In memory of David Paramor Thomas, the person who devised the idea for the Otford Solar System Model. David helped design and build the model, and maintained and promoted it energetically for years thereafter.
David was born on 5 August 1930 in Sydenham, Kent, where he grew up. He studied architecture, spent his National Service years in the Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers, and subsequently worked for Ove Arup, the well known building firm. However, a change of career beckoned, and he trained as a teacher at Goldsmiths College, London, and spent the rest of his career as a special needs teacher. David moved to Otford in 1959 with his wife Audrey, where they raised a family of three children.
David was a well known personality around the village and had many friends. His enthusiasm and crativity were consistent themes throughout his time as curator of the model. He used his charm and persuasion to encourage a number of other institutions to 'join in the fun' of the model by hosting models of some of the nearest stars. In keeping with his vocation, he always encouraged others to get the most out of the educational opportunities presented by the model. He and Audrey were familiar figures on the recreation ground as they marked out, mowed and maintained the orbits of the model.
David died on 21 October 2010 at the Hospice in the Weald following a long illness.