Obituary: Trevor Baylis

Trevor Baylis believed that a pivotal to success was to consider radical thoughts.

It was this mindset that saw him rise his clockwork radio after conference about a problems of educating African people about HIV and Aids.

It enabled those in remote areas though electricity, or entrance to batteries, to get a information that could save their lives.

But notwithstanding a success of this, and other inventions, Baylis never done a good understanding of income from his many ideas.

Trevor Graham Baylis was innate in Kilburn, north-west London, on 13 May 1937 and brought adult in Southall, Middlesex.

His father was an operative and a immature Trevor was introduced to a Meccano building set that desirous his mindfulness with automatic things.

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Trevor baylis

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His diving ability was used to good outcome when offered swimming pools

The immature Baylis supplemented a family income by operative on a internal divert turn that saw him removing adult during 3am any morning.

He was also a proficient swimmer and narrowly unsuccessful to validate for a 1956 British Olympic team, something he severely regretted.

He left propagandize during 15 to work in a internal dirt mechanics laboratory, attending day-release courses in automatic and constructional engineering.

Baylis did his National Service as a earthy training instructor in a Army. When he left, he got a pursuit as a salesman with Purley Pools, one of a initial companies to sell free-standing swimming pools.


Because he was a good swimmer he demonstrated a pools during shows, attracting crowds of intensity customers.

He went on to form an nautical attempt unit that saw him diving into a glass-sided tank and also behaving an underwater act in a Berlin circus.

“It was fantastic,” he after recalled. “I done adequate income to buy a tract of land and and build a residence of my dreams

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He unsuccessful to make most income from his invention

The genocide of a tighten crony in a trapeze collision stirred him to start building products for people with disabilities.

“Her genocide pennyless my heart,” he said. “You realize incapacity is usually a banana skin away.”

He grown a operation of products underneath a Orange Aids label, including one-handed scissors and inclination for opening bottles and cans.

But nonetheless a products were successful they unsuccessful to make his fortune. The costs of removing a obvious were restricted and companies were means to duplicate his inventions.


“I went into a understanding that we suspicion would secure a destiny of Orange Aids with culpable impetuosity. we had been used to doing business on a handshake and my word of honour, and we done a blunder of indeed desiring what a group in a pinstriped suits told me.”

It was to be something that stubborn his career though he remained philosophical, observant he always followed his heart.

“It’s not about a money,” he pronounced in a 2004 interview. “I can’t suppose anything worse than looking during a mechanism all day afterwards glancing during your watch since there is an critical assembly about a men’s toilets during 3pm.”

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Rex Features

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His seminar was congested with collection and rejected electrical appliances

The suspicion for his wind-up radio came while he was examination a TV programme in 1991 about a widespread of Aids in Africa and a offer to tackle it by broadcasting educational programmes on a radio.

Baylis after pronounced he went into a nightmare devising himself as a colonial settler, nursing a solitaire and tonic and listening to a wind-up gramophone.

The picture speedy him to go to his workshop, that was filled with messy domestic appliances and, within half an hour, he had a operative antecedent of his clockwork radio.

Learning from his Orange Aids experience, Baylis law a plan and went in hunt of a manufacturer. Everyone he approached incited him down.


It was an entrance on a BBC’s Tomorrow’s World programme in 1994 that finally brought his invention to open attention.

“Everyone suspicion we was a talent whereas, adult to then, we was only another stupid small man.”

Further broadside followed. He was awarded a BBC Design Award for Best Product and Best Design in 1996 and met Nelson Mandela and a Queen.

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He hosted a BBC programme with Katy Hill enlivening new inventions

A South African association began production his radio in 1997 but, once again, Baylis unsuccessful to make a good understanding of income from a product.

“My mistake was that we devoted a people we was operative alongside. Large companies can detour your patents.”

He eventually mislaid control of his pattern and a company, rather ironically, began creation cheaper wind-up radios for a Western marketplace increasingly endangered with immature issues.

Undaunted, Baylis continued entrance adult with new ideas including a shoe that could beget electricity as a wearer walked.


He demonstrated them with a 100-mile travel opposite Namibia to lift income for a landmine charity.

He also set adult a Trevor Baylis Foundation to inspire and rise new products and, importantly, advise inventors how to strengthen their egghead property.

He was awarded an OBE in 1997 and collected a series of titular degrees from heading universities.

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Rex Features

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He believed Britain unsuccessful to conclude inventors like him

Trevor Baylis never married, desiring that no mother would put adult with a irregularity in that he favourite to work.

He strongly believed that Britain was arrogant in a diagnosis of inventors, definition many products left overseas.

“Inventors do not get adequate credit,” he said. “I always say, art is pleasure, invention is treasure.

“Nobody seems to know who invented a paper shave though everybody has one.”

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