A funeral is being held for a record-breaking baker.
Paul James Pegrum peacefully passed away on April 6 at his home in Arundel Road in Littlehampton, according to his family.
He was known by many around Littlehampton for his charitable work, organising community events and being a longstanding owner of Pegrum’s bakery, the family business.
Paul was with his wife, Sue, for 46 years and they would have celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary in September.
The 64-year-old said: “He did so much for so many people, he had a heart of gold, I loved him, and I’m going to miss him so much.”
Born on May 27, 1952, Paul studied biochemistry and obtained his degree from Brighton University. Mr Pegrum worked for ICI in Welwyn Garden City and then for Beecham’s in Worthing, ending up at Glasshouse Crops Research Institute working in hydroponics.
Paul then inherited the family bakery in 1976 when his father was taken ill, and swapped biochemistry for baking. The R.J Pegrum & Sons Bakery was founded in 1923 in Rustington and over the years it had shops in Littlehampton, Felpham, Barnham and North Bersted, with a separate bakery in Brookside Avenue, Rustington and at least 25 delivery rounds to shops across the county.
Paul employed up to 77 people at its peak. One of his crowning achievements was being awarded the Guinness World Record for the largest hot cross bun in 2002, weighing 42.8-kilogrammes and measuring 4ft 4in wide.
The baker kept the business going until the bakery’s 80th anniversary in 2003. He continued to bake for the Pegrum’s Catering company which was closed last week.
Paul fundraised in the local community with Round Table, of which he was chairman in 1992, and had previously been on the management committee of the St Bridget’s Cheshire Home in Ilex Close, Rustington, for 10 years. He was a founding member of the Roteract Club and recently a volunteer driver for the disability charity Enable Me.
The couple had five children: Lucy, 39, Trevor, 37, Jodie, 36, Christopher, 32, and Vincent, 21, and he doted on his grandchildren Summer-Louise, 13, Elizabeth, one, and Hector, four months.
Lucy said: “He worked so hard for us all. We were lucky to have him as our dad.”
Jodie described him as ‘such fun’ and said there was ‘never a dull moment’, and Chris described him as a ‘loving father, mentor and role model’ and said he was ‘proud’ to be his son. Vincent said: “He will be eternally cherished in our memories and we will forever strive to make him proud.”
The funeral will be held at St Mary’s Church in Church Street, Littlehampton, on May 3 at midday. The wake will be held at St Mary’s Church afterwards and the invitation to both is open to all.
The family has asked for donations to be made to the RNLI, St Barnabas Hospice Nurses and The Littlehampton’s 5th Sea Scouts.