Cray Valley Montage – Available Now – Edition Limited to 25

‘Cray Valley Technical High School – 63 Years’

After a very intensive three days the Cray Valley photo-montage is now ready. Gallery-quality prints are available directly from The Print Space, London’s leading fine art lab in a Limited Edition of just 25.


The fine-art print uses archival inks onto 310 gsm Hahnmühle German Etching paper and measures 548mm x 378mm including a 20mm white border all round for mounting. It is shipped to you in excellent packaging between two sheets of strong, flat Correx. Quality and delivery is guaranteed by The Print Space and you can rest-assured that their work is as good as it gets.


The last square!

Each print comes with a hologrammed certificate of authenticity bearing a unique number and also showing the number of your print in the edition. A further matching hologram sticker is supplied for affixing to the back of the print after framing.

Each print costs £64 inc VAT plus £5.22 shipping (UK only – Worldwide shipping rates are available at checkout before payment is taken). Graham Spence in Jersey was our first buyer who receives Edition 1 of 25.  This is only a very small limited edition and is only available on a first come, first served basis.

To buy a print please click the image above or use this link. where you will find the ‘Buy’ button on the bottom right-hand side of the page. Payment is by any major debit or credit card or PayPal if you prefer and all proceeds go towards the running and maintenance of our website and blog.

Can you find yourself?

See if you can find yourself in one or more of these four sections of the print: (click to enlarge)






Limited Edition Cray Valley Montage

Cray Valley Technical High School – 63 years in the making!

One of the repeating styles in many of my own artworks is based on a very rigid graphical matrix. During a recent daydream I kept thinking about the fact that there were around 600 boys attending the School at any one time and how we managed to squeeze that many into our hall and gallery. With this figure in mind and the fact that we now have over 2000 images and scans in our Image Archive I decided to start the process of producing a 600 element photo-montage using only images from our collection. The piece will include a very varied selection from our archive and one taken on the final day of production.

Screen grab showing the first 200 of the 600 elements of the Cray Valley Collage

Although the project is not a difficult one it is quite time-consuming. Each selected element is carefully cropped from the original to measure either 17 mm square, 17 x 34 or 34 x 17 and then ‘repaired’ where necessary and optimised to appear at its best in the final print.


Depending on interest there will be a maximum of just 20 prints made in the Signed Limited Edition. (This figure will depend on the response to this post). These will be printed by London’s leading fine art lab onto gallery-quality Hahnemühle German Etching paper using archival inks. The overall size of the piece will be 548mm x 379mm including a 20mm white border and you can be assured that the quality of this lab’s printing is as good as it gets.


Will you be included?

Are you included already? Would you like to be? If we already hold a photo of you then simply email to say you would like that image included or attach a good scan or digital file of the photo to be added. Today there are still plenty of slots available but first come first served! I am hoping that there are actually 600 ‘useable’ images as I am discovering many are not suitable so keep them coming in!

The fine art print comes to you carefully packaged between two sheets of strong Correx and you will receive a certificate of authenticity which includes a hologram bearing a unique registration number along with a further matching hologram which may be attached to the back of your artwork after framing. Once affixed this matching hologram authenticates the artwork to your Limited Edition Certificate.  Your certificate will show as ’12 of 25′ for example.


The normal price for one of my gallery prints of this size is between £95 and £125, however, ‘mates rates’ will apply here and the price will be fixed at  £64 to include VAT. Shipping is an additional £5.22. Availability should be within the next week.

This in no way commits you to buy but if you are interested in obtaining a Limited Edition print perhaps you would kindly leave your name and email address using the mini form below in order that I may assess demand and adjust the Edition accordingly (max 25).

Inhaling with Rick Gillings

In response to our question ‘Did You Invent Anything?‘ in an earlier post, Rick Gillings sent us this very interesting information:

Whilst Development Manager for Clement Clarks  (Harlow) in the 1990’s with responsibility for ophthalmic & respiratory equipment  design and manufacture, I was jointly responsible for the development of a device to measure the effectiveness of inhalers.

Inhalers are most effective when the particle size or droplets conform to about a 40 micron size. At this size the inhaled drug is more readily attached to the lining (small hairs) in the airways where it performs its job of clearing/repairing the airway making it easier to breathe. Larger droplets require more energy to pass into the airways and are often lost in the throat or mouth, whilst smaller particles pass straight through into the lungs negating their effectiveness.
To keep the concept simple we adopted and patented a method of attaching and sealing any manufacturer’s inhaler to the outlet of a device used by researchers which was able to mimic a standardised human breathing cycle. This device was  adapted and by adjusting flow volumes to simulate the breathing flow range of children to adults and those with poor lung function we were able to provide a range of standard breathing cycle simulations. Within this device we were also able to isolate and measure the amount of drug reaching the equivalent of the airway in the human body. This enabled us to provide data giving meaningful comparisons on the overall efficiencies of the inhalers under pre-set user conditions. It immediately became apparent that certain types of inhalers worked better for people with poorer lung function, requiring lower air cycle pressures to spread the drug, whilst other inhalers worked better with a pre-air expander between the person and the inhaler. In general, at the time, inhalers were only found to be between 18 & 25% effective in dissipating the drug to the airways to the lungs. The rest of the drug was just wasted. At the time Drug manufacturers adjusted dosages to suit the inhalers they were using and patient monitoring to provide feed back of effectiveness of the drugs. This patent provided better quantifiable drug dissipation information to enable manufacturers to reduce the amount of drugs going into people’s respiratory systems and enabling inhaler designers to improve their methods of particulate dispensing.
Unfortunately I have no details of the device or pictures as the equipment was always held in secure surroundings in the development lab. The patent cover has long since ended.
An interesting period of my life.
Rick Gillings – 1958 – 1965

Read Rick’s story by clicking on his photo


Rick Gillings


From the Drawing Board of John Kay

A John Kay Designed Vending Machine


Further to the recent Blog regarding ‘Did anyone invent anything?’ I can’t claim to actually inventing anything, but I did have the sole responsibility of designing about a dozen ‘award winning’ (so it says on the company website), fully automatic drinks vending machines, back in the late 80’s and through the 90’s, down in deepest, sunny Devon. As a company we managed to ramp up production to producing in excess of 100 machines a week, becoming the largest manufacturer of drinks vending machines in the UK. However, a change in senior management staff and policy, resulted in ‘trying’ to outsource the design facility, resulting in my redundancy and the company to rapidly fall from its eminent position in the market.

A John Kay Designed Vending Machine


I have attached four scans from company brochures of some of the machines that were produced, all from my drawing board. These date from the mid 90’s hence the dated image they portray. Two of the machines were nominated for Design Council Awards, which ones I don’t know, but it did look good on my CV. Hope this may be of some interest and that it would have pleased ‘Old Joe’ and his CVTHS – as long as he wasn’t the one to see his coffee disappear when his cup failed to drop! However, Reg Mayo would still despair of my English.

John Kay

Teignmouth, Devon
1957 – 1962


Click to enlarge

2000 Plus Images in the Archive

The Image Archive has been building steadily for the past 16 years and we have just passed the 2000 mark of photographs old and recent along with scans of archival documents and letters from the School’s history. Every time an image is submitted by you for inclusion in our records it is added to the appropriate category (such as ‘Group Photos‘ or ‘School Trips‘)  and at the same time it is included in the ‘Latest Images‘ gallery. Access to the galleries is via the menu at the top of this blog or from this page on our website.


Please keep sending in your photos for publication and archiving. If you don’t have a scanner I will be happy to do this for you and send your material back by return. The address is on our main website at

I know it’s a pain being reminded to make your contribution for 2017 but we do need your help to keep everything running smoothly and when you do contribute is very genuinely appreciated. Thank you.