Simon Bray

b. 20th January 1957

 d. 13th June 2011

Simon Bray

There 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 and take!

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 miss you.



Eulogy to Simon Bray by Anton his cousin.

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’, 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 from wayback....

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 first met……


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 plain tone-deaf!

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.

Ted Taylor


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 brother Simon.

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 told him
" 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.

My condolences 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.

Stormin Norman


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 family.

Nick K


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,
Hans Lapine


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 throughout.

My sincere condolences!!
Peter Westlund


Hello again

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 Simon's funeral.

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 conversations about 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 Brighton.

To know him, I will consider as a gift.

My sincere condolences
Kai Schäfer


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?

Nick K


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 Simon.

My thoughts and condolences to Miyoko, his daughters and family.

Graham Hubbard
AKA ‘Two sheds

Last Update: July 2011