Raymond Baxter - Obituary - Altea Ego
Raymond Baxter, who has died at the age of 84, was the face of Tomorrow's World for 12 years, bringing science and technology to generations, but his versatility also saw his commentary skills sought for sports and state occasions.
These included the annual Festival of Remembrance, the funerals of Sir Winston Churchill and Lord Mountbatten of Burma, and the 1953 Coronation for which he had to stand in Trafalgar Square under the statue of King Charles's horse in the pouring rain.
"If you have ever stood under a statue of a horse in heavy rain, you can imagine where the rain goes. Well it did and I got very wet."
As the commentator on motor racing, speedway and aviation, Raymond Baxter was always close to the action and sometimes part of it.
He competed in the Monte Carlo rally and during World War II he flew Spitfires. He was twice mentioned in despatches.
It was Baxter who described Concorde's first flight. He was the first to broadcast live from an aeroplane, an ocean-liner and a submarine under water.
Born and brought up in Ilford, Essex, he joined the RAF in 1940 at the age of 18, and became a squadron leader.
He was still in the RAF when he joined Forces Broadcasting in Cairo in 1945. After a spell with the British Forces Network he moved to Outside Broadcasts at the BBC.
Making science simple
He went freelance in the mid 1960s, and also took up a job in industry.
He was there from the start of Tomorrow's World in 1965, bringing to it a particular enthusiasm for explaining gadgets and mechanical processes in an uncomplicated way.
He left the programme in 1977 to make way for a more youthful presentational style.
He presented Tomorrow's World for 12 years
Some 20 years later, he co-hosted Tomorrow's World Time Machine which looked back at 33 years of the popular science show.
He was active in the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, and was Admiral of the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships. He owned a motor yacht which had been to Dunkirk in 1940.
Raymond Baxter maintained his love of motor racing but flying was his biggest passion.

Personal Comment
I shall always remember Raymond Baxters commentary on the first Concorde Flight, and Tomorrows world was always no1 on my viewing list.

TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - Pugugly {P}
Sad loss, a true hero in the real sense of the word.
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - rover 75
A very sad loss, a real Gentleman of the old school booted out of the B.B.C by agesim and working the day before he died.
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - Wales Forester
I can honestly say that I had never heard of this gent until today, but from what I've seen on the news he was someone I would have enjoyed watching.
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - Imagos
I can honestly say that I had never heard of this gent until today>>

PP, I find that astonishing, anyway I'm astonished that a childhood hero of mine was only 84. Seems like he's been around forever.

On a motoring theme was he an occasional presenter of Top Gear in the early days?

Raymond Baxter - Obituary - Altea Ego
Indeed, and did he not also commentate on someof the fabulous saloon car races at Crystal Palace. the ones with lotus cortinas, Ford Galaxies and Mini coopers.
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - henry k
It was announced that he was not well enough to commentate at the Goodwood Revival Meeting where the Spitfires were celebrating and the Supermarine S6B Schneider Trophy aircraft was also on display.

He was the ideal link for everyrthing. Sadly missed.
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - oldgit
A great loss to the broadcasting nation and especially so when we have lost another person who exemplified the halycon days before the BBC (and others) have dumbed down so. The BBC, in particular, have got a lot to answer for IMHO.
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - Chicken Vindaloo
Back in the Seventies, I was a plane fanatic and clearly remember Raymond Baxter presenting programmes from the airshows. Harriers flying low over the plains firing SNEB rockets with his voice over the top will stay with me forever.
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - Imagos
"she flies!"

An iconic quote of the last century about a previously discussed favourite of the backroom.. The Concorde.

Raymond Baxter 1922-2006
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - Stuartli
I've lost count of the sheer number of items of new technology that Raymond Baxter introduced us to over the years although, to be fair, I can understand some people may not have been aware of his services to broadcasting with the BBC as it was quite some time ago now.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
What\'s for you won\'t pass you by
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - mike hannon
One of the greats. I saw him driven around Castle Combe on a lap of honour years ago in the (some say) ex-works Bentley Old Mother Gun. There was hardly a dry eye in the house.
IIRC he was shot down by 'friendly fire' during WW2.
He had the sort of voice that made you think there was still hope for Britain!
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - MokkaMan
Great man with an infectious enthusiasm. My favourite memory was in a documentary about the v1 and v2 rockets when he was recounting a story about flying a sortie in his Spitfire whena V2 rocket was fired from a mobile launch just in front of his line of flight and he still had the presence of mind to fire on it. The matter of fact way he told the story was more like he had nipped out to get a pint of milk.

A broadcaster of great authority and distinctive presence.
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - cheddar
As with the likes of Ludovic Kennedy RB could present with real authourity because he had been there and done it.
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - Honestjohn
He was also excellent at charity work, particularly chairing meetings. I had to present an ad campaign to him at the RNLI and he kept everone under perfect control.

Raymond Baxter - Obituary - storme
eyes welling up just reading the above comments...a remarkable man...not many left
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - bedfordrl
eyes welling up just reading the above comments...a remarkable man...not many

There, you have hit the nail on the head.
Raymond Baxter, Frank Muir,Spike Milligan,Peter Sellars,Michael Bentine ,Harry Secombe and others all had something in common-they all served in the Second world war.
Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce both served in the first war.
A lot of my teachers at school were ex service, and commanded and got respect by their voices and actions.
That is what made these people what they were and their like will probably be never seen again.
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - Lud
To one of my generation, Raymond Baxter was not a great journalist. He didn't stray much from the official line, which you have to try to do to be that.

However he was a technophile like us, ploughed his furrow well and professionally, and never gave offence. TV was different in those days (before last year I mean). All in all a sympathetic figure.

Raymond Baxter - Obituary - Pugugly {P}
He was soooo confident that those malfunctioning marvels would form part of Tomorrow's World. At least the CD made it here !
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - Altea Ego
Yes but they dont work when you smear jam over them and scrape and scratch them, all promised *and demonstrated* on tomorrows world.
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - johnny
Anyone remember him wearing string vest and underpants in The Goodies "string" sketch.

no I thought not...
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - Avant
Raymond Baxter's strength was that he loved what he did, and communicated that love. I me thim only once - at a Lord's Taverners dinner in Henley, where he spokje brillinatly and afterwards came over to the table I was at because his friend Eric Tobitt was there - we all had a lovely conversation. Authoritative he may have been in broadcasts, as he needed to be - but pompous he wasn't.

A great loss, as is Lord Strathcarron. A generation passes - but there are others who are good enough to take their place, at least as motoring writers. Steve Cropley and Gavin Green for example, and probably Steve Sutcliffe, Chris Harris and Colin Goodwin too. All of them love cars, and know how to say so.
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - Pugugly {P}
Just watched a brilliant tribute to him, amongst others James May spoke in it, there were plenty of Spitfires, suitable numbers of Concordes, some cars a well written and warm send off. Brilliant - The end of an era.....
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - quizman
Just watched a brilliant tribute to him, amongst others James May
spoke in it, there were plenty of Spitfires, suitable numbers of
Concordes, some cars a well written and warm send off. Brilliant
- The end of an era.....

Stirling Moss, my hero, with a full head of dark hair, as well.
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - stevied
I'm going to be very careful how I write this, not least because Raymond Baxter WAS indeed someone I admired.

But I do take issue with the rosy-tinted views of the BBC in the "good old days", and indeed some people's definition of a "gentleman". IMHO, the BBC was (still is to a degree that is unacceptable, even though I agree the output has been dumbed-down) a divisive and classist entity. Yes, it probably reflected the world back then, but things move on. Some good, some bad, some indifferent, some better. 'Twas always thus.

A gentleman doesn't need to sound as if he's got something stuck in his mouth, or be dressed in a Savile Row suit. A gentleman generally speaks articulately and clearly, and has his own style. There's a difference. Now, Raymond Baxter was proper RP, and of course I wouldn't hold that against him, but that's a product of environment and upbringing, it didn't make him a gentleman any more than putting jam on my stomach and folding myself in half makes me a sandwich.

Also, as an aside, did anyone else notice that, like many of his generation, Mr Baxter didn't sound quite so RP as he got older, although he still had a wonderful gravitas? Nicholas Parsons is another example, as is Bob Monkhouse.

Anyway, all that aside, it was a lovely tribute to a genuine enthusiast, and yes, a gentleman. You could feel the affection coming across from the people on the programme.
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - quizman
Stevied, I don't know what to make of your post.

Raymond Baxter was a decent, brave, good Englishman. Most people of my age remember him with the greatest affection and are sad that he has died.

Raymond Baxter - Obituary - The Lawman
I can forgive anyone who comes up with a line like "smearing jam over my stomach and folding myself in half doesn't make me a sandwich"

Raymond Baxter - Obituary - Pugugly {P}
What people forget we owe our nation's freedom to the toffs.
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - Lud
Dunno whether you'd call RB a toff really, but he was certainly a Second World War fighter pilot and as such entitled to proper consideration and respect.

Also made a lot of interesting, inoffensive TV and had a sense of fun.

I didn't notice stevied being disrespectful in any way though, just worrying about the architecture of RB's vowels changing as he got older... as much to do with false teeth as anything else I reckon.
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - stevied
I wasn't being "disrespectful" in any way, so any one who thinks I was please read again. I was making a simple point as I see it that you don't need to adhere to a rigid set of criteria to be a "genttleman". I didn't use the word "toff", I only alluded to RP speech, hardly controversial!

Where in any of my comments did I say he wasn't due to consideration and respect? I absolutely 100% think he was, along with everyone who fought in the war. I do not agree that only "toffs" have fought for our freedom though. Not at all, don't understand that comment.

Lawman, I don't know why you're at a loss. I too admired, respected and liked him. In fact, I am paying him a compliment, as he i) modernised the BBC, which you will see is something I consider to be a good thing and ii) he stayed with them until well into later life, so he was hardly a dinosaur was he?

I am at a loss myself to be honest.... : ( Don't get the controversy.
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - stevied
PS Thanks quizman..... I have no idea where that came from. It sounds like a quote, but it was all my own work!!

PPS and heavens to Betsy.
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - bell boy
i understuded stevied and i have nothing to add, as you say a top bloke.
There was a record of the week on radio 2 this week and it was mentioning all the people that have gone in the last 10 years ( a country singer) you never miss them till theyve gone i still miss karen carpenter
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - stevied
Er, something's happened to my entry above!

"PPS Heavens to Betsy" is making no sense just sat there on it's own. And it should read "PS Thanks Lawman" not quizman.

What's the record of the week, oldman? Will have to have a listen. Oldman, quizman, lawman... no wonder I am getting confused...
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - bell boy
kenny rogers
album of the week
radio 2 ken bruce
motoring link? (i had it on while driving miss maisy)ok trevor the tractor
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - Dynamic Dave
Er, something's happened to my entry above!
"PPS Heavens to Betsy" is making no sense just sat there
on it's own. And it should read "PS Thanks Lawman" not

You next post after that (which I incorperated into the original one and deleted the latter) said something along the lines of wanting an edit button because you meant to have typed "ps, thanks to quizman, not lawman". And then "PPS Heavens to Betsy"

I changed lawman to quizman, but now you inform me that you were correct in the first place.

Raymond Baxter - Obituary - Altea Ego
I bet if raymond baxter was alive and well and posting on here he would get an edit button.
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - Pugugly {P}

I wsn't having a pop. He was a genuine middle class guy who influenced a generation. What James May said about "one little boy will be very happy" summed it up, what moved me was the commentary to Winne's funeral.
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - stevied
Yes, pugugly I agree. I am no working-class hero, far from it! I guess my point is that good people are good people, regardless of background, voice and so on.

Raymond Baxter - Obituary - rover 75
I find some of the comments somewhat odd , I suppose you would describe my Father as a "toff" an ex. Group Captain who joined the RAF in 1925 as an apprentice , learnt to fly in 1930 was commisioned in 1937 and went on to fly 103 bombing missions.He also flew at the end of the battle of Britain as a fighter pilot .He came from a large family of 9 children and told me to survive hunger he ate stolen dog biscuits , I still have his Medals AFC , DFC and bar , he died in 1995 aged 91.
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - Pugugly {P}
Yes Rover, I chose the wrong word. My old man is much the same served as an RAF Medic until he retired 15 yrs ago, he would probably have been described as a "toff" by many, but this was due to the
way he was taught/trained and rose through the Commisioned Ranks. He comes from a simple background as well but set us up quite well as a family to enjoy the good things in life. No offence meant.

As a family we still have strong connections with the RAF with one family member still serving with fast jets, he would probably pass as a "toff" but came from a comprehensive school through RAF sponsorship.

Raymond Baxter - Obituary - Micky
8< 8< SNIP

This and several other posts removed as non motoring related. Sorry if one or two that were motoring related got wiped out in the removal process - DD.
Raymond Baxter - Obituary - Tornadorot
There's an interesting interview with Raymond about his brief period as an employee of BMC at The Unofficial Austin-Rover Web Resource....

Raymond Baxter - Obituary - Craig_1969
I was lucky enough to hear this lovely old hero of mine commentating at the Goodwood Revival, I exclaimed at the time how exciting it was to hear his voice at such an event when I knew he was ill. Two weeks later he was dead, a great shame but what a life well lived. Three cheers for that chap.

Ask Honest John

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