Travel industry stalwart Stuart Gray has died after a long and successful career in the travel trade.


Gray passed away on Wednesday, February 13, 2008 after suffering a brain tumour.


Gray’s career in travel started when he joined Thomas Cook in Berkeley Street, London in 1954 as a management trainee. He went on to become national secretary of the UK National Committee Skål, the international association of travel and tourism professionals.


After leaving Thomas Cook, Gray joined the Methodist Travel Bureau, before working for Exchange Travel as manager of the Birmingham Bullring office, later becoming area manager. He went to work for Callers Pegasus in Newcastle, as a director of the company. 


In 1974, he joined the Institute of Travel Agents as chief executive, a position he held for five years.


After returning to Exchange Travel in Hastings for a spell, Gray took up positions in travel and tourism at Hosta Tourism School in Leysin, Switzerland, Lewes Tertiary College and Hastings College.


On his retirement Stuart became involved with local tourism in Battle, East Sussex, and was elected deputy mayor of Battle in 2007, after a period as a councillor.


Gray was also very interested in military music and was vice chairman and public relations officer for the International Military Music Society UK Branch.


He leaves his widow Sally, who works for Thomas Cook in Tunbridge Wells, four children and five grandchildren.


A Service of Thanksgiving for Stuart’s life will be held at the Paris Church of St Mary the Virgin in Battle on Monday February 25, 2008 at 2.15pm.  All his friends are welcome to attend.  This will be followed by a reception at Battle Golf Club.