Tributes to ‘ideas man’ Peter Hare whose Aquabox invention helped thousands worldwide

Peter Hare, whose Aquabox idea has helped thousands around the world.
Peter Hare, whose Aquabox idea has helped thousands around the world.

A Derbyshire man who came up with an idea which helped to provide drinking water for thousands of people around the world has died.

Peter Hare, 72, from Whatstandwell, near Matlock, had the inspiration for the so-called Aquabox almost a quarter of a century ago.

He was a member of the Rotary Club of Wirksworth when he had the idea in June 1991. He went on to develop it with fellow Rotarian Mike Hoole.

Since 1970, Rotary had run a scheme which involved filling wooden boxes with vital supplies, such as clothes and shelter, before sending them to disaster zones.

Mr Hare suggested organisers change it to a plastic box and include a filter system so recipients could use it to create a source of clean drinking water.

Waterborne diseases such as typhoid and cholera are often some of the biggest killers in the weeks after an earthquake, hurricane or tidal wave.

His son Simon said: “Dad was always an ideas man and like all good inventions Aquabox was the simplest of ideas.

“He was extremely proud of how it had helped thousands of people around the world. It must have saved many hundreds of lives.”

Aquabox is still based in Wirksworth and has grown into a major international charity, receiving support from community groups and schools across the world.

Mr Hare had been diagnosed with leukaemia in March 2014 and underwent stem-cell therapy last October.

Sadly he was told in May that he had suffered a relapse of his illness and he died from a resulting infection at the Nottingham City Hospital on Sunday June 28.

He leaves behind a widow, Grace, 71, and two sons, Stephen, 48, and Simon, 45.

Born in Duffield, Peter grew up in the Matlock area, and went on to study chemical engineering at the University of Manchester.

He spent most of his working life involved in the minerals industry in Derbyshire.

His funeral will take place at St Mary’s Parish Church, Wirksworth, at 3pm on Thursday July 9.

The family have asked that donations in lieu of flowers be made to Aquabox, the British Heart Foundation and Anthony Nolan.