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Book of Condolences for Neil Stuart Lawson
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From: Andy Perkins
Comments: Neil: The man who captured the passions, personalities and in my case the worst hangover picture in gliding!
A true gentleman with no enemies; I agree with Terry Joint implicitly, why is it always the good guys? His ability in capturing the feeling or just pictures of the most stunning babes on airfields worldwide was second to none. A loss to the world doesn’t say enough. What a great bloke…. You live on with us all.
From: Kevin Houlihan
Comments: If you believe a soul only leaves this life having fulfilled it's purpose, then Neil's purpose was to leave us with a wonderful legacy of his exceptional work which will give pleasure and serve to draw people into the sport for many years to come, and his mission has certainly been accomplished. On behalf of all pilots in Ireland may I offer my condolences to his family and friends. Kevin Houlihan, CFI, Dublin Gliding Club.
Comments: Although I knew Neil all my life, I only got to know him properly a few years ago, and I am eternally glad that I did, He was a cousin, a friend, and an inspiration. I have no doubt at all that he has changed my life for the better, and I can see clearly that I am not alone.
Comments: When I think of the man - Neil - who clearly loved life I can only quote another; The king is dead. Long live the King. and he will in his work...
From: Colin Short
Comments: The way I remember Neil best is seeing him perched in the back of the Super Cub at 4,000 feet from a distance of about 8 - 10 metres, snapping me through his big gyro-stabilised lens. Thanks for the memories Neil and thanks for all the wonderful photographs. You're going to be a very hard act to follow. I guess life was'nt meant to be fair - Rest In Peace my friend.
From: Rodrigo Guaracy
Comments: In the sky do not have limits...
From: Alessandro Pessione - Italy
Comments: Good flight Neil. We have lost an incredible point of view of the life.
Thank you for all. I do not forget you and your photos.
From: Hannah Hay
Comments: There is a big hole left where Neil once was... orange jumper and never ending sense of fun... I feel privileged to have known him so well, and I'll never forget … We’ll miss you Neil xx
From: David Parmiter
Comments: Neil used to work for me in the 90's as a freelance assistant when I was starting out on my own photographic career and I have fond memories of the times we spent together. His charm humour and knowledge were greatly appreciated.
I hadn't seen him for a few years but often think about those days.
It's heartening to see that he was so highly regarded in the gliding world and that his library will live on in his memory.
From: Ray and Debbie Corbett
Comments: Neil and I met wheh we both started gliding at Lasham I have some real fun memories of him like trying to get as high as wecould in a T21 both freezing on a cold winters day taking it in turns to fly so the other one could warm up their hands and just manging to get back over the fence in 778 from a short cross country, all sharp memories of some great times with a good friend and of course the fantastic pictures
Miss you mate
Ray and Debbie Corbett
From: Al and Andrea Nunn
Comments: Neil will always live on in our minds as a genuinely nice guy, a great lager-buddy and an ace (and fearless!) photographer. My over-riding memory of Neil is of him hanging out of the back of the Super Cub at 4,500 ft one very cold, but beautiful February morning. We were trying to build an aerial map of the airfield; the fact that it was freezing and that he was hanging half out of the plane never worried him for a second... I was frozen and had the stick to hold on to! He will be sadly missed, but we'll only have to look at one of his many pictures in our house to remember Neil and his talents. Farewell to a fellow pilot and a good friend - gone, but certainly never forgotten.
Al and Andrea
From: Paul ,Caroline and Charlotte Fritche
Comments: We all got to know Neil while sharing a house with him for three weeks in Germany. Neil amazed me with his endless energy and enthusiasm for everything he did.Every morning I woke early and was greeted by Neil and his stock phrase "Yow Big Man".He'd put a cup of tea in my hand and then rattle-off the breakfast selection from the trip he'd just made to the shops. He was passionate about gliding and photography,and was able to catch some of the fantastic images we see when flying gliders .But he could also photograph people exceptionally well.Some of the best pictures we have of our daughter were taken by Neil. Most of all he was just a good bloke.I always knew that when I saw Neil I'd soon be laughing. We'll all miss orange man.
From: Nick Wall
Comments: As some of you might know, I am a professional magazine Editor and I can honestly say that Neil's pictures (of which I regrettably was able to use only a few) were without parallel; he was one of the most talented photographers I ever met. Not only that, I knew Neil as a friend and as such he was also without parallel. I'll quote one example. When I was quite ill for six months I was due to fly in a competition, but the illness had left me very weak and without any strength. I was fit to fly, just, and he insisted that I should fly the competition. He then gave up nine days of his time to crew for me and ensured that the only thing I had to do was turn up at the airfield, get in the glider, be given a map, be told the TPs and then fly. When I got back he took control of the glider told me to hand in the logger and go home. Day in, day out. That's how kind and thoughtful he was. The type of person he was. Thank-you Neil for everything.
From: Robert Pollett
Comments: i met neil when flying with the lasham group at jaca two years ago and remember his infectious enthusiasm which inspired us all. i will mis him but will always be inspired by his photos. r.
From: Rupert Denyer
Comments: My earliest days as a designer were spent on some of the most enjoyable photographic shoots of my career - Neil was assisting Mike Caldwell at the time; wherever we went and however difficult the circumstances, we always had a great time, there was always much laughter - you will be greatly missed Neil.
From: Graham McAndrew
Comments: Now and forever the light will be, just right.
From: Jay Rebbeck
Comments: Driving back to the UK from the European Gliding Championships in Slovakia I was fortunate enough to have Neil join me and my crew Jo Murdoch for the ride. We set off with my glider in tow early in the afternoon, unsure whether to stop overnight or drive through the small hours. Seven hours later and halfway across Europe the Dunkirk spirit prevailed. We decided that we were on a non-stop mission. Neil’s role became that of the night watchman. His sole aim to keep Jo and me awake by whatever means necessary. And that’s how it came about. Whilst Jo slept in the back, through the middle of the night, Neil and I became locked in an uninterrupted, five hour talkathon.
For the first few hours Neil entertained me with tales of his former life as a rock star, impressing me with stories of drunken nights out with Billy Bragg, and chance encounters with the likes of Nico and Lou Reed. We swapped opinions on our favourite music, Neil harking back to some of the pivotal bands on the British music scene back in the seventies.
With the iPod finally exhausted, and the best part of a full tank of gas still to go, desperate measures were needed to keep us from sleep. We struck up a game of word association. The rules were simple. Neil would say one word. I would have to come back with another that was in some way connected without hesitating or repeating myself. Then the ball was back in his court.
And on it went. For three hours…
Any normal pair of people would quickly grow bored of this game, exhausting their respective associative memories in no time. But with Neil these were three of the funniest hours you could hope to enjoy. With Neil’s furtive mind, the opportunities for cheeky innuendo and smutty double entendres were rife. The gamesmanship grew to ridiculous levels as we constantly tried to outwit one another with increasingly dubious word associations. We joked that Jo, drifting in and out of sleep on the back seat, must have been experiencing some of the weirdest dreams known to humanity.
At some point early in the morning we came to the consensus that there were actually no words left in the English language that we had not used and hence were forced to abandon the game for sporting reasons. By now my driving shift had drawn to a close. We pulled over, filled the car up again and I handed the wheel over to Jo. Whilst I enjoyed a few hours of kip in the back, Neil stoically stayed up to keep Jo company until we made it to Calais.
By 10am we were back in England at the place where our trip to Nitra had begun nearly a month earlier. We had all met up at Jez Hood’s house to leave Neil’s car and snatch a brief night’s sleep before getting up at 2am to catch the ferry. But for now, with the adventure behind us, all that we needed to do was unload Neil’s bag into his wagon, revive his dodgy car battery with a jump start and say our farewells. We shook hands and said goodbye, words that didn’t seem to convey the bond that our shared experience had formed. Watching Neil’s car grow smaller in my rear view mirror for what would turn out to be the last time, I remember thinking how lucky I’d been to share that journey with him.
“Life’s not a dress rehearsal,” he used to say. And for Neil it certainly wasn’t. He always radiated the kind of warmth and excitement that comes from someone who loves their life and what they’re doing. I’ll never forget the modest way he would brush off any compliments about his photography, when deep down you knew he got a massive rush from the fact we loved what he did. I’m going to miss Neil, but I’ll also treasure the memories of good times we spent together and try and make sure I enjoy my life as much as he did his. Goodbye to one of life’s rare gems.
From: Tony+Colin Window And all at CETA
Comments: Although we had not seen you for a while we will never forget your happy face at 6.00 every morning when you were assisting Mike Rest in Peace
From: Jed and Susy Edyvean
Comments: We have Neil's thrilling pictures all over the house. He could convey the excitement and awe that exists at the heart of the sport, and he was full of energy, friendship and enthusiasm. We'll never forget him.
From: Jochen Ewald
Comments: I can not believe Neil is no longer with us! He was not only probably the best (not only) glider photographer, but also a great guy to work and have fun with, as we all experienced when we had the opportunity to help him during the DG-1000 photo shooting for Toyota at the Royal Army (Germany) Gliding Centre at Brüggen-Elmpt. We are all very sad and miss him!
Comments: The first time I met Neil I could tell his passions in life were for gliding and photography, I rarely saw him without his camera closeby.
Neil and Pete spent alot of time together taking photos and videos of themselves and others gliding, and many more hours editing it untill they had some fantastic material.
He was always full of fun and energy, especially on our trips to Jaca when he made sure we all drank lot's of Zoco!
Neil will always be remembered from his photographs and in our memories. We'll miss you.
From: Arwen Hunt
Comments: I am truly devastated at the loss of Neil. The best always leave early. Neil became a good friend over the last few years. We kept each other company for hours on end at gliding competitions while we waited for the boys to come home. I was always looking over my shoulder to make sure the cheeky bugger wasn't trying to take a sneaky picture of my bum!! Neil was one of the most colourful and inspirational characters I have ever had the privilage to know. I will miss having him around.
From: Ana Alegre tug-pilot from Santa Cilia
Comments: He was very kind with everybody.
He liked taken pictures of mine because he said I always was smiling. One of all the pictures he did to me is this website and that's really a pleasure for me.We did also good pictures in the Robin from other gliders...It will be hard to see everybody here in September except to him.And I want to say thanks to you.I'll never forget you Neil.
From: Sue Armstrong
Comments: I never had the priveledge to know Neil but I hope that I was some comfort to him when he needed a friend to hold his hand.
From: Mike Miller-Smith
Comments: Neil and I shared a house for 18 months, and have been friends for around 10 years I guess. Neil was a special guy, friendly, passionate and knowledgable about aviation, at times uncompromising about his art and happy where his life had taken him.
Special memories? So many... some mundane, some extraordinary...
- Flying under London's bridges on Flight Sim until 2am in the morning
- Listening to Colenso's Parade for the first time and learning about another chapter in Neil's life
- Laughing about me getting the Super Cub to fly so sideways to get that shot of Alan in the Pawnee
From: Matías Lanzinetti - ARG
Comments: Si bien nunca conoci a Neil, lo q si conoci fueron sus estupendos trabajos fotograficos, los cuales siempre admire, y me converti en un fan de su trabajo. Siempre tuve y tengo minadas de sus fotos pcs, palms, celulares, pq realmente me parecen estupendas. Mi mas sentido pesame a sus familiares y amigos.
I never met Neil, but i´ve always admired his great and exceptional photografic works. I´ve his photos everywhere because they´re wonderful. My deepest symphaties for his family and friends. Matias Lanzinetti from Argentina, South America.
From: Josep Seto and Jackie Morrow
Comments: Very sad news indeed. Apart from taking excellent photographs, he was a people's person, and always had time to say hello and generally join in.
From: Matt Smith
Comments: every time I spoke your passion for flying and aviation was infectious and reinvigorating ....... the boys will miss you!
From: sadie Lobb
Comments: As a matchless photographer, a brilliant pilot and an overall superb person, Neil played an understated but hugely revered role in my life. Even though I did not know him as well as I would have liked to, his support and enthusiasm was an encouragement for me and it is a privilege to be able to say that I knew him. I will never forget the help and passion he showed towards my work and my flying.
A man loved and by everyone; the gliding community has been robbed of a huge asset.
I am deeply sorry for the people closest to him, He will forever remain one of the most inspirational and influential people in my life.
May his work and essence be remembered without end.
He will be sorely missed.
16 yrs (Devon & Somerset Gliding Club)
From: Chris Lyttelton
Comments: So very sorry.Neil's pictures live on in my office no less than happy memories of him live on in my heart.
From: Christian VRANCKEN
Comments: Une amie qui vous connaissait m'a appris votre départ : en regardant toutes vos photographies et à la lecture des messages de sympathie à votre égard , j'aurais aimé vous connaitre. Amoureux je pense comme vous de tout ce qui vole, soyez bien là ou vous etes maitenant et sachez que vos images traverseront le temps.
From: Graeme Fisher
Comments: I once asked him how he managed to take some of his extraordinary photos, he replied " it's all done with smoke and mirrors!" if only that were true now and this tragic event was just an illusion. So many happy memeories of a childhood together, Neils interests rubbed of on me to some extent and gave me the curiousity for many things I would have overlooked. I met with Neil a few years ago, some twenty years after our last meeting. He had not changed one bit, we sat and talked in the local just as if it were all those years ago, I raise a glass to you now Neil. Rest in peace mate.
From: Sylvia De Gregorio
Comments: I met Neil, his camera and his smile one year ago in Norway. And also I met his web-page and his incredible pictures.
We've lost a great frienly man and some more special new pictures, no one like him doing his work, but hi is going to keep with us through his pictures and he is going to continue giving us good times with all his works and rememberings.
From: Chris Smart
Comments: I will miss Neil, always a familiar happy face at Lasham. Just a few days before the accident I had landed back at Lasham and he took the time to ask me how my flight had been, where I had gone and so on.
I regret not having got to know him better, and never having finished, in his words 'low down and dirty enough' to feature in one of his truly stunning photos.
Thoughts are with Neil's family and friends.
From: David Roberts
Comments: Neil, you were the best, the very best. Gliding found in you a truly awesome talent, as well as a really nice bloke, with a zest for life, humour and friendship all-round. And you gave gliding something that will be treasured forever, those wonderful images that words cannot express, but which we all feel about the sport. Your loss is a heart-rending tragedy. I have lost several close friends in gliding accidents over 37 years in the sport, but the call I received shortly after the accident on the 9th – I had just landed at the Long Mynd – tore me apart.
Your photographic legacy will be preserved, and I have already offered your family, through Pete Masson, any assistance the BGA can provide in ensuring your photographic collection is preserved for your memory, and for the continuing enrichment of our lives.
You were a fine man, passionate about our sport, a rare talent in so many ways, and you will be sadly missed by thousands of your friends and admirers. My thoughts are with your parents, Mike and Jean, and your family.
You gave such wonderful service to gliding, in so many ways, not just your pictures but as team captain, friend, enthusiast, pilot and generous supporter.
Rest in Peace
From: Dennis Saunders
Comments: The best photos I have, ever, and which have always taken pride of place in our house and will continue to do so even although I have quit gliding are: a "finish" in 569 and of me the same day weighed down with barographs, cameras and beer after a day during the infamous 9-day comp. Enough said.
From: Adnan & Jill Mirza
Comments: Always keen, always eager, always the artist - Neil Stuart Lawson truly appreciated the beauty of this sport that we are all so privileged to be a part of - and was generous enough to take the time to share it with the world.
There is a scientific explanation for flight, but none the less, the magic is still there - captured and forever brought to light in Neil's pictures.
One of the highlights of the last two club class worlds was having Neil there - with his charm and wit - ready to liven up any moment.
He is, and will, truly be missed.
Rest in peace good friend.
Adnan & Jill Mirza
From: Ian Deans
Comments: I have a photo Neil took of our glider many years ago, it lifts the spirits everytime I see it. Always friendly and always smiling, gliding just won't seem the same without him. A sad loss.
From: Jane Darlington
Comments: Losing friends is always horrible; losing them too soon just seems unfair. Neil will be missed by a lot of people and we shall be glad he was ever here at all. Long may his wonderful photographs grace the walls of gliding clubhouses and homes.
From: David Rance
Comments: An extraordinarily talented Photographer. Our sport will be much the poorer for his loss.
From: Jane Billyard
Comments: Neil was the only pilot who has managed to get me to fly in a glider, a few years ago in 'Lucy' at Lasham.It was a great experience and I felt completely relaxed about wafting back down to the ground while we chatted about all sorts. He was always willing to pilot my son Freddy whenever the chance arose for the two of them to take to the skies, even if it meant stacking up the cushions so he could peer over the side in the early days - Freddy that was, not Neil! I remember returning with Pete Masson and Neil from a retrieve someplace, years ago, and chatting about life and stuff, to discover that Neil was from Loughborough and he and Freddy had both attended the same school , with a difference of a few years obviously. Today I discovered that our mothers both play tennis together, neither of them realised that their children knew each other until after his sad death. We are lucky to have images of P2 and Pete Paterson flying it taken by Neil.Also the walls of Lasham Clubhouse are decorated with his wonderful images, it'll be very hard to forget the 'orange-man', he has left an extremely strong imprint behind.Gliding has lost a truly colourful character, who will certainly be missed, yet not forgotten.May we send our sympathy to the Lawson family at this sad time, from Pete Paterson, Jane and Freddy Billyard
From: David Bradley
Comments: Never met Neil but was inspired by his gliding pictures. I looked forward each month to his new calendar image.
From: Susan & Tim McAllister
Comments: We will always treasure the images Neil shared with us of the WGC 2004 in Norway, and we will also raise a pint in his memory at the Grand Prix in September, where we hoped to see Neil and catch up on his travels. He was a talented photographer and a great guy. We will miss you! Susan & Tim McAllister EY Dallas, Texas USA
From: Rob James
Comments: I knew Neil in our very youngest days as we were the same age and attended the same schools. I remember a poster he had in his bedroom of Concorde. We must have been 6 years old. To think flying was to lead to a successful career influenced from such early years! My deepest sympathy go to Jean and Mike from a friend of all those years ago but not forgotten, Rob James, Elaine and Peter James & Family - Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
From: Adam Woolley
Comments: Although only knowing Neil for a short time, it's easy to say that he was an absolute Champion! The sort of guy that you meet, and instantly come good mates with - cheers for the laughs and stories shared mate,,,
Neil certainly had an uncanny passion for the sport of gliding, and truely wanted the image to change - as you could easily see with the exciting and quality images that you've all seen!
A Top Bloke that many will miss...
From: David Tarbutt
Comments: Neil's photograhic talent was obvious to anyone. As an art director on several aviation magazines I tried to use Neil's work whenever appropriate and discovered what an incedibly helpful and professional person he was. Very generous too, sometimes accepting a ridiculously low reproduction fee when the client was associated with gliding and could not afford the full fee.
A front cover showing a photo of Neil and Pete Masson flying a Duo Discus over Spanish mountains is still regarded as the most eye catching cover of GA a year after publication. Neil was always willing to help out with any glider operations. A very modest man for such a supreme talent. Thankfully his photographic legacy will live forever David Tarbutt
From: Joost van Veelen (Netherlands)
Comments: Really special person! He will be in my mind for ever.
From: Jorge Arias Riera
Comments: Estuve haciendo fotos con él en el mismo lugar que dos días después se encontraría con la muerte. Desgraciadamente va a ser difícil olvidar esto y traer a la memoria su magnífico trabajo que tanto nos ilusionaba, Quien no buscaba ponerse a tiro de su incansable cámara. Su carácter abierto y simpatico va a hacer que le echemos de menos por mucho tiempo.
From: Holger Weitzel
Comments: Ich bin sehr taurig über den Tod von Neil. Ich kenne und bewundere sein Fotos.
From: Bruno Tosolini
Comments: As a simple glider pilot I would like to thank Neil for his work, as the simpliest and most affascinating way to show to non pilot our feelings during the flights. Grazie Neil.
From: Phil Jones
Comments: I spent three weeks with Neil at the recent European Championships where he was my team manager.For the first time I had the privelege to get to know him better.I have just spent the last two hours reading his wonderful narrative on the event and poring over his photographs which as always were superb.He was so enthusiastic and talented and most of all a really good bloke .His departure leaves a gaping hole in both gliding and many people's hearts. Phil Jones
From: mario antonelli e paola iacone
Comments: Caro Neil,
ci manchi e ci mancherai tantissimo eri una persona meravigliosa ci rimmarrai nei nostri cuori per sempre. Ciao Mario e Paola
From: Dave Gethin
Comments: I have never met Neil in person and am saddened that I never will. His willingness to share some of his excellent library for student gliding projects was a credit to him.
From: Timo Kaiser
Comments: I feel deep,deep sad!
The gentle Man, I talk to in the
morning, is no longer alive !
My pray`s are with him and his family!
Timo,from Team Germany
From: Ed Smallbone
What a legacy you have left us. You got and gave great pleasure through your photography. Thanks for your friendship. You leave a special void that nobody can fill.
From: Pete Stratten
Comments: Neil will be greatly missed by everyone. His work remains as an everlasting testament to a true professional who appreciated all aviation and in particular had an uncanny ability to reflect the beauty, adventure and fun of gliding.
From: Ruud Holswilder
Comments: Thanks for all those excellent photo's, Neil.
I'll be missing you
From: Gary Jenkins
Comments: juliet 50 and its syndicate partners will miss your enthusiasm and fantastic pictures of the sport.
From: Jim Lyell
Comments: A tragic loss of an individual with a rare talent and lovely nature. Neil may be gone but his images will endure.
From: ken summers
Comments: We have lost the best aviation photographer since Charles E Brown. His passion shines from every picture. At Lasham we've all lost a good friend and a great bloke. Goodbye Neil.
From: Renato Bechelli
Comments: condolences from Brazil...
From: Alan Lentle
Comments: A sad day for all
memories from all South Africans
From: Miguel Monedero
Comments: I met Neil one year ago in Norway and then in easter in Spain. I was competing in Hus Bos when the accident occured. I will never forget Neil, he always had a smile for everyone, a nice word... It was a terrible accident he was involved in. It may be a typìcal topic, but I think he died doing what he wanted. he was a happy man. Our Condolences to all of Neil´s friends and Family.
Miguel Monedero and all the Spanish gliding team
From: Andy Holmes
Comments: "I've been Neil Stuart Lawson of the White Planes picture co. and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future, I refer all spelling errors to my complete lack of formal education.
Neil wrote this on 23rd July after supporting the British team yet again, this time as team captain at Nitra. I really enjoyed reading his entertaining reports from the comp, and was lucky enough to be able to tell him so when I saw him on the 1st comp day of the Junior Worlds.
Since we lost our orange-jumpered mate, I've re-read the reports I laughed at so much and was initially sad to find this quote, but now I realise that he was exactly right. For the forseeable future, Neil's pictures will remain around the gliding world and justifiably so. It is hard to quantify the positive effect that Neil's pictures had on the image of our sport, and our ability to gain sponsorship for the British team, but looking at his photos and showing them to other people always made me proud to be a glider pilot. Somehow his pictures convey what we love about gliding and racing, but can't really explain.
As for Neil's spelling, I thought it was pretty good........?
My other memories of Neil are watching too much South Park at Lasham in the late 90's with Pete Masson; learning how to impersonate Eric Cartman and the words to his song about Kyle's mum; a top flight we had in the Lasham Duo a few years ago including singing the song about Kyle's mum and a running commentary from Neil about a pee-bag's descent and whether or not it was going to hit a farmhouse roof; lots of laughing and banter. I always enjoyed catching up with Neil when I saw him at comps. What a great guy.
Neil, I will miss you. Thanks for the great pictures.
From: Simon Palmer
Comments: Condolences to his family and friends. Neil was an innovative photographer who captured the essence of flight and brought enjoyment to all who saw his work.
From: Andrew Hall
Comments: A genuine and reliable friend who has willingly retrieved me from near & distant fields on more occasions than I would really like to admit. Regretfully I can now never repay that debt. Lasham and gliding will be noticeably poorer without him.
From: Andy Jessett
Comments: I did not know Neil personally, but his outstanding work enriched my total gliding experience, especially during those duff days when his fabulous pictures remind us why we are addicted to soaring.
From: Dave Greasley
Comments: An awful loss of an extremely talented,generous and kind friend who put all others before himself. Neil, I consider myself fortunate to have been one of your many friends and to posess some exceptional photographs taken by you. I am going to miss you mate!
From: Rune Valestrand
Comments: Rest in peace, fly high.
From: clive mason
Comments: may i send my condolences to neil family. i only met him just the once on the 7 th of this month.what a great guy he was to speak to. i feel he had so much to offer in the aviaition world.A real sad loss. clive mason
From: Paul Morrison
Comments: As a glider pilot and fellow photographer (albeit mainly military) I kept a very close eye on Neil's work and was in awe of many of his gliding images. Over the last few years I hope they have conveyed to others the spirit of what it is that makes us do what we do at weekends. Rest in peace Neil, you paid the ultimate price for your art but I'm sure that where you sit now you have the best viewpoint, no need for a step ladder and all your images will be sharp and perfectly exposed. A great loss to gliding and photography.
From: Cris & Claire Emson
Comments: His smiling friendly personality will be missed. A truly remarkable photographer, and we are honoured to have his work throughout our house. We also thank him for all his kindness in providing images for the BGA Conference. We will miss him.
Comments: What a tragic loss. Neil was one of those people that lightened up your life. I feel proud to have called him a friend. The world will always be brighter for his being here, with a legacy of beautiful photography.
From: Paul Bramley
Comments: I first met Neil on a gliding trip to Jaca a couple of years ago. When not flying we shared the fun of scouring the skies for birds of prey to photograph. Evenings were spent enjoying the local beverages and inevitably ended in convulsive, tear-bringing laughter. That week was one of the most memorable in my gliding experience, with Neil's easy-going nature and sense of humour rounding off every day. Memories of his friendship and his photographic legacy are a fitting testament to a talented, charming and personable individual. My deepest condolences to his family.
From: David Sandells
Comments: I did not know Neil personnally but I have had the pleasure of having some of his wonderful photos as my computer desktop for some time. They are truely remarkable images which I am sure must reflect a remarkable person. I send my condolonces to his friends and family.
From: Ruben Philipse
Comments: Hello, I am a glider from The Netherlands and I was just browsing the internet for some gliding related pictures when I stumpled across Neil's website with the most magnificent pictures I have yet seen! Whatever happenned, I will keep on remembering him as this wonderful photographer!
From: Frouwke Kuijpers, the Netherlands
Comments: I will miss him: his beautiful photographs, his emails. No more championships where we can drink a beer together and have fun. I remember the good time we had!
From: sandy hawkyard
Comments: Only just met Neil, as a photographer myself i was looking forward to learning from his obvious tallent, i hope his work will continue to be seen. His pictures captivated me and for that he will be remembered.
From: Colin Rule
Comments: Aviation and Gliding in particular has lost an outstandingl talent and a wonderfull person. He will be greatly missed. My heartfelt condolences to all his family and friends.
From: Rob Cronk
Comments: I didn't know Neil, but I have long admired his extraordinarily excellent images; his was a very rare talent which will be sorely missed. My heartfelt condolencies go to his family and friends.
From: David Wootton
Comments: I'm sorry to hear today of Neil's death. I worked with him in a small way marketing his great photos to all manner of media.
His work was truelly outstanding and hopefully his legacy of images will continue to be seen and admired by many.
From: John Bailey
Comments: A conversation with Neil was always very interesting and uplifting - he was never too busy to chat to people, regardless of their experience and gliding achievements. Having had to take a break from gliding, my discussion with Neil at the start of the Junior Worlds will be a lasting reminder of the super people you meet in the gliding community.
Comments: A sad loss of a true professional in his chosen field.
Thanks for your help Neil, you will be remembered.
From: Ed Johnston
Comments: I have on my wall two fantastic photos that Neil took of me finishing competitions. You can see his tallent through the pictures and I will always remember his enthusiasm for his work and will miss the company of a fine person.
From: Merv Bull
Comments: Once in a while you meet some one who you can't help but respect. Neil was one of those people. His photography speaks for it self and shows everyone that gliding is the beautiful game, not football. I still can’t believe how someone so talented was taken so suddenly in this tragic and unfortunate way. RIP Neil. You will be sorely missed within the gliding movement, but the legend will live on through you work.
From: Paul Haliday
Comments: Neil made a such great contribution to gliding photography with his vivid and dynamic images, he was as much a part of the make up of modern S&G as Helen's editorship. Personly, I'll remember Neil as always being helpful on the odd occasion when I did ask for his advice and now things won't be quite the same when I look at Lasham through a lens.
From: wally kahn
Comments: My very fond memories of Neil are surely the same as all the others who knew him - a very friendly, always helpful, cheerful glider pilot of the very best school. I only flew with him once in the Stemme which we both enjoyed like a couple of schoolboys - Neil egging me on to chase various gliders round the sky so that he could take yet another picture..
It is so very sad that we have lost him but it was a great joy to have known him.
From: Richard Allenby-Pratt
Comments: Neil and I were fellow assistants working for our photographer friend, Mike, some years ago. We toured the countries Marriot Hotels and Neil's constant wit and energy made an otherwise tedious job tolerable. Neil pursued his passions with exceptional enthusiasm and was, as such, an example to all of us.
From: Jon Roberts
Comments: Very very sad. I much enjoyed his iconic pictures of sailplanes.
Condolences to Neil's family.
From: Terry Joint
Comments: Why does it happen to the good guys ?. Rest in Peace Neil.
Terry Joint & Family
From: Jo Watson (nee Birley) an old school friend.
Comments: So shocked, so sad and so very sorry.
From: tony challans
Comments: I received much help from Neil and considered him a friend. He was the most suprised pilot I have ever sent solo and we often joked about it. Tes in peace Neil
Comments: Neil was instantly recognisable as soon as you got onto the airfield; with mandatory camera and wearing his trademark splash of orange he had a great sense of style – and fun! He would greet you with a warm smile as though only a day had passed since you last saw him, even when it had been over a year. My heart goes out to his family and many close friends, I hope they will find some comfort in these condolences x
From: Warren Palmer
Comments: Back in the mid 90's Neil and I worked togethor on a book about the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
My fondest memorial is of the two of us helping to move Spitfires and Hurricanes around the BBMF hangar at 2 in the morning - don't ask me why!
Along with the BBMF crew, we'd all had far too many 'Elephant Beers'....
Of course, we were in our element!
In fact I have too many memories like this of Neil to recall without writing another book.
He was uncompromising and passionate about two things, Flying and Photography...
And I was always slightly in awe of his talent and commitment.
I just hope, that along with Tina, he has those Elephant Beers waiting for when the rest of us cross the heavenly finish line...
From: Helen Evans
Comments: The photos on this website show what an immensely talented person Neil was. But those of us who were lucky enough to know him personally will remember his generosity, wit and kindness as well as his remarkable gift for photography. He enriched our lives, and we will never forget him.
From: Bryony Toon
Comments: Neil, you have so much vitality, fun, and enthusiasm. You always had time to listen and were so, so very kind to me when I needed a friend. I will miss you, but feel grateful to have known you, even though only briefly. Bryony. Xx
From: Robert Danewid
Comments: I learned to know Neil during the WGC in Norway in 2004 where I was Chief Steward. I had admired his pictures for years but in Norway I got to know the kind and friendly person behind those magnificent photos. A great loss for all of us. Rest in peace Neil.
Swedish Soaring Federation
From: John J Iacobucci MD
Comments: A great artist with an exceptional eye for aviation's beauty ill be greatly missed. Thank you Neil, for all the beauty you've shared with us. Sincerely
Comments: My deepest condolences!
This was very sad, and I love the work of Neil.
From: Bart van Stratum
Comments: I just met Neil a few weeks ago at the EGC at Nitra. We only spoke a few times, but in those conversations i got to know him as a very friendly and funny guy.
Very profesional in his work, but still willing to share the nice photographs he made of some dutch gliders.
The soaring world has lost one hell of a great guy!
From: Valentino Ponte
Comments: Thank you Neil!
From: Thomas Hansen
Comments: One of the finest people i`ve ever met! This is to sad to be true...
From: Graham Venning
Comments: A very talented person with an extraordinary ability to capture moments in time that all pilots can appreciate for a lifetime. Thank you Neil for opening my eyes and enhancing my dreams.
From: Christine Harvey
Comments: Neil was one of us, on the ground. I met him at many national competitions. He was always around waiting for the pilots to return. I will miss him and the fantastic photos. His impact on S&G was just amazing. I'm very grateful to Neil for all he did to publicise the sport of Gliding.
From: James Mackey
Comments: I only met Neil briefly but like most I have always admired his work. He is a great loss to gliding and will be greatly missed.
From: Ole Baartvedt
Comments: With the best memories from WGC Clubclass 2004 in mind. I am shocked and miss words..
From: Anna Gunn
Comments: I never met Neil in person however his extraordinary reputation is one that preceded him.. he will be sorely missed.
From: Malcolm Huddart
Comments: His photographs are a great tribute to him
From: Agnar Renolen
Comments: His pictures has and will still be a great contribution in promoting gliding to the rest of the (non-gliding) world.
We'll miss you...
From: Ian MacArthur
Comments: You perfectly captured the moments of a sport we love, and made them appear larger than life.
Im sorry you are gone.
From: Linda Johnston
Comments: I never had the pleasure of meeting Neil, but I greatly admired his work. I always have the monthly calendar from GliderPilot.net as my screen saver. This is a tragic loss to the Gliding/Photography world.
From: Arno lerude crew member.
Comments: Trés touché par la mort de Neil,je présente mes profondes condoleances a son entourage.Le milieu du vol a voile perd un de ses meilleurs illustrateurs.Sa sympathie et ses images resteront longtemps dans nos mémoires.
From: Liz Sparrow
Comments: We were so sad to hear the news while we were in Klix. Neil's pictures were superb, with his magical talent of somehow capturing the atmosphere along with the image, so that he tells a story which is more than just the picture.
Neil will not just be missed by UK pilots - several international pilots expressed their condolences to me.
He and his pictures will remain in our memories.
From: Ian walton
Comments: Neils contribution to the image of gliding is with out doubt one of the most important in the history of our sport. though we never met which i deeply regret he has influence my work as an artist imeasurably. my thought are wih his family and friends at this sad time.
From: Rich Hood
Comments: Words really can’t express how utterly devastated I am. Neil was part of the team for two gliding world championships that I was in and I got to know him really well. His creativity and supreme skill with his camera was amazing and I don’t think there was a better aviation photographer anywhere. It wasn’t just the pictures of aircraft that were stunning, it was his ability to capture people, feelings and the atmosphere of an event or day. I’ll always remember him at his happiest – wearing his outrageous orange trousers, camera in hand, on an airfield waiting for the sun to illuminate his next masterpiece. I’m glad I knew him and will miss him terribly.
From: Harriet Chater
Comments: I was utterly devastated when I heard what happened. Wow, to share some memories – where to start? My most recent memory was in Nitra, Slovakia. Jez and I had returned from hospital following the saga of being bitten by a bat in the night and having rabies vaccinations that day. When we came back to the airfield, there were plastic bats stuck over the glider and trailer. Everyone was giggling but as yet no-one had come forward and owned up. Needless to say, we had our suspicions. It wasn't until I came out of the hangar later that day and found Neil trying to hid underneath Jez's car. It turned out that he had been sticking one to the VW badge on the front of the car – the mystery had been solved!!! It is still there now, as are the ones over the trailer. What a cheeky little monkey he was.....
He will never be forgotten and his amazing talent and brilliant memories will live with us all forever. For these, I want to say thank you, I feel very fortunate to have been touched by such a genuine and inspirational person.
From: Hadriaan van Nes
Comments: The best photographer I've ever met during the gliding championships! His pictures of my family during the glidingchampionships are mounted on our homewalls.
It's very sad to loose a friend of the glidingcomunity.
From: Dan Smithson
Comments: A true gentleman and a tragic loss to his family, friends and the sport. Happy landings in heaven Neil!
From: Alan Irving
Comments: I seldom featured in Neil's photos, as I usually finished far too high or long after he'd packed away his camera and gone to the bar. Although photography was his livelihood, he gave help and advice freely and always seemed genuinely interested in other people's photos and gear.
The change he brought to gliding's visual image can not be overstated. He was the Helmut Reichmann of soaring photography.
From: Wolfert Voet
Comments: My sincere condolences to the family and friends of Neil.
Comments: Very sad hearing about the accident. God's speed.
From: Frank Hahn
Comments: We were shocked, when we heard about Neil's tragical accident. We knew Neil as the most friendly, ever smiling person, who at any time was willing to give his advice and help, where it was needed. We will keep him in our memories as "the man with the big camera", and are sure, that he will live on in our hearts, not least because of the fantastic work he did with his camara.
Frank Hahn for the Danish National Gliding Team
From: geert callewaert
Comments: mijn diepste medeleven voor iedereen in zijn omgeving.
From: Edward Winchester
Comments: I can only hope that I too will pass doing something that I love.
From: Michael Strathern
Comments: I never met Neil but his photos were fantastic and a web site I enjoyed looking at. It remininded me of the great side of UK gliding from 13000 miles away in New Zealand.
My condolences to his family.
Soar on Neil.
From: Damian le Roux
Comments: Neil -
What a nice man,
What a great artist,
What a terrible tragedy to have lost you.
I have chatted to Neil many many time over the years at Lasham and at various competitions, he was always pleasant, interesting and a pleasure to be with.
Neil, if you can read this from your studio in the sky, I miss you mate.
Sincerest condolences to all Neil's family, friends and loved ones.
From: Gordon MacDonald
Comments: Neil when out with friends always liked to have a good time no matter what the situation. I remember one such time on a new years eve party in a Basingstoke ten pin bowling alley. He was a little bit drunk (we all were) and very competitive. In trying to bowl a perfect strike to beat Pete Masson he broke his finger really badly (it heeled all very bent!). He then carried on partying and bowling for the rest of the night despite the pain and disfigurement.
From: tom luddington
Comments: Neil and I both assisted Mike photographing all sorts of subjects and locations. In the begining I was the new boy and Neil was great in making me feel welcome and showing me the ropes. We had alot of fun and alot of hilarious times. Neil's fantastic sense of humour used to distract me from the job in hand and at times had me in stiches at the most inappropriate moments. He also showed me how much fun could be had drawing on all the polaroids.
I thought I'd see him again.
Lots of Love to you Neil.
I'm going to miss you.
From: Roger Colbeck
Comments: I was deeply saddened to hear of Neil's tragic death. As a glider pilot, and keen photographer (often to be found at the finish line of our competitions at the London Gliding Club) I can share in his enthusiasm for both gliding and photography, and marvel at his great talent for capturing the beauty of gliding...and that is not an easy thing to do. Gliding has lost its finest photographic interpreter. My sincere condolences to his family..his images will live on.
From: Ben Dorrington
Comments: I cant say i knew Neil well at all, but all i would like to say is thank you, for giving the world an excellent insight into aviation through his 1st class photography. Thankyou Neil, you are missed.
From: Da vid Brown
Comments: I am so very sorry to hear of Neil's death. He was universally liked and admired in the gliding world and I know we will all miss him. Although we only met personally a few times, in Santa Cilia (Spain), he was wonderful company, and clearly a naturally talented photographer. We once watched a migration flight of some 2000 or so cranes making their way over the airfield at Santa Cilia - an amazing sight, and Neil was obviously torn between taking photographs or phoning his 'twitcher' friends in England on the mobile to tell them about it! A wonderful man, a great photographer, I'll miss the chance of extending our friendship. The gliding world will be a little less without him. My thoughts are with all his friends and family.
From: John and Diana McWilliam
Comments: Diana and I first met Neil when we shared a lift across the |Pyrenees to a Lasham gliding exped at Jaca. We were delighted to meet the man behind the pictures we had admired so much in S & G but we were even more delighted to find that he was such good company and so pleasant a guy.
Though his life was short he has lifted the standard of gliding photography in a remarkable way.
We offer our sympathy to Neil's family and all those most affected by his tragic death.
John and Diana McWilliam, Kinsale, Co. Cork.
From: Esther Oostinga
Comments: I have no words for this tragic accident. Never met Neil personally, but I saw him taking beautiful pictures during the World Gliding Junior Championships. It's unfare.... My thoughts go out to his family and relatives.
From: Graham Garnett
Comments: Neil, Another Green World, I hope, Gone, but never forgotten of course.
From: Angela Elinor Sheard
Comments: Neil, I've enjoyed your wonderful pictures so many times but I didn't know you. And then, by chance and at the last minute, I was drafted into the Nitra European Championships and met you there. Now, for those few short days in which I had the privilege to know you, I can never forget you. I loved your enthusiasm, especially when you told me about the birds you had just photographed that you had wanted to see for so long and found in Nitra. I was Chief Steward, you were the Team Manager, GB, so we had to sort out a few things together and though it was my job, you apologized for taking my time. Your gentle courtesy impressed me, your modest manner. But that shining enthusiasm and the glorious smile that went with it, those will remain with me when I remember you. Grief you would not want but I have wept for you.
God Speed to paradise dear, new friend. Angela.
From: Fam. Berendsen
Comments: We hebben Neil niet gekend, maar omdat we onze zoon Bart en het Ned. team op het WK junioren volgen hoorden we van het verschrikkelijke ongeluk. Wat moet je nog zeggen, zijn er woorden van troost te vinden? Wij willen Neils ouders, fam.leden en vrienden heel erg veel kracht toewensen bij het verwerken van dit grote verdriet.
From: Jon Hall
Comments: Neil was not just one of the best aviation photographers around but did a great service to our sport by bringing beautiful images to a wider public. He selflesly gave many of his images free or at very low cost to clubs to use in their PR and marketing. It is fitting that almost all of the images used in the competition handbook were taken by Neil. A tragic loss to the movement, my thoughts are with his family and friends.
From: Marcel Duenner
Comments: Condolences to all who loved him.
I consider myself lucky to have had the pleasure of meeting Neil in Norway and in Slovakia. Before that, I knew and deeply admired the brilliance of his work. I would never have believed the loss of someone I had only known so briefly could hurt as much as is does. Neil was one of the most likeable persons I have ever met.
The August desktop Calender on gliderpilot.net shows myself at the finishline in Nitra. It will remain my background picture for a very, very long time.
Thank you for having known you.
Rest in Peace.
From: Stephen Crabb
Comments: I met Niel for the first and oly time at Nitra in July 2005 where he was British Team Manager. We chatted for only 10 minutes, but he said something that made me realise that here was someone who loved what he was doing. He simply said "The light here is wonderful"
From: Peter Preisegger
Comments: Unfortunate and tragic. Now specially to feel by those ones remaining behind.
Seeing his website tells me, he enjoyed his life in an active, positive way - he did not vaste the time, that was given to him.
From: Frans Guise
Comments: Shock, grief, anger, disbelieve...
I saw Neil taking pictures at EC in Nitra. He even toke me, playing with an umbrella.
It was a shock to hear this news.
His abbility to "shoot" gliders stays an example for everyone.
See you up there, somewhere,sometime..
From: Anne Mellor, but to Neil small bird
Comments: I am very grateful that for a few years of my life I got to know Neil better. The more I think back the more I remember: A wet trip to Mildenhall, bird seed, Wolfbass wine, Pizza express, stories from his past, the amazing pictures on the wall of his lounge and the many saturday evening I shared with him and Pete. I recall many bottles of wine and the long line of emptys in his kitchen. There were even a few glider flights shared.
Since then many a comp has been brightened by the appearance of a man dressed in orange carrying a camera. Someone who would alway say hello. I am glad to have several of Neil wonderful photos around my house and am so sad that no new one will be added to my collection. Derren & I are glad that we do have a fantastic photo of Derren flying our glider than adorns our bedroom wall.
I have sometime been in Neil's photos and felt almost famous after making into the BGA's Aims, Objective s and Stratigic Plan brochure! I would have liked to ask him to take my wedding photos (not that i am actually getting married at the moment, but you know how us girls like to dream!) but i will never know the answer. not sure if wedding were his thing, not many planes involved!
I still cannot quite believe that he will not make an appearance at Nympsfield next week to capture a few more shot as the pilots at the Standards return. i was looking forward to saying hello and catching up with him. He is greatly missed, but memories of good times shared will stay forever.
From: Tony Firmin
Comments: I only met Neil once but was impressed by his openness and looked forward to another opportunity to hear more about his passion. He leaves a space in our world that will be hard to fill.
From: Andrew Reid
Comments: I didn't know Neil personally but was shocked to hear of his death. The world of gliding will be much poorer for the loss of Neil and his fantastic pictures.
From: Allan Barnes
Comments: I only met Neil a couple of times, but the second time we met he greeted me like an old friend. His wonderful personality shone through in his work, and I will always treasure those special photographs. They will keep his memory alive.
From: Peter F. Selinger, Stuttgart, Germany
Comments: Unbelievable that he has been hit by this fate. In deep mourning Peter
From: Mal Bruce
Comments: We never met in person I have viewed from Australia via the internet Neil's very fine works of art capturing aviation at its best.
As a photographer, pilot and webmaster I can see Neil put his heart into his work may god bless him.
Rest In Peace Neil Stuart your photos live on.
From: Rens "YX"
Comments: On behalf of the Dutch Junior Glidingteam I would like to condolate everybody, especially his close friends and family.
Neil was becoming a good friend of us, here at HusBos, and it's really sad that this friendship cannot be continued, but we will remember him as a really nice guy.
From: Mark Wering
Comments: Always enjoyed your fabulous photos Neil.
Our thoughts are with Neils family and friends.
Mark, Sarah, Matthew and Daniel Wering.
From: Sarmed Mirza
Comments: My deepest condolences to Neil's family. He was a generous soul. God bless. Rest in peace.
From: Keith Auchterlonie
Comments: Always enthusiastic, his passion about his work was obvious. Nothing was ever too much trouble (no matter how unreasonable the demand). His work was simply the best. Neil will be sadly missed.
From: Paul Crabb
Comments: I didn't know Neil, I only knew him through his stunning photo's of gliders. It was a sad, sad day when he died. He will be sorely missed.
From: Bart De Krock
Comments: Dear Neil,
You showed the world the beauty of aviation in your snapshots. We will all miss your presence in our midst.
From: Derek Wilson
Comments: Neil generously helped me out with free photos whenever I asked for some support with my fund raising for the NSPCC. A sad loss.
Comments: May your SPIRIT fly high
From: David Ashby
Comments: Neil's contribution to the imagery of aviation is legendary. The quality of his work and the stunning photographs that he produced will be his epitaph.
He will be sorely missed
From: chris Davison
Comments: Stunning photos that made the world a brighter place. A unique talent that has moved soaring a huge step forward. Tragic.
From: Erwin Hartenberg
Comments: I can only be silent.
From: Marc and Debbie Morley
Comments: Very sad news, we just wish to send our condolences. Marc and Debbie
From: Raphael H. Warshaw
Comments: I subscribed to Sailplane and Gliding for many years and for only two reasons, the pictures and Platypus. The pictures were mostly Mr. Lawson's. My only direct interaction was a phone conversation when bank transfer fees threatened to eat most of what I was paying him for the use of one of his photographs. I wish I had known him better.
I'm glad to hear that the website and his archives will be maintained, since his work has both artistic and historic importance.
My deepest sympathy to his family and friends.
Raphael H. Warshaw
From: Alastair Harrison
Comments: I can't claim to have known Neil very well, but his loss is a terrible blow for the gliding world.
Being photographed by Neil at the finish line was always a bit special - it was a privilege to have the attention of such a complete professional.
Soon after the 2003 Juniors I was delighted to recieve an email from Neil, containing a really fabulous photo of me in my glider. When it appeared in the next issue of S&G I felt like I'd really 'arrived' :-)
From: Schempp-Hirth Australia - Chris Kiehn
Comments: I did not know you, we never spoke, but we were friends through our common gliding theme and I want to thank you for the joy you have brought us through your truely remarkable pictures.
Soar on in happiness.
From: José Mol-Verdiesen
Comments: In the few days that they know each other Neil and my son Joost became friends. He told us with love and admiration about Neil. Our depest symphatie goes to his family and friends, we hope that they can deal with this great lose. We wich them strengt and love. Neil was a man we will never forget.
From: Nigel Pocock
Comments: Always friendly, always chearfull a joy to have known him
From: Al Macdonald
Comments: Farewell my firend your images and entertaining demeanour will always be a great infulence to me.
From: Marilyn Hood
Comments: An exceptional and talented photographer, who cared deeply about the sport of gliding. It was a privilege to have known him, and to have worked with him He was always willing to help with the promotion of the sport and he will be truly missed by all who knew him.
From: Shaun McLaughlin
Comments: Neil's work was simply awesome.
His presence at comps and the constant reminders of why gliding is so beautiful will be sorely missed.
Comments: I nver knew Neil but his photos are exeptional!! we will all miss you!