Silvio (Ray) Binelli RIP.

It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Ray Binelli, a long-time Register member.

Ray, like his father before him, was a knife grinder. His van was an ex-grocer’s van, with the high-roof conversion being carried out by Ray and his father Lino. The van was on the road from 1955 through to 2001 – 46 years! Lino and Ray had prestigious customers such as The Grosvenor House Hotel, The Dorchester Park Lane, The Mayfair and The Ritz.

Between 1956 and 1970 Ray was also working as a European tour guide in the summer seasons. He spoke Italian, French, Spanish, German and Portuguese as well as English!

Aged 39 he graduated as an IEE engineer at the Polytechnic of Central London. It took him nine years as a mature evening student, as he was still grinding knives during the day. The Polytechnic had a special celebration as no one else had obtained this degree on a part-time basis.

In 2011 Ray was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and recently was also in constant pain from Rheumatoid Arthritis. He passed away on 27th June, and his funeral service was held at St Peter’s Italian Church in Clerkenwell, on 12th July.

He will be missed by all who knew him.

Gray Southard adds: Sad news about Ray. Very fond memories of seeing the van out and about the back streets of the West End, Holborn and even Camden Town.

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Early-July Update!

A few photos to show what has been happening J-typewise!