Paul Gross obituary


My accomplice, Paul Gross, who has died aged 86, was a musician, artist, architect and occasional activist. He was a part of the Rakes band, shaped in 1956 together with his mates Reg Corridor and Michael Plunkett. They performed a combination of Irish, Scottish and English conventional music, every bringing their very own household expertise of music-making in addition to exploring the normal Irish music scene in London, which within the Fifties was little identified past its members.

Paul (fiddle), Michael (fiddle and flute) and Reg (melodeon) had been quickly a part of the Irish pub session scene, changing into mates and collaborators with such nice musicians as Michael Gorman, Margaret Barry and Jimmy Energy. Paul was a lot influenced by Energy’s fiddle enjoying; all of the music was within the oral custom, transmitted at pubs such because the Bedford, Camden City and the Favorite, close to Hornsey Highway.

The Rakes continued enjoying collectively for barn dances and festivals all around the UK for 60 years, together with a collaboration with Bob Davenport, the normal singer from Gateshead. Afterwards Paul continued enjoying at classes, the place different musicians notably valued his driving musical fashion but additionally his modest character and large sense of humour.

Born in Greenwich, London, to Robert, who labored for the Medina Oil firm in Deptford, and Jess (nee Simmons), Paul lived within the borough for many of his life. He confirmed an early curiosity and expertise for music, first enjoying with college mates from St Joseph’s academy, now St Matthew academy, after college.

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Paul Gross, second from left, enjoying with the 4 Courts Ceilidh Band on the London and Brighton in Peckham within the mid Nineteen Sixties. {Photograph}: The Reg Corridor assortment

His skilled profession was as an architect. Educated on the Bartlett Faculty of Structure at College Faculty London, he labored in a wide range of architectural practices. One in all his early jobs, within the Nineteen Sixties, was on a mid-Victorian gothic fashion financial institution in Oxford, now the Ivy restaurant, the place his likeness seems as one of many carved heads on the extension. Later work included buying centres and the design of residing quarters on oil rigs.

Till retirement in 2003, Paul labored together with his outdated buddy Marc Zambelli at Zambelli Pal on remodelling Belgravia townhouses, designing a Scottish baronial fashion looking lodge and opulent nation homes. Within the Nineteen Seventies, he used his architectural experience as a part of the South East London Squatters Motion, organised by activists similar to Ron Bailey, which labored on making empty homes liveable for households.

He’s survived by his kids, Rachel and James, from his marriage to Christine Bolam, which led to divorce, and his sister, Jean.


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