Loss of another great DX man — Ray Cave

One of the great Daily Express art editors, Ray Cave has died after a long illness. His wife Anne said he passed away peacefully on Monday 29 January in Queen’s Hospital, Romford, east London. 

She added: ‘He had experienced quite a few health problems over the last few years and this sadly progressed into congestive heart failure. I was with him all the way and when Ray passed away he knew he was loved hugely by his family and friends.

We are holding a funeral on 20 February at South Essex Crematorium, Ockendon Road, Upminster RM14 2UY. Afterwards you are invited to join the family at Top Meadow Golf Club, Fen Lane, North Ockendon, RM14 3PR. 

‘We are only having flowers from immediate family, so if you wish to remember Ray you can make a donation to two charities he was very fond of: British Heart Foundation and Great Ormond Street Hospital.’

Former DX night editor Roger Watkins said: ‘I loved Ray Cave. He was one of the great art desk operators with whom I worked closely on the Express back bench in the eighties. He was a superb, inventive designer and a real chum. Ahem, most of the time. 

‘Sometimes we would clash: a difference of opinion over how a page should be presented (my idea would never work etc). He’d sashay back to the art desk to banter with Dobbie and Co. 

‘I’d stalk off taking 18 inches of pulsating plastic (my Blundell Harling shatterproof ruler) with me. In due course, Ray would sidle up to the back bench with a layout rough. He always said the same thing: ‘Well, I suppose what we could do…’ And it was brilliant. What a star!’

Anne Cave said : ‘Ray had so many good memories of happy times in Fleet Street. Everyone worked so hard to produce the best front page. Our eldest son, Ian, followed his dad as a designer and now works on magazines. The two of them would still discuss pictures, layout etc.’

Former features sub Jeff Boyle said:  ‘Roger Watkins was so right — Ray was a lovely man, loved by all, whose blond boyish good looks reminded me of one of the Beach Boys. 

‘Not only was he a great pro, but he also had a fun side. I hadn't seen Ray for years, but I remember one night in the Pops that today's tonic water and smart phone brigade just wouldn't believe. Ray and Woodie had just come in, while the usual Features suspects were well into their third or fourth pint. I bought Ray a pint, and as I reached the bottom of my glass my teeth bit something hard. 

‘Odd, I thought, I never ordered ice. I hadn't. But there, peering up at me, was Squiffy Searby's false eyeball! I dropped it straight into Ray's beer who pretended to be miffed. But after I bought him a fresh one we 'kissed and made up' and he admitted he'd seen the funny side of if all along. Goodbye old chum.’