The late Simon Edsor.

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Always dapper and always cheerful, behind the scenes, though, he was also the man of action, a vital team member with practical skills honed during an earlier career in the Merchant Navy.

If exhibition stands needed to be built or light-boxes created for the display of stained glass - most memorably Harry Clarke’s ‘Geneva Window’, now in the Wolfsonian, Miami Beach - and other ingenious display methods devised, Simon was the man.

He was not only good with hammer and saw, his skills extended to mechanical and electric matters too: on one occasion, to the delight of the children, hiring a candy floss machine for the private view of an exhibition devoted to fairgrounds, circuses and other popular entertainment.

Despite his career having been curtailed by the onset of the cruelly debilitating illness that blighted the last seven or eight years of his life, his funeral at St Margarets Westminster was attended by an impressive number of old friends, former clients and colleagues from around the trade, especially the various trade-linked bodies such as the Fine Art Provident Institution and the Decorative Art Society, to which, over the years, he had devoted time and expertise.

All were agreed that Simon’s outstanding quality was his cheerfulness and practicality, not just in his working life but, as his son recalled, in coping with kids, herding sheep and dealing with other country matters, which were as much a part of his younger days as the more glamorous gallery life of London’s West End.

From Peyton Skipwith (Former deputy managing director of The Fine Art Society Ltd)