Steve Ayres: An appreciation

It is with great sadness that we report the death of Steve Ayres, a member of the Country Life team for many years.

Steve, who was part of the magazine’s art department, was killed in a motorbike accident on the evening of Thursday, May 16. He had been working at Country Life’s office in Farnborough that day.

Steve was originally recruited more than 10 years ago from Country Life’s reprographic house, F E Burman, where he regularly performed all sorts of miracles on pictures. His brother, Pete, still works there and our thoughts are with him and the rest of the Ayres family, especially Steve’s two young daughters, Louisa and Rebecca.

Steve was a member of the close-knit art team that was shortlisted for a BSME award last year. He also turned his hand to writing last summer when he and a friend took a motorbike tour of Scotland that was the culmination of many years of planning.  Steve was hugely proud of his association with the magazine, was the life and soul of any social occasion and everyone looked forward to his visits to Farnborough.

Country Life Editor Mark Hedges pays tribute: ‘Steve played an enormous role in perfecting the look of Country Life. Numerous covers and great features enjoyed his genius touch; whenever a picture needed cheering up — a dog’s paw filled in, a house that needed the lights turned on or a rose bush that needed extending — the call would go up: “This needs the Steve treatment!.”

‘He was not only talented, but also an exceptionally kind man, who would do anything for anyone, and we shall miss his cheerful presence very much.’