IN PICTURES: Respects paid to ‘Mr Blackpool’ Peter Emmett

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Friends and family gathered to say farewell to a former Gazette photographer dubbed ‘Mr Blackpool’.

Mourners packed into St Paul’s Church, in Marton, yesterday for the funeral of Peter Emmett, where they heard his moving final message to his wife Diane.

Funeral of former Gazette photographer Peter Emmett

Funeral of former Gazette photographer Peter Emmett

The 84-year-old, who spent 50 years snapping the Fylde coast, died on November 18 following heart surgery.

His most iconic photo was his famous picture of The Beatles in front of Blackpool Tower, taken when the Fab Four visited the resort in 1964.

His friends yesterday paid tribute to a ‘true gentleman who was blessed with talent of making people happy’.

Mourners heard how Peter left a touching sympathy card for his wife when he died.

Former Gazette photographer Peter Emmett who has died

Former Gazette photographer Peter Emmett who has died

In it he wrote: “Remember me with your usual smile. We are separated –but for a while.

“Don’t look sadly at my photos. Don’t say my name with sorrowful tones.

“Don’t be heartbroken as you miss me, for I am well and in good spirits. But I have not found the Grouse yet.

“Darling Di, thinking of you at this difficult time. With deepest sympathy and regrets for leaving you so soon.

Peter Emmett's photograph of The Beatles in Blackpool

Peter Emmett's photograph of The Beatles in Blackpool

“Your ever-loving soulmate and husband, Peter.”

Peter, who had lived in Blackpool for 71 years, joined The Gazette after leaving school at 15.

He started in the printing department before becoming a messenger boy and later a photographer.

During the service, Fr Christopher Wren said: “I’m told by Di he was a consumate dancer and a consumate cyclist, even at the age of 84.”

Friends paid tribute to his dress and told how he ‘enjoyed life and loved laughter’.

Great-grandad Peter leaves behind three daughters from a previous marriage Barbara, Susan and Karen. He had a son, Steven, who died in 1976.

During his career, he photographed Princess Diana during her visits to Trinity Hospice, and the Queen when she was in town for the Royal Variety Performance at the Opera House in 1955. He also snapped celebrities including Shirley Bassey, Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck.

When The Beatles were at the Opera House in 1964, he was so determined to get Blackpool Tower in the picture, he persuaded them to pose on a fire escape with the landmark behind them.