As an Atkins employee 1978 - 2011 I knew Peter well - he was a charismatic Director when the organisation lacked a bit of charisma. He wasn't really on my side of the business coming from the transportation sector but presumably because of his seniority his portfolio was extended and he inherited the water department at some point.
So during the late '80s I would from time to time find myself in business reviews and bid meetings that he was chairing. I was at the time just making my mark in Atkins so still relatively junior and to me Peter was one of the gods of the company revered by all. He was a stylish immediately impressive gentleman with an easy manner - someone easy to respect because of his wise council, not insignificant technical knowledge and good sense of humour.
Later he was part of my promotion panel to the first senior grade - chief engineer - and had typically kind and supportive words to say always with a smile on his striking face
In the nineties he took an interest in me and we had various discussions about business in East Europe - he wanted me to move there but I had just returned from overseas and had small family so for once couldn't really follow his lead. He came to me one day in the company restaurant and sat opposite me as if something had been bothering him -" Tim" he said " I need to tell you something...." he went on to say something like the future of the business depends on good people (like me) and he encouraged me to be adventurous and use my initiative - it's in short supply etc. etc.
I always remember that conversation because at the time even though he was in the twilight of his career, it was still quite something to be singled out like that by the great man. Many times I have thought back to it and as I progressed in the organisation and eventually became somebody with a similar position to one he held it was always my hope that I could be like him - that I could measure up to his standard.
So what greater accolade could there be for anybody that they would be a lifetime role model for me and many of the staff who were fortunate to work for him.
Subsequently I became the President of the Silver Circle in Atkins which meant I was the most senior member of staff who had been with the company more than 25 years. Peter was an honorary life time member and it was a proud moment when at what was probably his last Annual Dinner he came to me and congratulated me on my achievements in the company - a very proud moment indeed.