Raymond Butt

Last updated

Raymond Butt

Raymond Butt.jpg
Born(1941-02-26)26 February 1941
Colchester, Esssex, England
Died23 March 2018(2018-03-23) (aged 77)
EducationThe King's School, Peterborough
Alma materUniversity of Edinburgh
Known forPublished a directory of every railway station in Britain

Raymond Venimore Jack Butt FRAS (26 February 1941 – 23 March 2018) was a British schoolteacher and fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society. An accomplished rower and coach, he twice won the Boston rowing marathon. He was a member of the Stewards' Enclosure at Henley Royal Regatta for nearly 50 years.


He was said to be able to recite pi to 3,500 places and to have once memorised the entire British railway timetable. He formed a large collection of railway tickets and in 1995 published a directory of "every station, halt, platform and stopping place on the British passenger network". [1]

Early life and family

Raymond Butt, also later known as Peter, [2] was born in Colchester, Essex, on 26 February 1941 to Herbert Butt and his wife Kathleen Butt née Upchurch. He was educated at the King's School, Peterborough, where he was a chorister and developed an interest in rowing.

He studied natural philosophy (physics) at the University of Edinburgh where he was taught by the future Nobel laureate Peter Higgs and the mathematician Alexander Aitken. [3] He married Jane Woods in 1980 and the couple had a son and a daughter. They divorced in 1989. [3]


Abingdon School Abingdon school.JPG
Abingdon School
The Norman staircase at The King's School, Canterbury Norman staircase, King's School, Canterbury - geograph.org.uk - 343632.jpg
The Norman staircase at The King's School, Canterbury

Butt trained as a teacher at Cambridge from where in 1965 he joined Abingdon School where he taught physics and coached rowing before moving to The King's School, Canterbury, where he taught physics and astronomy and continued as a rowing coach. His pupils at The King's School included Michael Foale, the first British-born astronaut. His party pieces there were said to include reciting pi to 3,500 places and having once memorised the entire British railway timetable. [3] [4]

He created the observatory at The King's School and earned a master's degree in astrophysics. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1977 [3] and jointly authored scientific papers about the Moon. He formed a large collection of railway tickets [3] and in 1995 published a directory of "every station, halt, platform and stopping place on the British passenger network". [1]

After his retirement from teaching in 1998 he worked for a decade as an usher at Ashford County Court and was an examiner for the British Physics Olympiad. [2]


He rowed at the Henley Royal Regatta in 1968 when he competed in the Silver Goblets competition for coxless pairs and in 1969 was elected to the Stewards' Enclosure there, performing nearly 50 years service. [3] [4] He twice won the Boston rowing marathon. [3] At The King's School he implemented new techniques of rowing based on his knowledge of physics that involved the rowers pausing for a split second at the end of each stroke. [4]

Later life

St Edward the Martyr Orthodox Church, Brookwood St Edward the Martyr Orthodox Church, Brookwood Cemetery, Brookwood (June 2015) (2).JPG
St Edward the Martyr Orthodox Church, Brookwood

Late in life, Butt converted from the Church of England to the Eastern Orthodox Church, taking the name of Peter and becoming a reader at the St Edward the Martyr Orthodox Church in Brookwood, Surrey, for which he was required to learn the Greek and Slavonic liturgy. He died from the effects of pancreatic cancer on 23 March 2018. [3] His funeral was at the Saint Edward Brotherhood at Brookwood, Woking, according to the Byzantine Rite. [5]

Selected publications

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Henley-on-Thames</span> Town in Oxfordshire, England

Henley-on-Thames is a town and civil parish on the River Thames in Oxfordshire, England, 9 miles (14 km) northeast of Reading, 7 miles (11 km) west of Maidenhead, 23 miles (37 km) southeast of Oxford and 37 miles (60 km) west of London, near the tripoint of Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. The population at the 2011 Census was 11,619.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Henley Royal Regatta</span> Recurring rowing event in Henley-on-Thames, UK

Henley Royal Regatta is a rowing event held annually on the River Thames by the town of Henley-on-Thames, England. It was established on 26 March 1839. It differs from the three other regattas rowed over approximately the same course, Henley Women's Regatta, Henley Masters Regatta, and Henley Town and Visitors' Regatta, each of which is an entirely separate event.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alton railway station</span> Railway station in Hampshire, England

Alton railway station is a station in the town of Alton, in the English county of Hampshire. The station is the terminus for two railway lines: the Alton Line which runs to Brookwood and on to London Waterloo, and the Mid Hants Watercress Railway which runs to Alresford. The latter once ran through to Winchester but was closed to passengers in February 1973; it reopened as a heritage line in 1985. Two other routes, both now closed, also served the station – the Meon Valley line to Fareham and the Basingstoke and Alton Light Railway.

Timothy John Crooks is a former British rower who competed at the 1972 Summer Olympics and the 1976 Summer Olympics. He was seven times winner at Henley Royal Regatta and won the Wingfield Sculls three times.

Charles Stahley Butt, Jr. (1919–1992) was a high school rowing coach in Northern Virginia, United States, who was also involved in promoting the growth of school rowing in the Washington D.C. area and the United States.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">London Rowing Club</span>

London Rowing Club is the second-oldest of the non-academic active rowing clubs on the Thames in London, United Kingdom. It was founded in 1856 by members of the long-disbanded Argonauts Club wishing to compete at Henley Royal Regatta.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jack Beresford</span> British rower

Jack Beresford, CBE, born Jack Beresford-Wiszniewski, was a British rower who won five medals at five Olympic Games in succession. This record in Olympic rowing was not matched until 2000 when Sir Steve Redgrave won his sixth Olympic medal at his fifth Olympic Games.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kennishead railway station</span> Railway station in Glasgow, Scotland

Kennishead railway station is a railway station in Kennishead, a district of Glasgow, Scotland. The station is managed by ScotRail and is on the Glasgow South Western Line, 4+14 miles (6.8 km) south of Glasgow Central.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dudley Storey</span> New Zealand rower

Dudley Leonard Storey was a New Zealand rower who won two Olympic medals.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Putney Town Rowing Club</span>

Putney Town Rowing Club (PTRC) is a rowing club on the Tideway, the tidal reach of the River Thames in England. Its official British Rowing registered colours are navy and white.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fransham railway station</span> Former railway station in England

Fransham railway station is a former station in Great Fransham, Norfolk. It was opened as part of the Lynn and Dereham Railway, becoming part of the East Anglian Railway from 1847, on the section of line between Dereham and Swaffham.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Grosvenor Rowing Club</span>

Grosvenor Rowing Club is based on the Groves in Chester. It rows on the River Dee and has around 30 km of rowable river, much of which straight and broad.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Durham School Boat Club</span>

Durham School Boat Club (DSBC) is a school club offering rowing to students, parents, friends and other local schools. Based at Durham School in the city of Durham, England.

Alistair Garth Dryden is a former New Zealand rower.

Newchurch Halt was a railway station on the former Wigan Junction Railways line between Glazebrook and Wigan Central.

Alastair Gordon is an Australian rower who won a silver medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. He's one of only two Australian oarsmen to have twice won the Grand Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal Regatta.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Abingdon School Boat Club</span> Rowing club in Oxfordshire, England

Abingdon School Boat Club is the rowing club for Abingdon School. The club has a strong tradition of providing rowers for the Oxford University Boat Club, Cambridge University Boat Club and international teams.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Killochan railway station</span> Former railway station in Scotland

Killochan railway station was located in a rural part of South Ayrshire, Scotland and mainly served the nearby Killochan Castle estate. The Killochan bank is the name given to this section of the line, running from Girvan on an uphill gradient to just north of the old station site. Maybole is around nine miles away and Girvan two miles.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Royal Shrewsbury School Boat Club</span> British rowing club

Royal Shrewsbury School Boat Club (RSSBC) is a rowing club based on the River Severn at Shrewsbury School Boathouse, Kingsland, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, West Midlands.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">King's College London Boat Club</span> British rowing club

King's College London Boat Club is the rowing club of King's College London based on the Tideway of the River Thames next to Chiswick Bridge, based at Tideway Scullers School boathouse, Dan Mason Drive, Chiswick, London.


  1. 1 2 "A Bibliographical Overview of the Railway Heritage" by Michael Stratton in Peter Burman & Michael Stratton (Eds.) (1997). Conserving the Railway Heritage. London: Spon. pp. 34–58 (p. 43). ISBN   978-0-419-21280-5.
  2. 1 2 "Butt – Deaths Announcements – Telegraph Announcements". announcements.telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Raymond Butt obituary" . The Times. 2 July 2018. Retrieved 14 August 2018.
  4. 1 2 3 Killick, Clive. "Raymond Butt – an Appreciation". Canterbury Pilgrims Boat Club. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  5. "Raymond Butt's Funeral". OKS Association. Retrieved 25 October 2022.