The news announced today that Peter Middup, the long-standing publisher of P&FM, died this week has shocked everyone in the facilities management sector. For me it’s not just the suddenness or untimeliness of his death (aged 63, he died of a heart attack while hill-walking on holiday in Wales) but the fact that I chatted to him last week at the P&FM awards – an event for which he will forever be associated. He was full of life, in a room surrounded by people who he had known for years and, in some cases, decades.
Although Peter may be synonymous with P&FM and its awards, my abiding memory of him is at a different dinner. A few years ago we were both invited to one of the big service provider’s tables at the BSA annual dinner. Managing to escape the formal seating plan, we contrived to sit next to each other. And so began one of the best ‘business’ dinners I’ve ever attended. Peter knew everyone in FM and was fantastically entertaining as, accompanied by several glasses of red wine, we gossiped about who was doing what and moving where.
I first met Peter when I launched FM World magazine in 2004 and, despite us being clear competitors, he was always a true gentleman: charming, fun to be with and clearly hard-working. When I launched Magenta, he was one of the first people to send his congratulations and best wishes.
Peter was great fun to be with, liked and respected by everyone. The FM sector has lost one of its great characters and will be worse off for it.