Tributes paid to university researcher

The late Dr Raymond Edwards
The late Dr Raymond Edwards

A highly respected reader in mycological chemistry who taught generations of students at Bradford University has died.

Dr Raymond Edwards, 84, died in Pinderfields hospital on July 25 after a short illness.

The son of a railwayman, he was born in Methley and moved to Tingley, Leeds, aged 10 with his parents and sister Joan.

An expert in fungi, Ray taught Natural Product Chemistry at Bradford throughout his career, where he met friend and colleague Derek Maitland.

Dr Maitland said: “I learned that each autumn my new colleague would go out into local and not so local forests to gather “mushrooms”. These however were rather different to the edible ones I was used to. Some were extremely poisonous. However he knew which was which. So in my early years at Bradford I would go out and help him collect fungi.”

Ray and Derek later formed a research partnership with Professor Tony Whalley from Liverpool John Moores university, which led to Ray having to learn how to use a computer - something Dr Maitland said did not come naturally to him.

He said: “It is fair to say that Ray and modern technology did not get on, he was happy to do things as he had always done them. If something worked there was no need to replace it, even if a replacement would have made life easier.”

However, Ray was a lover of cars and was still driving his VW Urban Fox until he went into hospital.

Dr Maitland said: “Generations of chemistry students will remember him with affection and stand in awe of his encyclopaedic knowledge of natural product chemistry. We are each the richer for having known him.”