Where do you start with Ray Gosling?
Over 1,000 radio documentaries and 100 television programmes, a community activist, tireless campaigner for gay rights, anarchist and a general pain in the arse for those in authority. But the reason he’s so loved is because he made the ordinary beautiful, giving voice to common people up and down the country.
Ray was a master hoarder who refused to throw anything away, meaning we now have access to his life work. Skip-loads of documents, letters, films, magazines and notebooks have been acquired by Nottingham Trent University who are trying to lick them into shape so that they can be made available to the public.
Sifting through the archives, Ray’s sister Julia said: “How to make order of this . . . the content of the boxes - just amazing . . . but . . . you would find a draft script next to jottings made on a train trip to a sea-side town, with an allotment catalogue and a letter from an irate radio listener who was so angry that Ray had not visited the back room tea shop on one of his travels, just a witty, interesting and wonderful mix, set amongst magazines, newspaper cuttings, plastic bags and beer mats.”
Colin Haynes, a life-long friend of Ray’s, has been tasked with sorting out the messy bogger’s room. This is what he had to say.