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Trevor Baylis calls on Twickenham MP Vince Cable to set up inventors' haven
Famous inventor Trevor Baylis has challenged Twickenham MP Vince Cable to set up a safe haven for aspiring inventors.
Mr Baylis, who invented the wind-up radio and wind-up torch, is guest speaker at Strawberry Hill House's inaugural dining club event on October 17, where he will explain Why Inventors Invent and talk about his own life.
He said: “When I was a child, I was building cars with my Meccano set before I could even write my own name.
“I'm not a fan of TV shows like Dragons’ Den because it’s not encouraging people to go about things the right way.
“What people need is a room where they can sit down, discuss their ideas and have it all recorded on camera.
“That way when the big names, like your Dragons, come in and take the idea for themselves you can say, I’ve got the proof that was my idea.”
He added that with business secretary Vince Cable MP for Twickenham, such an idea could well start in the borough.
Mr Baylis has lived on Eel Pie Island since 1970 and said he never had any desire to live elsewhere.
Speaking from his self-designed house, he said: “You sit outside, looking at the Thames, and what can you hear? Nothing. It’s incredible.
“We could be in the middle of the countryside, in Devon or Cornwall yet just over the bridge, I have all the shops and commodities I need to live.
“It is perfect and I am so fortunate to live in the perfect home on the perfect island.”
Talking about his talk at Horace Walpole’s gothic house, Baylis admitted he only had one key tactic in spreading the word of inventing.
He said: “Make them laugh, make them listen, that’s what I say.
“People want to hear about groovy things and wacky inventions and that’s me all over.
“I have lived the most incredible life and am proud of all my achievements - none more so than presenting Nelson Mandela with a wind-up radio.”
He confessed the best day of his life was in October 1997, when after receiving his OBE at Buckingham Palace, Michael Aspel whisked him off to star in an episode of This Is Your Life.
He added: “I was seeing people I hadn’t seen in years and years - that's what inspired me and gave me the ideas for my book, Clock This.”
For more information about the Strawberry Hill Dining Club, visit strawberryhillhouse.org.uk/diningclub.
Evenings cost £75 including food, wine and guest speaker with funds going towards the Strawberry Hill Peacock Appeal, to safeguard the long-term maintenance of the house.
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