TRIBUTE has been paid to one of Tilbury’s most popular figures, Peter Hewitt, MBE, who sadly died in the early hours of Thursday morning (7 May), passing away peacefully at Basildon Hospital.
During his working days Peter was an Essex Police dog handler and was well-known in Tilbury, the place he loved.
In the 1990s Peter had a vision to make Tilbury alive again,so he gathered some other keen volunteers and formed Tilbury Riverside Project.
In 1997 Peter introduced the Tilbury festival which was a great success and ran for many years.
In 1998 he brought the Christmas lights back to Tilbury
In 2001 Peter was awarded the first ever Thurrock Citizen of the Year award for his efforts to help the Tilbury community.
in 2011 Peter was awarded the M.B.E for work in his beloved community of Tilbury.
It was shot during a celebration in Tilbury to mark receipt of his MBE for services to the local community.
Typical of Peter, he said: “I was as proud as punch but this is not mine, I am just the holder of it. This medal I hold with pride I have received on behalf of the people in the town. It is something special.”
Tilbury Riverside Project was formed by Peter Hewitt in 1992, to bring about active economic, social and environmental regeneration in and around Tilbury in Essex.
His plan was to utilise the waterfronts and common land, along with the area’s historical sites and buildings, and encouraging people of all ages in the community to become actively involved in the process.
Since its inception, Tilbury Riverside Project has helped create a cycleway between Thurrock’s two historical forts, Tilbury and Coalhouse in East Tilbury, as well as developing areas adjacent to it.
Tilbury Riverside project also won the prestigious Queens Jubilee Award for Voluntary Service in 2007.
It continues to grow and grow.
Les Morgan, who is also a long-term member of the project, paid tribute to his friend on Tilbury and Chadwell memories saying: “I could go and on about the achievements of Peter but I would be writing for hours.
“So our thoughts go out to wife Irene and his wonderful family, and he will be sadly missed, but through his beloved Tilbury Riverside Project his dreams will go on.
“So God bless you Pete and sort out the Christmas lights in Heaven.”