Peter Brute - Newport's Body Builder

Photo reference number: 1632

Jill Snowden sent us these photos of her father, Peter Brute. He was born in Newport in 1914 and became a well known local personality.

Along with the photos Jill sent some press cuttings, and here is a section of one of them:

One Saturday night just before the war, Peter Brute, a neat composition of bulging bicep and taut sinew, went to his body-building club at Stow Hill, Newport, intending to have a quick work-out with the weights and nip off smartly to the cinema.
As he entered the club he noticed an unusually large audience had gathered, that a couple of apprehensive reporters were among them, and, as if to set the seal of importance on the atmosphere, that the Mayor of Newport - plus chain of office - was out front.
Weaving his way to the dressingrooms, Brute dismissed the general clamour as "none of my business." He was wrong. Thirty seconds after he had squeezed into trunks and sweater, he found himself on the platform faced with the prospect of lifting at least two tons in sixty seconds.
Brute had not known that one of his most fanatical fans had accepted, on his behalf, a challenge that he could lift the specified tonnage in the specified time. But, with the situation explained, Brute shook his challenger and the crowd - "got my name in the papers too" - by lifting no less than three tons, 4cwt. 56lb. within the time.
"It was only a minute's work, but I was stiff for a fortnight afterwards. Was it worth it? Yes, of course, a challenge is a challenge - you've just got to win," says Brute.
Today, Peter Brute, family man, runner-up in the Senior Mr. Wales competition at Cardiff this year, and not nearly so pugnacious as the name implies, has accepted another challenge...

... Like the others (in his club), Brute, who used to bend iron bars, snap six-inch nails and tear up biscuit boxes, is a non-smoker - "we've got nothing against it; it's just that we prefer fresh air," he says.

What was Peter's other challenge? We don't know, the bottom of the news report was missing. We are hoping Jill can send us the rest of the page... watch this space!