Scunthorpe postman’s horn restored on BBC’s Repair Shop after sudden cancer death

The family of a late Scunthorpe man were overwhelmed to have a horn he loved using for “practical jokes” restored on the BBC’s Repair Shop.

Peter Summers was a postman in the area for 40 years, but was tragically taken ill in late 2022. He was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer and sadly died just six weeks later.

His brother and sister, Mark and Jenny Hatfield, appeared on the show to explain the story behind the interesting item. Speaking to host Jay Blades, Jenny told the team about how Peter was born deaf in one ear and often used the horn as a practical joke.

She said: “It belonged to our brother Peter who was a postman in Scunthorpe for 40 years. He was born profoundly deaf in one ear and partially deaf in the other.”

Peter's family had his horn restored by Jay and the others on the BBC's repair shop
Peter’s family had his horn restored by Jay and the others on the BBC’s repair shop

She added: “When he worked in the post office the guys knew him and knew to speak up, but he was a bit of a character with this horn.” Peter would sneak up behind his colleagues and honk it in their ears, sending letters everywhere.

He loved slapstick comedians like Laurel and Hardy, but always remained upbeat, often sending the family pictures of him smiling on the job in the most horrific weather. Tragically, Peter was struck down by a sudden illness and died a few weeks later.

Jenny said: “Peter was taken ill at the back end of last year very suddenly. He was diagnosed with cancer and it was very aggressive, he passed away very quickly. It was six weeks between us finding out and him passing away.”

After his death, Jenny found the horn, but was unsure about its origins. After asking the fellow posties, they found out how he used it as a practical joke. As a mark of respect during Peter’s funeral, the procession passed by the main Scunthorpe post office and was followed by 22 postal vans to the ceremony.

Peter tragically passed away after a sudden cancer diagnosis
Peter tragically passed away after a sudden cancer diagnosis

Jenny said: “There were about 100 posties and they all stood at the back of the service.” She added: “It was a special day and a tough day.” The intention was to put the horn in a display once fixed and gift it to the post office in Scunthorpe as a tribute to Peter.

Instrument repairer Peter Woods took a look at the horn to find out the pieces had become unsoldered and worked about giving it a new lease of life. After a lot of work and some fooling about in the workshop, the team managed to restore the horn to its former glory.

Upon seeing the repaired horn, the pair were overwhelmed by the team’s efforts, awestruck at how good it looked. To surprise the brother and sister, the workshop also created a bespoke frame to exhibit the horn and display Peter’s long service badges.

Jenny said: “It looks perfect. I miss him so much, I miss him everyday.” She added: “It feels amazing to see the horn in one piece, I could just see him creeping up behind and going honk, honk, honk, it was just fabulous.”

Original artice: https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/all-about/scunthorpe

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