the kitchen. Success!! But it was the vilest tasting tincture you could ever imagine. Andy called it Potine. I only recently discovered vodka is made from potatoes. It was a far cry from Smirnoff.
There are so many school-day stories I could tell you; so, I will finish with THE BOILER SUIT affair. The little darlings AKA Andy et-al thought it would be funny to give the first person coming into the school building a little fright. On this occasion it was Ma Pease the cook. Andy and his co-conspirators got a boiler suit belonging to a first year and stuffed it up with bedding and towels, so it looked like a small child. They got hold of a first year pupil, and instructed him to scream when the boiler suit was propelled from the window. It worked a treat!!! Poor woman.
Andy left school before me and started on his ‘grown-up life’. He started work in the wine department at Booths as a temp. I went to do my nurse training.
We went our separate ways to pursue our careers, got married and had our own families. But no matter where life’s distractions took us, and we were together again, we would seek each other and carry on from where we left off.
May you rest in peace Andy. Love you.