Tribute to Solihull inventor Ray Dyke - The Solihull Observer

Tribute to Solihull inventor Ray Dyke

Solihull Editorial 10th Aug, 2022 Updated: 17th Aug, 2022   0

A TOUCHING tribute has been paid to Solihull inventor Ray Dyke.

Ray, who was known across the borough for everything from selling his cheese cobs to his madcap inventions and being the handyman people turned to in an emergency, passed away at home in Leafield Road on July 19.

The 86-year-old, who was renowned for his generous heart, dedicated his life to helping Silhillians where he could.

Ray’s family told The Observer: “You could always find Ray in his garage or back garden making a new invention to share to the whole of Solihull.”

They said they were often grafted in to help make signs to sell his latest creation which he would display on his push bike, his hat, Chariot and front garden.

They added: “He’d love to just to be out and about during the day talking to people, making them laugh and smile and trying to get them to read his signs, buy one of his inventions or persuade them to hire him to do one of his many jobs he offered.

“He’d also often pop down to his local shops in Hobs Moat and gift some of his little creations such as his whipping tops, skipping ropes and shoe horn.”

Over the years he created a homemade coracle, a one-man boat which he sailed in Elmdon park, a handmade boat made out of a bathtub, a Soapbox car and his own coffin.

He also made things with his grandchildren and his grandson, Patrick O’Neil, remembers making and playing with Ray’s stilts.

Patrick said: “Grandad Ray was one of a kind. He was a very happy man, known and loved by so many.

“From playing silly games with us all, to dancing and singing around, to helping us ride our bikes, to reading stories and playing with his great grandchildren. His forever left a special print in all our hearts.

“Grandad always wanted his funeral to be one big party.

“He want it to be wacky, yampy, happy and not your standard normal funeral.”

Ray leaves behind a daughter, three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren with another expected in December.

Ray was a widower his first wife Barbara passed away when their daughter was seven years old.

He later remarried to Norma who also sadly passed away.

So with Ray’s wishes in mind the family have organised for Ray to have one last tour of Solihull before heading to Robin Hood Crematorium on August 26 for a service at 3.30pm.

The tour will start on Leafield Road and head to St Augustine’s Catholic Church, St Alphege Church, Platform Three bar in Olton, The Spread Eagle on Warwick Road, Jeffries Hardware on Shirley Road and finally to the crematorium.

The family have asked for donations which will be put towards a memorial bench or benches in memory of Ray.

To donate click here.


We can provide all of your printing needs at competitive rates.

Online Editions

Catch up on your local news by reading our e-editions on the Solihull Observer.


Weddings, Birthdays, Bereavements, Thank you notices, Marriages and more.

Public Notices

View and download all of the public notices in the Solihull Observer.