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Ray Sutcliffe

Saturday 17th March 2018

Ray Sutcliffe

Ray Sutcliffe

We were saddened to hear of the passing of Ray Sutcliffe, a longtime and popular resident of Hampton Wick who will be widely missed.

Raymond Sutcliffe, of Walnut Tree Cottage in the High Street of Hampton Wick, died in early February. Born the son of a Fleetwood trawlerman, early in the war, he studied history at Cambridge. Later in life he was to pioneer marine archaeology on film: his earliest experience of the media was representing the light blue side on the first broadcast of University Challenge.

His funeral at Mortlake on the seventh of March was attended by over a hundred and twenty colleagues and friends, whose tributes took over an hour. Though secular in character there was a great spiritual and intellectual input – and the humour was unforced. It was standing room only afterwards at The Foresters.

For a man who was never more at home than in a diving suit inspecting Spanish galleons, Viking longships or a quinquireme of Nineveh, his life’s motto was surprising – “ Keep dry, and away from children” – taken from a box of Swan Vesta matches, the concomitant of his signature pipe.
By Iain Innes Burgess
Ray was a long time member of the Hampton Wick Association as well as a long time resident of Hampton Wick. On a personal level, he was, as l’m sure we’d all agree, a really delightful and very erudite man. A point of minor interest, which he mentioned more than once, is that he was at Cambridge with John Cleese.

He was also quite a devotee of real ale. He once told me that a fine pint at The Railway (in the 1970s when real ale really was under threat and CAMRA was at its height) was what first brought him out to Hampton Wick – and he enjoyed it so much that he bought the house next door!
By Mark Merrington

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