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HWA Founder Dies

HWA Founder Dies
Colin Pain, 1928 - 2013

Colin Anthony Kirby Pain, a Hampton Wick resident for nearly 60 years and a founder of the Hampton Wick Association, died suddenly and sadly on 24th January 2013 aged 84.

Colin was born in Royal Tunbridge Wells in 1928 and was one of 2 sons of the local Lloyds Bank Manager. A respected architect, he trained at the Architectural Association in London, where his studies were postponed while serving in the Royal Medical Corps.

His first job was with the private practice of Moiret + Wood and then Robin Boger after which he entered public service and moved to the Housing Division of the London County Council. Later he worked under the inspirational Donald Gibson at Army Works in Chessington, a section of the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works followed by a spell with Air Force Works.

The Ministry of Works became part of the Department of the Environment’s Property Services Agency where Colin rose to be the Director of New Works for London Region with a team of 500 staff. He was given the responsibility of caring for the Government’s 14,000 buildings, including the Palaces of Kew, St James, Kensington, Hampton Court, Windsor and Buckingham Palace, all the museums, all the government offices, unemployment benefit offices, married quarters and administering all the external arrangements for Royal and foreign dignitary visits and celebrations (Jubilee etc.).

Amongst an enormous workload he oversaw the Clore extension to the Tate Gallery and then later was instrumental in delivering the beautiful Sainsbury Wing extension to the National Gallery after Prince Charles’ famous quote relating to a previous proposal “a carbuncle on the face of a much loved friend.”

He was responsible for the refurbishment of the Cabinet War rooms and was swiftly at Hampton Court Palace to oversee the securing, fire-fighting and restoration works required by the fire on Easter Monday in 1986 where he escorted the Queen and members of the Royal Family around the still smouldering remains.

He retired in 1988 and was replaced by two people on the same salary !

He will also be remembered for his dedication to Hampton Wick. He was a founder member of the Hampton Wick Association in 1962 established originally to oppose a flyover extension to the Kingston one way system which would have destroyed half the village and chaired the Association for many years.

In 1977 he and his wife Mu recreated the Victorian festival Chestnut Sunday which takes part on the Sunday closest to May 11th each year (co-incidentally also Colin’s birthday) and he has attended every year since – wearing his Victorian top hat.

He is a member of the friends of Home and Bushy Parks and helped man the information desk in the Pheasantry Welcome Centre. He was also a local historian and often gave talks on the History of Hampton Wick and was a strong supporter of the recently formed Hampton Wick History Group. In 2007 he was awarded a Community Award by Richmond Council for Voluntary Service for outstanding services to volunteering in Richmond Borough.

Amongst all this he had various hobbies. He was an amateur cinematographer (favouring his beloved standard 8) and cartoonist. He won many awards for his films at the Whitehall Cine club, SERIAC and the IACs top ten as well as internationally. He was also fascinated with magic lanterns and often put on shows with magic lantern slides and was an active member of the Magic Lantern Society.

With his beloved wife Mu (who sadly died in 2000) he helped form the Thameswick Players Amateur Dramatic Group and used his architectural expertise to build incredible stage sets. He acted once but much preferred to be behind the scenes.

Above all of these activities he will be remembered as a loving family man. A great husband to Mu, a brother to Barrie and a wonderful father to Richard, Michael and David and Grandfather to Jon, James, Ben , Emma, Hannah, Jessica and Ellie.

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