Over the years, Peter he has been an instructor of many master classes, has judged the work of founding members of the Dutch hedgelaying guild and together with English and Dutch colleagues we have celebrated many diners, social evenings and shared many wonderful moments.
On the occasion of his passing the Dutch hedgelaying community would like to pay a tribute to Peter with a poem written by one of its members (see below).
• Stichting Heg & Landschap (Hedge & Landscape Foundation) – Louis Dolmans, chairman;
• Vereniging voor heggenvlechten – Gilde van heggenvlechters (Hedgelaying Association and Hedgelaying Guild) – Peter Ceelen, chairman;
• Jef Gielen – pupil of Peter, who started a new generation Dutch hedgelayers;
• Vereniging Nederlands Cultuurlandschap (Dutch Cultural Landscape Association, formerly Badger&Tree Association) – Jaap Dirkmaat, director;
• Municipality of Boxmeer – Karel van Soest, mayor;
• Stichting Landschapsbeheer Boxmeer (Landscape Management Foundation Boxmeer) – Ruth Bakkenes, chairman;
• Staatsbosbeheer (National Forestry Service) – Marc de Wit, head province of Brabant.
Peter Tunks in blue overall relaxing with his colleagues Phil Hart (left) and Gary Moore (right), during Master Class Hedgelaying, March 2015, Bemmel, the Netherlands.
Man in blue overall, glasses on, cigarette in his mouth, axe in his hands, a smile on his face.
Man performing in the South of England-style hedgelaying instruction video, using his 11” razor-sharp billhook, a relaxed conversation with a lady on horseback.
Man who never seemed to work hard, chatted with everybody but finished before anyone else, taking the first prize back home.
Man in blue, his mate in red, two masters of hedgelaying, in my memory one inseparable from the other.
Man surrounded by people in Boxmeer, applauding the moment he lays a big haw- thorn, swinging his axe as never before.
Man congratulating me with my birthday, every year bringing a colourful card sprinkled with hedgers’ autographs and best wishes (thanks Cilla!).
Man who stood at the very beginning (next month 19 years ago) and was so valuable to the revival of hedgelaying in our country.
Man of few words that were often not easy to understand.
Man with a windscreen sticker that says: two sugars please, but to waitresses I can only remember him saying “a Bacardi-Coke please. ... Excuse me? ..... No, no ice please”.
Man, head of jury, who judged the work of our first guild members, and said “not too bad”.
Man who gave a Yorkshire billhook to Luke, a 16-year old Dutch hedgelayer, a remembrance and a source of inspiration for a lifetime.
Man showing me how a straight stake line should look.
Man who suggested me that slightly bending the competition rules is acceptable, ..... but only if it’s well done.
Man who encouraged, without saying much.
Man we admired for his skilful hedgelaying and who we loved as a person.
Man we will dearly miss but we will always remember.
Thank you Peter.
Written by Lex Roeleveld, Dutch hedgelayer Wageningen, January 3rd 2020