b. 20th January 1957
d. 13th June 2011
are a few people here today that knew Simon longer than me, but I rank
quite high on account of knowing him
over six decades. Over this time I have so very many memories
– too many to condense. However, I decided to pick out a few
that mean much to me (and maybe to some others) that may just
give an insight as to the positive side of how Simon and I interacted
over the years.
1960’s – There are so many (probably mostly things I have
been told rather than real memories) from here it is difficult to pin
just one down. Simon was my big brother – he looked
after me. He also used me for rugby practice – it was give
1970’s – Mum would give me enough to buy Simon a pint of Harvey’s and
one for myself at the infamous Kings Head in Cuckfield. (probably about
50p). For a time, my dad had a Black London
Taxi which Simon would borrow to transport me and all the others (You
know who you are) to the pub and then later –
much later, home again, dropping people off along the way. At
each stop, there would be a Derek and Clive
alike shout from the front “out the cab”. This sometimes
proved tricky for the one of nine (at least) persons in the
cab who had managed to get in first....
1980’s – By this time Simon was working in all sorts of far flung
places. I lived in London, our sister lived in the Middle East and
family Christmases didn’t really happen, we made an
alternative family, mostly comprising Angelo and me, Martin
and Becky, Hari and Simon plus the occasional girlfriend or
sibling. For several years we had themed Christmases (Camden
Christmas, Great Milton Christmas, Fred Christmas and so on)
but the one that sticks, was our African Christmas in Putney.
We jacked up the central heating to
full, adorned the house, made African style decorations (I made a half
size palm tree, and had my parrot collection in situ) and we
decked ourselves in very brightly coloured outfits. Simon
bought each of us (as well as a superbly
chosen presents) a bottle of champagne each. Tattinger for
me, my favourite. We had also bought champagne for Christmas
breakfast which we drank whilst the long opening of presents ritual
took place, so, by the time it came to
preparing Christmas lunch, comprising Eddo that we didn’t know how to
cook, Snapper that we didn’t de-scale, yams that were
probably several years past their sell by date, we produced an almost
inedible meal, so, we cut our losses and
headed for Wimbledon common for general cavorting,dancing on the golf
course, rope swinging.... just as you would expect
of a bunch of respectable responsible adults!
1990’s – this was when my first child was born. Simon and the
fantastic Miyoko met and started to ‘go out’. I saw him
fall in love. We (me and my little family) needed somewhere to live
near to Ditchling. Simon needed a ‘project’. He
charged me with a job – “you find somewhere that you can bear to live
in for five years Mand, I will buy it” which is exactly what
happened. I found the Edburton Avenue
house (or Ed as we call it), lived there for five years or so, then,
when he needed a new project, he charged me with the same again, thus
he bought ‘Formerly’ – the house in which we still live.
2000’s – Simon and I were at the birth of his and Miyoko’s first child
Yasmin. This was amazing – and I saw my brother fall in love
again the moment she appeared. Leyona, my other darling
niece, born in Mexico, he fell in love, once more.
2010’s – I have spent lots of time with Simon over the last year –
usually on a Friday. A couple of months ago after a
radiotherapy session that tired him out, I was leaving. He
called to me “Mand Mand, come back” needless to say, I was a
bit “oh my God, what have I done wrong?” (well, you all know how he
could be!) so with trepidation I went back, and he said “is
there anything that I can help you with?”
Simon, my brother, generous,
caring and much loved. We will
Eulogy to Simon Bray by Anton his
There are many people who one struggles to talk about – not Simon! His
constant questing and questioning nature meant we were all challenged
by him to some degree.
His life was dedicated to exploring possible improvements and though
this often seemed to be a criticism of others and proving himself
right, that was not actually his intention.The quest
was an end in itself, a game, an expression of being human, a possible
re-engineering of the way things were.
He was often bemused and sometimes startled by how personally people
took his tirades (or maybe ‘crusades’?) After all,you may as well be
passionate about something rather than
just......well, just polite!
And passionate and impolite he damn well was – annoying the hell out of
anyone who was trying to take the easy option.Hard work and dedication
would triumph over any ‘projects’ of life: he
always asked me, especially if I hadn’t seen him for a while, what
‘project’ I had on the go. Yes, often that meant what
he called ‘Buffery’....car, bike, workshop projects but he meant just
as much what new relationship, book, philosophy or
politics needed discussing. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
was the start of an adventure we kept on having.
There will never be anyone quite like him to challenge us all......
From Tim Protheroe (friend of
Amanda his little sister)
Although I haven't seen Simon for many years, I still have vivid
recollection of him tearing it up around Haywards Heath on that
Kawasaki 650 and once, mistakenly, I accepted a brief lift to
ride along Wood Ride to Coppice Way, a journey that I recall was made
on one wheel for the most part!! It remains to
this day as one of the most adrenaline filled moments in my life!
From Fenella Fisher, a friend
I will always remember his perky nature and his exquisite criticism of
imperfections, I have only good memories to
offer…. Which must be a sign of the man that grew out of the teenager I
Why hello there, old chap - how
the devil are you?
The dulcet tones of Simon greeting me and I’m sure many of you here
today sums Simon up to a tee: Always happy to see you , with that usual
big grin on his face.
Simon and I first met in 1978 when he was 21 years old.. He was
employed at IAD as a sheet metal worker, working on a van for Lucas
Electrics and also making engine covers for a small
aircraft for Shorts Aircraft Company, Belfast.
At the time, I was modelling the interior of the DeLorean sports car
which was the very first clay model Simon had ever seen and as he
reminded me three months ago when I last saw him, he
said: ”Now that’s what I fancy doing!”
When IAD eventually set up a design studio in 1983 Simon constantly
asked me: “What’s the chance of getting into
modelling?”, so when an opening for a trainee became available he
finally got his wish……
and the rest as they say is history…..
Believe this or not, poor Simon’s first contract abroad was
accompanying me to Germany, working on a rally car in one
of Opel’s small satellite studios. At this time Simon was still a
little wet behind the ears, so when the
chief designer from Detroit came to have a look at our progress and
give his comments, I pulled Simon to one side and
said: “Keep quiet, play a low profile, look and learn.”
Well, looking and learning was never a problem to Simon, but, as we all
know, playing a low profile was a different story altogether!
Definitely not his strong point!
During the thirty years of Simon’s very successful career as a modeller
I worked alongside him in many different countries: France, Germany,
Japan just to mention a few.
In France I took over a grotty flat from him (which I must admit had a
view of the Eiffel Tower), in Germany I smashed into the back of the
car he was travelling in and in Japan we spent
many an enjoyable hour singing together in the karaoke bars.
Simon loved Japan, especially the karaoke bars and many times he
entertained us with his very special rendition of
“Unchained Melody” (of course you all know the song: Oh my love, my
darling, I hunger for your touch…..). To say he
sang it slightly out of key would be the understatement of the year…..
He gave everyone in the karaoke bar a generous helping of, how shall I
put it, musical ear bashing which in turn gave
us lucky listeners big grins and lasting memories.Simon even had his
own fan club: one of the japanese regulars in
Simon’s favourite karaoke bar used to request and even pay the ¥ 100
into the machine to hear Simon sing - UNBELIEVABLE…..
To this day I’m still not quite sure if he fancied Simon or was just
We worked together a couple of times in Hiroshima and of course that’s
where he met and fell in love with Miyoko, his wife, who like all of us
is saying goodbye to him today - he leaves us
all with many fond memories.
But Miyoko, he leaves you with much more than just memories: two
beautiful daughters, who I know he loved to bits and was very,very
proud of. Yes, this is a sad day for all his family, and our hearts go
out to YOU
Miyoko, Yasmin and Leyona and I’d like to finish with these words:
Wonderful days -
Don‘t cry that they have gone
But smile that they have been………
Thank you, Simon for your company and friendship.
ClayChat Forum Postings
as they were received at the time
I hope you won't mind me joining you. I am Amanda Bray, you (or some of
you) may have known (and some of you may have been friends with) my
I am very sorry to report that Simon died yesterday. Daddy (the
infamous John Bray) and Miyoko (Simon's fantastic wife) were with him,
and his end was peaceful and pain free. Mummy and
I were there too - but not for the last hour. We said our goodbyes, mum
" go to sleep Simon" we left, and for once he did as he was told! I
will post again once the funeral arrangements are made.
Can't think of anything more to say for now,
actually I can... guys - if it is even slightly out of the ordinary, go
and see a doctor and make a fuss....
I am very sad to hear about simons death. we worked together in Sweden
at SAAB Design and I used to call him ¨Tom Petty¨, because he looks like
him. now, the clay modellers world gets even more empty.
to the family and his friends , RIP SIMON,
I am very sorry to hear about the death of Simon I had known Simon for
many years and he was a decent bloke.
My condolences to his family.
So sorry to hear the passing of another modeller and my heart felt
condolences go to his Wife, Children & Family.
My regards, Preston.
A sad loss to our community. A real character who always had a tale to
tell which was finished off with his distinctive
laugh. A warm welcome was always guaranteed if you walked into a studio
where Simon was working.
My heartfelt condolences to Miyoko, his daughters and all of Simon,s
i was very sad to hear earlier this week that Simon, who was a very
close friend to me and my family, passed away. all my thoughts go to
his lovely two daughters, Miyoko, you and your entire
family. it was a sad day for all of us who were fortunate to know him
and call him a friend. the world has lost a true
character who always amazed me with his angle of life. my memories of
his visits with his family at our home in
california and the countless hours working together in europe are going
to stay with me forever. i consider them a gift.
My sincere condolences,
A sad loss for everyone that knew him and design studios around the
world where he could keep up the spirit.
He was one of the first guy's I worked with on my first contract in
holland 1994, and the one i've had the pleasure of keeping contact with
My sincere condolences!!
Thank you for the messages, I hope you won't mind if I have some of
your lovely memories of Simon read out by the humanist celebrant at
Best wishes to you all
it is very hard to realize that Simon passed away.
He did his "last contract" with me in KIA and I took part when he was
told about his illness.He was a true caracter. I miss the heartfelt
Lancias, Harleys and the sense of life.My memorie of the time with him
is going to stay with me forever. I never met his wife Miyoko, but
based on what he told me about her and
his daughters, it feels, that I knew them for long time.
I´m sad, that I was not able to keep my promise, to visit him in
To know him, I will consider as a gift.
My sincere condolences
One minutes silence was observed at Ferrari Design Centre for Simon at
1pm ECT on Saturday 2nd July followed by a
couple of lunchtime beers.
Did we do wrong?
What a very fitting tribute to Simon. Thanks to all at Ferrari Design
and thanks for letting me know. We had a 'super' Simon send off and
much beer was consumed. Much dancing, reminiscing, a
bit of crying as well all made it a
celebration of his life. Thanks to everyone involved in thought or deed.
So sorry to hear of Simon's death.
I remember many lunch time trips to the pub watching the road go by
beneath through the holes in the floor pan of his dilapidated but much
loved but Lancia Fulvia.
Early days at I.A.D. Worthing finding us both flatting down a Jag XJS
with wet n dry for two days, then claying up a full size exterior with
Chavant - fingers a bloody pulp - memorable.
Contracting abroad together, my first and his second, in the Ruhr -
Northern Germany through the winter of 1984/85 time spent
exploring Dortmund, Essen and Oberhausen - many weekends
spent with friends in Amsterdam. Much time and hard work put in to
weighing up the relative merits of the Chimay
over the Wstermale and the brilliance of the Trappist Monk.
Although work has meant we lost touch sometime ago I shan’t forget his
enthusiasm for life, his great sense of humour, his warmth and
generosity of spirit - & his endless search for
the right kind of leather waist coat.
Ok so we went to a Wishbone Ash concert in Gelsenkirchen - life wasn’t
always perfect, but life was richer with you around - won’t forget you
My thoughts and condolences to
Miyoko, his daughters and family.
AKA ‘Two sheds’