The curator of Eel Pie Island Museum in Twickenham has paid tribute to her long-time friend, inventor Trevor Baylis, who sadly passed away earlier this month.

Michele Whitby described Trevor, who lived on Eel Pie Island, as an “inspiring, encouraging and generous spirited man”.

She said: “Trevor was a fabulous character, who I’ve known for more than twenty years.

“He would readily admit that there wasn’t enough space in one room for him and his ego.

“Given his circus stuntman background, it was no surprise that he was a natural show off, but underneath the public persona was a very caring and thoughtful person, always available to offer advice and help, along with a ready supply of ‘Carry On’ style jokes.”

Trevor was best known for inventing the wind-up radio, which he made to help transmit information to people in Africa about AIDS.

Michele said: “His inventions were all about helping people and I found his friendship to be the same.

“He was an avid supporter of my work setting up the Eel Pie Island Museum- probably helped by the fact that he knew a chunk of it was to be about him!- and he helped keep my chin up through some of the more challenging times of the project.

“I was so, so happy that he got to make the opening on Feb 23 and cut the ribbon, along with Don Craine from the Downliners Sect.

“He spent time in the museum right up until a couple of days before he died.

“Frail as he was at the end, it was fantastic to see how he came to life when he had an audience.

“The Trevor that I knew was an inspiring, encouraging and generous spirited man.

“I am proud to have known him and will miss him greatly.

“It makes me so sad every day walking passed his house and not being able to pop my head in to say hello.

“I’d love to hear just one more of his jokes.”

His presence will be sorely missed on the Island.

Celia Holman, another resident and friend of Trevor’s, added: “Dear Trevor.

“It really hasn't quite sunk in that I won't be bumping into him on the path anymore or seeing him up at the Museum.

“We were only talking the very day before he passed away about bringing a comfortable armchair up to the Museum, so he could sit and chat to visitors in the area of the Museum where we have recreated a section of his much-photographed workshops.”

Trevor died of natural causes, aged 80, at his home in Eel Pie Island on March 5.