Roy went to Mocambique on its independence. Nothing worked due to the mass exit of the Portugese plus assimilados. Roy (as he tells it) took over the brewery and brought it back into production by paying the workers in beer. As told to me c 1986.
Around 1986 or 1987, I was working at the York HEC, and we were asked by the then general manager of the Trent Region (Brian Edwards) to help in their response to the proposed changes in the RAWP formula. The changes would bring in some local weighting based on the Jarman index, and this would have had some very perverse effects – since Jarman included the numbers joining and leaving GP practices, funds would move towards areas such as Kensington, since it has many private rental properties, and would have taken funds away from places with poorer but settled communities. I got Roy on the case, and we provided a briefing paper to Brian. As it happened the announcement of the new system was to happen later on the day we were presenting the work to Brian. He got on the phone to officials in DHSS. Roy and I sat in the room, the phone was on speaker, and we kept writing answers on sheets of paper for Brian to give. By the end of the phone call DHSS had agreed to postpone the announcement, and that reform never happened. The poor folks of SW7 never got their extra RAWP allocation.
Roy knew how to make a difference. He often said that he just loved to work with data. More importantly he understood data.
From a different academic discipline in the University I was just a great admirer.
When I directed IRISS his office was two doors away, impossible to get into because as well as piles of books and papers he had a stream of Sheffield students on work placements crouching in the debris. Somewhere in that pile were the questionnaires from Seebohm Rowntree’s third survey of poverty in York (now ?lost).
He was famous in Health Economics for designing the resource allocation formula for GPs which became known in (ignorant) medical circles as the Benny Hill Formula, but for the first time ensured some extra resources for deprived areas.
He was a keen supporter of Radical Statistics and I attended a number of their conferences that he had organised at the Kings Manor.
I was amazed to discover that as well as his health expertise he was internationally respected as an education expert in developing countries. He was constantly flying to Africa. He sent me an email in August saying that he had just finished a book on the subject for Routledge and was now writing one for them on Qalys (quality of life indicators). I hope that they both see the light of day.
But my best memories of Roy were two: at Alan Maynard’s first leaving party from York in the ex- church at the bottom of Micklegate. He insisted that all the hangers on at the end should move across the road to a night club (?Ziggies) which he was clearly very familiar with! The other, of course, is him cycling around York in all weathers in short sleeved shirt, long baggy shorts and open toed sandals.
Roy was a very, very clever man.