Stephen Humphrey, who was for many years archivist in the London Borough of Southwark, has died.
As a local historian and ambassador for Southwark’s many textured history, Stephen had no rival. He was immensely knowledgeable, immensely generous with that knowledge, and always a fascinating conversationalist.
I met Stephen some thirty years ago when one of my aunts wanted to research the family tree. Our path very quickly took us to the Local Studies Library in Borough High Street, where Stephen offered advice and showed us how to search the archives.
When I became a Blue Badge Tourist Guide our paths continued to cross, and I came to know him better. I appreciated more his understated style and enjoyed his seemingly endless stock of stories. He continued to give me the benefit of his professional advice, as he did so many others.
The hole he leaves in Southwark’s fabric is enormous. He was a gentleman and a scholar; an unassuming figure who supported and helped many many individuals and groups in the area.
I am very proud to have known Stephen. I shall miss both his erudition and his gentle humour. My life was richer for knowing him.
A book of condolence is available to sign at the John Harvard Library in Borough High Street should you wish to leave a message.