Tuesday 12th March 2013


This from our local correspondent, Peter Kent.

Times certainly do change as the grim reaper takes his toll. Warwick Leadlay, the distinguished silver-haired print and map gallery owner in Nelson Road has passed on. His gentlemanly presence will be sorely missed. His monday morning funeral service was thronged with a fascinating cross section of mourners come to pay their last resects. The service was tailor-made to demonstrate Warwick's interest in music and the arts - which were also reflected in the stirring tributes given by family and friends. A white ensign - such as Nelson flew in Aboukir Bay - draped his coffin, upon which were placed his fedora and walking stick. To these items Anthony Cross tactfully added the diamond 'Chelengk' as he completed his final tribute to his old boss, partner and friend.

Back then to the Trafalgar Tavern - where else to celebrate a life of such a genial giant of our Royal Borough? It was here in the heart of maritime Greenwich that Warwick opened his print and map shop, Warwick Leadlay Gallery, in 1974. Here in this unique period building of around 1830, in close proximity to the Old Royal Naval College, Cutty Sark and Maritime Museum he created a unique haven and temple to the life of his hero Lord Nelson. Echoes of Trafalgar Night celebrations in the Painted Hall came to mind, and perhaps the great reenactment of Nelson's funeral procession up the tideway also - which made feasible the great Royal River Pageant of last summer. The mighty Thames all but flooded; the snow, driven by a stiff gale which nearly burst through to the great 'State' room of the Tavern was quite overwhelming - thankfully, the emotion was tempered with a flute of bubbly and live jazz, just as Warwick would have liked.

It was further upstream at London Bridge Hospital, that the Kents bade their fond farewell as nursing staff settled him into his his room with a riverside view, in a pose not dissimilar to his hero's final hour. Likewise, a farewell kiss to his forehead was more than appropriate as we stole away to mix with the melee of nearby Borough Market. I ike to think Warwick would have been touched by this fleeting gesture.

I rest also, surveying the setting sun that adds a certain emotional glory to the fast ebbing of the tide. Amen.


P.K. 11/3/13


... And this from friends in Abersoch: 

He was such a unique extraordinary GENTLEMAN with a rich interesting life history. A loving family man, the best most loyal type of friend with many special ways of his own and a wicked sense of humour. He was so kind and supportive to so many, especially Jazzers! He was such fun to be with; we will all miss his company and being in contact. I am so lucky to have known him: a privilege.




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