Much loved guide who led many local walking tours has passed away
Simon Rodway, the much-loved guide who led many walking tours around Hammersmith and Fulham, has died after a short illness.
Friends and colleagues have been paying tribute to Simon, who held the prestigious blue badge from the Institute of Tourist Guiding since 2002.
Previously an advertising copywriter, Simon found his love of language and people, combined with a brilliant imagination, made tour guiding the perfect job.
" He was good at writing and guiding was an extension of that," says fellow blue badge guide and friend Stan Medland.
" He wanted to do more than that, to use his imagination, and he really had a way with words. Getting into guiding, he could talk directly to people. He had a very fertile mind for describing things."
Born in New Zealand, Simon came to London as a teenager and fell in love with the city. He lived in Olympia for 36 years before moving to Tulse Hill in South London about 18 months ago.
" He became passionate about London," says Stan, who became friends with Simon in 2005 after becoming a blue badge guide himself.
" Simon was very generous with his time and help to other guides. He just thoroughly enjoyed showing people around.
" He used to write articles that were printed all over the world about his guiding and used to speak on television promoting blue badge guiding."
The two guides wrote a hardcover book and an e-book together on the 2012 Olympic Games and the history of the games.
" He was such an easy going chap. Whenever you spoke to him, he just brightened up the occasion. He was never short of ideas," adds Stan.
Many others also remember him fondly, including fellow blue badge guides and friends Steven Szymanski and Ann Jones.
" Simon was a generous and charismatic guide," says Steven. " Other words often applied to him were quirky and eccentric. But while that was true he was always informative and certainly never dull."
Ann added: " All his walkers will miss his enthusiasm and energy."
Simon died on Thursday October 15. His funeral will be held at 11am on Monday 26 October at West Norwood Cemetery in south London.
He is survived by his wife, Judy, daughter and granddaughter.
October 26, 2015