Obituary | Peter Lockey, co-founder of The Puppet Company

It is with great sadness that ToyNews reports that Peter Lockey, co-founder and director of The Puppet Company, passed away on July 1st 2021, following a six month battle with a brain tumour.

Founded by Peter and his wife, Sue, The Puppet Company was established in 2001 with the aim of offering the largest range of puppets available anywhere. With over 30 years of teaching experience between them, their enthusiasm for puppetry was driven by the understanding of the simple joy that a puppet can bring.

The company was formed over the lifelong belief that there is something magical about owning and using a puppet, and quickly became recognised for its selection of puppets that captured the essence of what makes a fine toy, allowing its user to be creative, to entertain, and to have fun. 

Peter stood by and upheld the family motto ‘Have a Puppet, Have Fun.’ The worldwide adoration of The Puppet Company’s range stands as testament to the vision of the founding pair.

In a statement issued by the family business this morning, The Puppet Company has thanked all of its staff, agents, distributors, and manufacturers “for their support and hard work in keeping the company running during what has been an incredibly difficult time.”

“We would also like to thank everyone who has had any involvement with us, including our customers, for their incredible support; we have been overwhelmed by the kindness that has been shown and the many messages of love we have received,” they said. “The frequent enquiries for news has shown how many lives Peter has touched, literally all around the world.”

The statement continued: “Peter often said that he and Sue had always wanted to establish a business that they would be happy and proud to work in as employees. We think we can safely say that this was achieved in spades, yet another wonderful legacy for him. Being such a close-knit business and part of Peter’s Puppet Family, all of us at The Puppet Company will miss him dearly.”

A popular character within the toy industry, the news of Peter’s passing has prompted an outpouring form those that had worked with him, with tributes describing the founder, husband, and family man as “an inspiration character, a strong businessman, and a kind person,” as well as a “true gentleman, full of fun, one in a million and a gem of a man.”

Others said that he was “the real greatest showman” and “there will never be another like him”, adding that “Peter left a great legacy behind him and I’m sure he is proud of his family continuing his path.”

The family company’s statement describes Peter as a “force to be reckoned with, both in the world of business and on a personal level.”

It said: “A lifelong, keen fisherman, bird-watcher and potter, Peter enjoyed walking and being outdoors and always had a particular fondness for the North Norfolk coastline. A true family man, Peter was married to his beloved wife Sue for over 41 years and shared four children Sam, Katy, Joe, and Hannah.

“Peter was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma Stage Four tumour on New Year’s Eve and fought this horrendous disease every step of the way. Despite undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment he tragically passed away six months after his diagnosis.

“Everyone that knew him will greatly miss his sense of fun, humour and zest for life.”

The company has been contacted by many in the industry enquiring as to how they might help to make a difference. The family has stated that it was Peter’s wish “that we find a way to help others overcome similar conditions, as only one per cent of cancer funding goes towards fighting brand tumours.”

You can access Peter’s page by clicking on https://www.newlingsofroyston.co.uk/donate-in-memory/ – and clicking on “Make a donation In Memory” button a quarter down the page and then enter the surname Lockey in the search box further down the page on the left-hand side.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of ToyNews and its sister title, Licensing.biz. He has worked his way from Staff Writer to Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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