Obituary: Ray Maisey, 1939-2020
It is with regret that Cuxton Parish Council were informed that Ray Maisey died on Thursday 6th February after a long period of illness. Ray was a member of Cuxton Parish Council and Cuxton and Halling Ward Councillor for 12 years.
Ray was born 1939 to a regular Welsh Guardsman, Hubert Maisey and his wife, Lillian, a pearl threader. His early years spent with his mother, 2 elder sisters from a previous marriage and an aunt, as his father was a prisoner of war in Germany. He was leading his platoon as a warrant officer, when his company formed the rear guard at Dunkirk. Ray met his father at the end of the second world war in 1946, at the age of 7.
Ray grew up in Horley, Surrey and frequently visited Wellington Barracks, where his father was stationed. At junior school he and about 14 friends formed the “future Genius Group.” Members went on to live and work in different parts of the world but kept in touch and those living in this country met up at least once a year often for weekends in the UK and abroad. Ray was the current secretary and he arranged a jazz weekend in a hotel only a few years ago for the remaining 3 members available.
Whilst at school Ray when to piano lessons and wasn’t allowed to go out with his friends until he had done his practice. Thus began his life-long eclectic interest in music. Later on he took up the trombone and when he was working as a printer for a local newspaper called the Thanet press, played with a band called “ Sounds Incorporated” in the Winter Gardens in Margate sitting in for famous singers as back-up.
Ray was very keen to join the police, encouraged by his brother-in-law, but failed to pass the medical in view of varicose veins. Instead he joined the “specials” and enjoyed working from Bromley South police station, whilst starting a career in printing. He worked in the trade from apprenticeship to running his own small business.
He married Pauline in the 1960s. She worked in the accounts dept. of the printing company he was working for. They started married life in a caravan at Keston, moving to see their first house being built in Birchington in Kent. Here his daughters Karen and Lorraine were born. Later his third daughter, Kimberley was added to the family and he set off for South Africa, moving his wife, 2 daughters and a baby to Pietermaritzberg to take up a post on a local paper in Johannesburg. He had a house and garden and enough land to keep chickens, each of them being named by the children. Here he honed his inherited gardening skills, another life-long interest.
After 8 years Ray and Pauline felt the lure for their homeland and returned to England. The children settled into schools but regretted not being able to run around barefoot in the South African sunshine. Not long after their return from South Africa a fourth daughter, Rachel was born and they grew up around Bromley and Orpington, near Ray’s father and mother, the much adored Nanny Maisey, who had moved there after his father had retired from the Army.
Ray adored his daughters and made a point of phoning them frequently after they had left home and started their own careers. The daughters produced 9 grandchildren and one of these has a baby great grandchild, here today. When they were young, Lorraine used to bring Liam and Dacey to Cuxton, when she was working at the weekends. Now they have grown up Rachel often brings Georgia and Aaron to stay with Ray and Buffy and he loved following their upbringing, being particularly pleased to see that Georgia has joined the police cadets and hopes, at the ripe age of 11, to later make a career in the police, as he would liked to have done.
In 1989 Ray married his second wife Buffy. Each of them had sadly split from their former spouses and they met at a “special offer” night at a singles club. Ray took on helping with the upbringing of Buffy’s 2 daughters, making 6 daughters to care for. At first they lived in Kidbrooke in South-east London. Before long Ray got involved in local politics and stood as a candidate for the Kidbrooke ward of Greenwich Borough Council.
Ray and Buffy were regular attenders at St James’ church Kidbrooke. Buffy was PCC secretary and she and Ray started a youth club in the church hall.
Whilst living in Kidbrooke Ray had a purpose built large wooden shed made and set up a music studio. Being a “shed” in the garden it was christened the “Rabbit Hutch”. He took up song writing for a time and had one of his songs “no more the blues” orchestrated by his great friend Derek Nash of “Sax appeal” and Jools Holland fame. He submitted it to the Gibraltar song contest and was flown to the contest and given a hotel room, as his song had reached the final stages of selection. His singer was also flown out. Sadly, his song didn’t win, but he much enjoyed the excitement of the competition.
Ray and Buffy found Kidbrooke Park Road too noisy even after the A2/M2 was built and started to look for a house between Kidbrooke and Eltham with enough room for the “Rabbit Hutch”. One day Ray saw an advert in the local paper for a house in Cuxton with beautiful countryside views all around for quick sale. No harm in having a day out in Kent and just looking at this house, Ray persuaded Buffy, who wasn’t sure that life in a country village would be as interesting as it turned out to be. The family moved to Cuxton in 1997, and Ray soon set to work creating another studio, this time for printing services, carrying on the name of “Rabbit Hutch”.
When they were young, Lorraine used to bring two of the grandchildren, Liam and Dacey, to Cuxton, when she was working at the weekends. Now they have grown up Rachel often brings Georgia and Aaron to stay with Ray and Buffy and Ray loved following their upbringing, being particularly pleased to see that Georgia has joined the police cadets and hopes, at the ripe age of 11, to later make a career in the police, as he would have liked to have done.
With his interest and experience in local government politics he and Buffy soon became involved with the local Conservative Association. In May 2003 he was elected as member of Medway council for Cuxton and Halling ward. During his 12 years in office, in addition to taking up the cases of countless local residents, he made substantial improvements to the village. He steered road traffic improvements through the Planning Dept., starting with a pelican crossing at the junction of Bush Road and the A228, funded by a section 106 agreement with “Redrow Ltd”, followed by a 40 mph speed limit with flashing warning signs. He also instigated the erection of a crash barrier next to the section of A228 adjoining the allotments, thus ending the ever increasing number of large lorries, which, after the wide bend in Sundridge Hill, used to crash into the fence and onto allotment land.
He donated a picnic bench in the children’s playground using a special allowance available to all councillors. A liberal member once said to me that he admired Ray’s dedication to Cuxton and Halling rather than making a name for himself in the Council chamber. From 2011-12 and 2014-15, Ray was elected deputy mayor of Medway and enthusiastically took on numerous official duties. In Cuxton these included officiating at the newly refurbished children’s playground and at the commemoration of sixty years since the Queen’s accession to the throne in 1952, held in this church.
Ray and Buffy also joined this their beloved church, when they moved to Cuxton, though in later years Ray found the service time too early in the morning for him. He went on printing till he was 79 and afterwards still took an interest in both church and parish council, quizzing Buffy when she returned from meetings. Ray served on Cuxton Parish Council for 8 years.
Cuxton Parish Council will remember Ray for his hard work on our behalf, his honesty and sincerity and for the support and advice he and Buffy gave to the Independent ACT candidates who now form Cuxton Parish Council.
Ray’s funeral will be held at 2pm on Monday March 2nd at St Michael and All Angels Church, Cuxton.