Sussex Branches

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Lester John Peart

Friday 8 January 2021

I got to know Lester after the local branch was formed in Chichester in 1974.

Lester was a former RAF mechanical engineer who had worked on the Avro Shackleton (a development of the Avro Lincoln, itself a development of the famous WW2 bomber the Avro Lancaster) and later became motor racing mechanic.

Lester was one of the founding fathers of CAMRA in Sussex; the third Chairman of Western Sussex branch (then known as Chichester & Bognor branch); a stalwart of the Sussex Beer & Cider festival in its early years and heavily involved in Yapton Beerex and before that at the CAMRA beer tent at the “Southern Counties Historic Vehicle Preservation Rally” at Ardingly. He was also a very knowledgeable pub historian especially in and around Chichester.

Lester was a great raconteur who could tell great tales of his experiences in the RAF and on the racing circuit and of the pubs he had been in and the people he had met.

Some of his friends have been reminiscing about Lester’s tales and recall the occasion of a visit to the Smack Inn, Whitstable in May, 1993 (it sold so much Shepherd Neame, Master Brew that it had two handpumps serving it, at any-onetime). Lester spotted a local “good-old-boy” and sought to engage him in conversation. Much to his surprise and to the amusement of the landlord (and his friends) Lester couldn’t get a word in as the local monopolised the conversation. Not a common occurrence!

His family and friends in BLOSSOM (Bottom left Of Sussex, South Of Midhurst) will miss him greatly but be glad to have known one of life’s true companions.

Cheers! Until we meet again Lester – oh! and by-the-way, it’s your round!

Philip Wildsmith - Hon President. Western Sussex CAMRA