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Scooter is sign of new life for 'bouncer' Peter

Achieving best Vespa scooter award with customised "Marley" at the Mersea Island Scooter Rally in September 2012 was a turning point for Norwich nightclub doorman Peter Cleeton, and a special tribute to his late father. Kevin Gotts reports.

PeterMarley400Peter, and his twin brother Stephen, were born in Argyle Street, Norwich in 1969.  Family circumstances were difficult, with parents separating and father becoming ill, and in 1978 the twins moved into a children's home. 
By the age of 16 they had moved into the YMCA.  Peter was warmed by the love of some Christians. Kneeling he said a prayer to receive Jesus into his life, "words that I carried through my life," he recalls.
A year later they moved back to live and help care for their father.  Over the next four years Stephen moved out and married, father's health returned, and Peter reflects, "At this time I felt different inside, wanting to live, be loving and kind to all people."
Peter got to experience family life, marrying and being a father to three children, but problems surfaced and the marriage failed in 2002.
He went to live with his father and was able to enjoy half custody of his children.  However, Peter had hit a low point, became disillusioned with life and stopped going to church.  He filled his life with work, weight training and looked for love with numerous failed relationships. 
"A bad time, I burnt out, collapsed and was hospitalised with a damaged immune system," Peter said, "I cried out to Jesus, and in desperation switched on the TV which was tuned to the God Channel, where the pastor encouraged viewers to touch the screen and he would pray for them. Repeating the prayer, I felt God come wholeheartedly into my life for the first time."
Health and his strength returned, Peter worked out a sensible work life balance, so he could look after his father and children.   He also joined a new church where his family also decided to become Christians by inviting Jesus into their lives.
In 2009, his father moved into a care home and Peter visited daily.  One day, conversation turned to an ambition of buying and customising a scooter.  His father shared this vision and loaned Peter £250 for a deposit.  When leaving, his father smiled and remarked, "Don't leave the country."  Hours later he passed away.
Peter was deeply affected and illness recurred.  But his faith helped and he bought a scooter.  A rebuilding of his life and also the scooter had begun.
MarleyScooter350The scripture, "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart" (Psalm 37 v4) encouraged Peter.  This and his liking of the Jamaican singer-songwriter and musician Bob Marley's music influenced the elaborate paintwork which was carried out by local, renowned custom graphic artist John Spurgeon.
"Marley" the prize-winning scooter has turned heads and attracted crowds.  Peter explains, "Bob Marley's early Christian experiences influenced many of his songs, and he affirmed this faith in his last days.  People can relate to him and his music."
Over the past 18 months, Peter has become a grandfather, joined the Norwich Family Life Centre church, and been reunited with his brother (whose marriage had ended), who also contributed towards the scooter's paintwork cost and has become a Christian.  Working part time as a window cleaner has replaced some of the nightclub door activity. 
Now dating a lady from church, Peter sums up: "Everything is happening for God's glory.  Life has turned out pretty great at last."
Pictured above is Peter Cleeton with Marley his scooter. Photo  © Julia Holland, www.all-about-image.co.uk

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