A SOLICITOR who served his community for decades has died at the age of 77.
Bill Peel, from Cleadon, began his legal career completing his articles at South Shields Town Hall, and went on to become a senior partner in one of the town’s firms.
Born in Clyvedon Rise, in South Shields, he attended Cleadon Park Juniors before going to the town’s high school for boys, now Harton College of Technology, then on to national service, where he worked as a typist in Germany.
From there, he went on to study law at Exeter College, in Oxford, taking up a post with the town clerk in his home town.
He then, went on to work for George Scott and Son in Coronation Street, which later amalgamated to become Wheldon, Houlsby and Scott.
He largely worked in conveyancing and commercial law, and was a member of Newcastle Law Society.
Outside of work and in his retirement, he would spend days in the garden of his home, and showed leeks and chrysanthemums at a number of venues in South Shields.
He was a member of the allotment association, close to the Jack Clark Park, where he played bowls and lent his skills to the area’s Cancer Research branch as its secretary.
He also played football for Swifts and Westoe Celtic in the Sunday league, and he continued to play five-a-side into his 60s.
His wife of 52 years Margaret, 73, who met Bill when they both worked at the town hall, said: “He was such a genuine, down to earth, easy-going man.”
Grandfather-of-three Bill also leaves sons Edwin, 50, a barrister and law professor at Keble College, in Oxford, Martin, 48, who is to become a paramedic with the North East Ambulance Service, and Justin, 45, a chemistry teacher at Harton, where all three were educated.
Edwin, who also attended Exeter College, was presented with his degree at the same ceremony where his father was awarded a masters.
A service for Bill, who died on Tuesday, January 13, after a short illness, will be held on Monday.
It will be held at All Saints Church, in Cleadon, at 10.30am, followed by a private cremation.
The family has requested no flowers, with donations to be gathered for Cancer Research.