Tony Lynes 1929-2014

Tony sadly died after being hit by a car in Herne Hill on 12 October 2014. This site is maintained by his family.

About Tony Lynes

Tony Lynes worked in the field of social security and pensions for over 40 years. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, he worked with Professor Richard Titmuss at the London School of Economics from 1958 to 1965, became the first full-time secretary of the Child Poverty Action Group in 1966, and was a social security adviser to Labour Secretaries of State from 1974 to 1979. His past publications include books and pamphlets on pensions, the Penguin Guide to Supplementary Benefits, and a weekly column on benefits in New Society and the New Statesman. Until 1997 he assisted Labour shadow social security ministers and he claims to have drafted more (and better) amendments to social security bills than anyone else, alive or dead. In recent years he has been a pensions adviser to the National Pensioners Convention and has worked with pensioners' groups in Southwark (south-east London). His other interests include music - in his "retirement" he runs the CYM Library (the music library of the Centre for Young Musicians), which lends sets of choral, orchestral and band music to schools and amateur music groups in all parts of the UK.
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1 Response to Tony Lynes 1929-2014

  1. Ralph Braunholtz says:

    Sad,sad news about Tony. Though he was old, had lived a wonderfully fruitful life, and certainly
    would not have wanted us to dwell on this last mishap – I can imagine him saying ironically ‘it would happen like that, wouldn’t it?’ – it has to be a cruel stroke of fate. So many people will miss
    him sorely; most of all of course Sally, Hannah, and his grandchildren. It may not be much consolation to know of one more person who shares their grief, but I would like to record for them some of my memories of Tony.
    I had not met Tony for about 40 years when, earlier this year I found his website, briefly exchanged messages, and was hoping to meet him in London some time this autumn or early in 2015. At our age (I am nearly 83) one should not postpone such things.
    I first got to know Tony in 1956, when we were fellow students on the one-year Social Science Certificate course at LSE. Those were optimistic times, though overshadowed by the Cold War, and events such as the Hungarian uprising and the arrival of many refugees in London. Tony
    was much more aware of political and social oppression than I was at that time. Our friendship developed through shared love of music and a common excitement in the new prospects opened up by the course. I think we were both at a turning point in our lives. He certainly helped me to understand social issues which I had never thought about before. We ended up sharing a basement flat in Bristol for a month, working for the Bristol Social Project, directed by John Spencer and Norman Dennis, as part of our ‘field-work’ for the LSE course.,
    After this I went to Manchester to study prisons and Tony became immersed in social policy research with Richard Titmuss. We kept in touch, and in 1962 we spent ten days or so in Germany and Austria, travelling by train and bus, starting in the Black Forest and ending up in Salzburg for the Music Festival. I remember vividly staying in the little Black Forest village of Dobel, and walking through the pine woods and the meadows, to settle down in some idyllic spot, where Tony would pull from his rucksack a book on taxation, and bury himself in it for an hour or
    more! I could not then understand his passion for such studies: I think I do now.
    On another occasion we sang German folksongs (from a little book we found somewhere) while
    travelling in a chair-lift up to some viewpoint or Schloss. He claimed that all his German came from Schubert songs, and it certainly tended towards the romantic; whereas mine was more focussed on travel and food. In Heidelberg he was sympathetic and forgiving when (for the only time in my life) I drank myself sick (wine followed by beer – a dire mistake!) and kept him awake all night with the outcome. Our landlady was less sympathetic, and charged us extra for ‘Reinigung’. In Freiburg we shared a much healthier intoxication at a deliciously intimate
    recital of German folksongs given by Elisabeth Schwarzkopf – a rare stroke of luck!
    Our ways parted again, and I hardly saw Tony until after we were both married, in the early 1970s. He was in Oxfordshire and I in Birmingham, where I have remained. For all the long gaps,
    my memories of Tony are still strong. His self-depreciatory manner, combined with his complete commitment to social justice, made a deep impression. I have read the accounts of his activities on his website, and of his life in the obituary articles, with increasing admiration – even awe. He clearly touched everyone he met with the same unassuming authority, gentle humour, modest
    integrity, sense of purpose, and sheer love of humanity. And he achieved real change where so many of us only talk.

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