With the passing of John Beer, Westward Ho! has lost one of its most interesting and popular personalities.
It was amazing what a wealth of stories he could tell of past events – the old days when the United Services College occupied Kingsley Terrace; the erection of the Pier; the light railway along the cliffs – all these things and a host of others.
But it is less for his knowledge of local history than for his cheery smile of greeting that we shall miss him. I am sure no one could meet and speak to him, as he travelled roads with his bag of letters, without feeling happier for that encounter.
Through the gloomy days when the war news was most depressing; on dark, bitterly cold mornings; or on days when the rain fell unceasingly from a grey-clouded sky, I never knew him to be without a smile and a pleasant greeting. It was better than any tonic to open the door of a morning, and hear his cheery voice as he handed in the letters. Quiet, unassuming, and a friend to everyone, John Beer was one of our blessings, and we shall remember him, as I am sure he would have wished, with warmth at our hearts and a smile.