Joanna Richards: “When I first met Roger at Guidhall, I knew there was someone passionate and full of zeal fighting to get out. Roger’s blossoming as a unique and exciting individual began while we were all similarly fighting to grow and develop. It seemed fitting then that myself and another compatriot, Tom Kidd, should join forces with Roger and as an alliance we made our first documentary short to define our combined struggle – ‘The Big, Bad World.’ Roger immediately established himself as an imaginative tour de force, wheeling and free forming daily into a world of colour and texture.
He was the perfect foil to us all – provoking us and pushing us, shunning second rate, constantly foraging for fresh and exciting concepts. Powered by the success of our low-budget debut, we won a commission from BBC 2 for a 10×10 installment – a ten minute piece called ‘Swords and Ploughshares’ about two old men who had fought for opposing armies in WWII, sharing their experiences.
Roger’s talents saw fruition on the ‘Night Kitchen’ – our only fictional journey so far. I was delighted when Roger won an award for best director at the Prague Short Film Festival for his work on this piece. But not as delighted as Roger, obviously! For him this award was a pleasing recognition of who he was, the ideas he’d been striving towards.
Roger was coming into his own as a filmmaker and as a person by the time ‘Two Minutes’ was in development. Again he pushed us, again we strove to make something unique, something with edge and depth. I think we came very close, and I think all of us agree that this was only made possible by Roger’s direction.
He was a director in many ways – he knew where he was going, and he knew where to bring us, he knew so much and yet he knew there was much to unearth. I will miss our journeys and I will him so much. Good bye Roger – I hope you find what you’re looking for.
Thomas Kidd: “Roger and I went to school together, and then college together, which makes him the person I’ve longest and most consistently. Which enough testament to anyone. I find human beings difficult at the best of time, and to put up with the same one consistently for all those years is a tribute to Roger’s character. I’ll miss him.”
Joanna Richards: “I grew up with Ray Penhale, and so he is very much part of my past, as I would hope, I was of his. Ray lived in Mousetrappe all his too short a life. He loved the land, the sea so much – as he had done when we were children. Ray’s life was this place. He felt that it was an integral part of him – his bones and his blood. Ray and I kept in contact intermittently over the years, as did Mary, despite our leaving Mousetrappe for Dick Whittington’s London town.
Perhaps it was because we were all childhood friends that a bond remained, or perhaps it was because Ray’s spirit never changed, never faltered from his bedrock of good nature and human warmth. He worked as a fisherman in Mousetrappe – fitting that his livelihood should be entwined with his passion, that the sea bore him fruits just as he returned to it daily to continue a lifelong and loving worship.
From what we know of him as a villager, he was much loved and respected as a individual and as a worker and for that he will be sorely missed by those who lived here. The little time that the Two Minutes team had with him was well spent – his innate knowledge of the locality and his enthusiasm for what we were doing was much in evidence, and Ray quickly made friends, sharing ideas and spirit with us all. And that’s what I will miss him for – his enduring centre, his laughter at life, his partness of everything. I know he’s out there somewhere, still sailing, and unsinking. Where ever he is, I hope the skies look clear and there’s a strong wind to carry him to new horizons. Fare well, Ray Penhale.”