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ARCHIVE: Part One
IN THE BEGINNING...
THE BIRTH OF AN ENVIRONMENTALIST
PETE PERRY was
born in Benfleet,
Essex UK on 30th
June 1937 in the
middle of the
Pete hung on in the womb for ten
months before being born, and who
could blame him?
Earlier, in December 1936, there was a
when King Edward Vlll abdicated for the love
of his life. His brother, King George Vl
succeeded him, his coronation taking
place on 12th May 1937.
Pete then decided things were safe enough in
the world to be born, - but then, on 1st
September 1939, when Pete was 2 years old,
war between The UK and Germany was
Pete's dad Frank was serving in The Seaforth
Highlanders and was stationed at Fort George,
in the Highlands of Scotland, so as soon as war
broke out, Pete, his mum and two sisters were
sent to Fort George, where they lived in
Married Quarters in the fort ityself.
Here, Pete learned
to love the wildlife
that abounded in the
would spend hours
on 'The Golden
Common'watching wild hares, deer and even
Nothing happened in the first few months of the
war, - they called it 'The Phoney War', so Pete
was sent back to Walthamstow London.
Unfortunately, he arrived just as the London
'Blitz' started, so experienced the horrors of
bombs, air raids and doodlebugs, having a few
'near misses', with a flying bomb landing on
houses just up the road from him.
back to Scotland,
to live in Old Mills
Cottage in Elgin,
where he helped
on a farm. He returned to London to find bomb
Noticing how plants soon colonised these
bombsites, he realised that, whatever Mankind
did to the world around him, nature would
At the age of Eight years old, Pete became one
of the first environmentalists, vowing to protect
the Earth from Mankind's greed and
Pete had started drawing and writing stories at
a very young age, and by the time he was 11
years old, he was producing a weekly comic,
KOMIC KAPERS WEEKLY, known
affectionately as the KK, for his mates at
Chapel End Secondary Modern School in
Walthamstow. E17. Pete even ran a story of
Ossy & Willie, in the future,
taking refuge from a
CO2 Laden atmosphere!
Since then, he has gone
on to write illustrated
articles for magazines
on The Environment, Horticulture and Social
Justice, and writing childrens' and adult books.
Above is Pete at 11, when he began The KK...
His friends called him 'The Professor' because of
his seemingly outragous views on the environment.
Very often, his friends would groan and say,
'Oh no, here comes another Perry Theory!'
Below is an original KK comic from the early
enjoy reading this comic,
- it was also popular with
the teachers, as Pete found
out one day when he
had to report to the staff
room to find the teachers
having a good laugh over it...
He also often argued about nature & The
environment with his biology and science teachers.
OR READ ON FOR MORE...
Above: Pete's dad Frank getting married to his mum, Doris. Note Frank is in his Seaforth Highlander uniform.
Above: Pete with his sisters Patricia and Eileen.
After leaving school at 15, Pete teamed up with his mates Cyril Smith and Derek Soall (pictured above) to start up a cartoon film company.
Originally called 'Carefree Cartoons', the name was changed in favour of Filmart Studios. Pete and Cyril were conscripted at the age of 18. Pete enetered the RAF, whilst Cyril went into The Army.
Derek, being disabled, was exempt, and became a trainee camerman for Pearl & Dean, during which time he met Bob Godfrey, introducing Pete and Cyril to the future creator of 'Roobarb and Custard', 'Noah & Nellie', and 'Henry's Cat'.
Unfortunately, Derek died on the operating table at the age of 24 after complications with a hernia operation.
As Derek was the only one who had the technical abilities, and because Pete & Cyril couldn't possibly carry on the dream without their old friend, so Filmart Studios folded.
Above: Pete's Grandma Mary Anne Caroline Card (nee Mee) and Pete's Granddad William Joseph Card
* * * * * * *
Pete entered The RAF in 1955, and decided to train as a Nursing Attendent. Because of the intensive training, he had to sign on for three years, instead of the regulatory two.
Whilst stationed in The Sick Quarters at RAF Ruislip, he took over the station radio record request show. He broadcast on Tuesday evenings, which was 'Bull Night', so he called the show 'After The Bull', and it was a raging success.
The launch of Pete's new show coincided with the start of The Rock 'n' Roll era, and he interspersed the playing of records with short humorous sketches.
He also arranged 'Hops' (early discos) in the NAAFI, and produced posters for dances, and even recruitment posters!
It was during his time at RAF Ruislip that he met his future first wife, Corporal Dorothy Storey...
* * * * * * *
Dorothy and Pete were married for almost nine years, and she gave birth to Vivien in 1961, and Deborah in 1966...