Ex broadcaster, Peter Sissons covered the News across ITN, BBC, ITV and Channel 4 for over 45 years. Still undertaking much corporate work he has also been kept busy for the last couple of years as part of the Hillsborough Independent Panel. He explains, “We have had the job of looking into over 400,000 hitherto unseen documents and to deliver a report explaining how the disclosed documents add to public understanding of the disaster when ninety-six Liverpool football fans died after a crush on overcrowded terraces in Sheffield on 15 April 1989. The report comes out on the 12th September.”
“It has been a busy time and I do take quite an interest in gardening as I find it a good way to relax. We have a lot of lawn which is looking extremely green after all the rain we’ve had. I mow it myself but I also have a strong, reliable lad who helps with the heavy work. Between my wife Sylvia and myself, we have quite a lot of gardening knowledge. Spring is always a busy time and we always plant far too much. We don’t have a greenhouse but use the conservatory instead as there’s more incentive to keep it tidy.”
A greenhouse may not be on Peter’s wish list but a potting shed most definitely is. “Sylvia has a garden studio, which she uses to paint water colours, in one corner of the garden and I am a bit jealous, so I am going to have my shed in the other corner,” he explains.
“Although Kent is awash with beautiful veg from the farm shops, we grow our own beans, courgettes, carrots and beetroot because they all grow well in our soil. If it doesn’t grow well don’t persevere. And if a plant is in the wrong place, move it.” He advices. “I believe that plants have a life span; if it’s gone past its best, replace it. Plants are not little friends to be kept alive at all costs, they are there for you to enjoy. I do like unusual fruit trees particularly our Medlar tree which I find very calming with its furry leaves and funny fruits.”
The green-fingered former newsreader also enjoys Wales. “Both Sylvia and I were born and brought up in Liverpool so our school trips were often to North Wales. I now have a brother who lives just outside of Wrexham so we do go to see him quite frequently. We know a lot about North Wales but are strangers to South Wales. Sylvia loves walking but my legs are my weak spot after I was shot in both legs in the Biafran War in 1968.”
You can read more about Peter’s numerous experiences in his book ‘When One Door Closes which is now out in paperback. “The Telegraph described it as hugely entertaining,” he explains, “I just wanted to share things about the inside track and what I’ve leant from spending 45 years broadcasting the news!”