Tributes Paid After Death Of Wimbledon BookFest Co-Founder

Arts champion Tony Kane had been a Wimbledon resident for more than 50 years

Tributes have been paid to Tony Kane, the co-founder of Wimbledon BookFest and founder of Time & Leisure, who has died at the age of 80.

Mr Kane, a Wimbledon resident for more than 50 years, founded the popular annual literary festival in 2006 with Fiona Razvi in order to develop arts and culture in the area.

Tony KaneHe had been an arts teacher to all ages, retiring from full-time teaching in 1997. He also exhibited his own art works and was the auther of a series of children's books - The Railway Mice.

He stepped down as Wimbledon BookFest chair in 2016 when he said somebody younger should take over.

The Time & Leisure Media Group said in a statement: "Tony was passionate about the arts and community, and founded the magazine over 21 years ago to support both, remaining actively involved after his daughter Lucy became owner-publisher 16 years ago.

"His many achievements included co-founding Wimbledon BookFest, and he keenly supported the growth of several arts initiatives including Wimbledon International Music Festival, and Merton Arts Festival to name just a few. He was a brilliant artist – his work illustrating his popular monthly column The Eye; an art teacher; and author, writing and illustrating a series of children’s books. He was also a passionate advocate for the local community.

"He was an inspiration, a great talent, and a thoroughly lovely man, who will be much missed."

Wimbledon Labour Party tweeted today (December 18): "He leaves this earth with a legacy of incredible art. Writing, founding @Wimbookfest & @timeandleisure, and was a wonderful person. He will be very much missed, Wimbledon was lucky to have him."

Merton Councillor Martin Whelton said: "He contributed a huge amount to the community in Wimbledon and was a powerful advocate for the local area. RIP Tony."

Friends of Wimbledon Town added: "We are deeply saddened by the passing of our founder member Tony Kane. He did so much for Wimbledon, setting up @Wimbookfest, @timeandleisure and saving the old Town Hall buildings. He will be missed by us all."

December 18, 2018