Ray Boyd was a lovely chap. I first came across him as ‘Old School” on the Bude People site I used to run for Northcliffe Digital, where he added some wonderfully-received collections of old photos of Bude. It took quite a search to uncover who ‘Old School’ was, as Ray as never a one for publicity.
Although as a job he worked in IT for Premier Foods in Lifton, Bude boy, Ray, who attended Bude Grammar School, was at heart a true lover of Bude’s area local history.
Ray passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on 26th October 2019. Sadly, I knew he had been ill, narrowly escaping death once previously. On 7th October, I received what I now know to be my last email from him saying:
Regards health, bit up & down. I had a new hip in March but, as soon as that was done, my left knee decided it had had enough and stopped working. I had a new knee fitted 4 weeks ago and am just running that in. Nice to be without pain for a change but will be glad when the new knee is a bit less stiff – I have exercises to do, which is helping. Another than that, I’m incredibly fit!
When I was first asked to write a local history book about Bude, it was Ray who found me lots of images I needed from his vast collection of photos and postcards. He would scan them to the highest quality and send them to me, a really time-consuming task.
He did the same for the second book, and indeed the third, and also gets a mention in my forthcoming book on Pamela Colman Smith.
I did meet his wife, Marg, and one of his sons on one occasion when I dropped a book at his house. However, our relationship was a working/professional one, so I was not aware Ray had passed until actually researching for an article yesterday. A crowd funder had been set up in Ray’s name, to which I have just donated. It is but a little contribution for all the help this wonderful man gave to me in my research on Bude.
Ray also contributed most of the images on our Local History section of the site, here, which we used to have as a separate site called Bude Past & Present. The Local History section really belongs to Ray as, without him, it would not have existed.
We didn’t do any succession planning, as Ray seemed like he would be around forever. However, if anyone wants to take up the mantle of providing historical photos and material, then you will be warmly welcomed to the team.
I will really miss Ray. He gave his time freely, wanted little acknowledgement for his efforts(a cup of coffee generally sufficed) and truly loved Bude. His knowledge of the local area was immense, and he could paint a picture or explain when a photo was taken just by looking at the landscape and buildings. I hope someone somewhere is looking after his amazing collection of local history material as I’m sure he would have wanted.
Thanks, Ray. You are a huge loss to us here at Bude & Beyond. And had a side to you we never knew much about, like the ice cream making!
Sincere condolences to his family on the loss of the legend that was Ray Boyd.