Perry Edwards, former chief inspector of the AA hotel and restaurant guides, has died. He was 83.
During the 22 years he spent in the role overseeing the publication of the guides, Edwards was regarded as a highly principled professional.
David Young, himself a former chief inspector of the AA guides and one time owner of the Cross at Kingussie, who now works as a hotel inspector, described Edwards as "a substantial man in both senses of the word, passionate, and enigmatic".
He added: "Perry doggedly defended his principles, even when he may have been wrong, was warm and generous with those he liked but could also be barbed and stubborn.
"He was like Marmite for many in the industry, but he was hugely supportive of budding talent (Marco, for instance). His was the face of the old AA standards; much admired but ultimately unsustainable. Many of us will have experienced uncomfortable moments with Perry but I'm sure that we also shared times of immense humour".
In an article in The Caterer in 1994, following his retirement, Edwards outlined the occupational hazards of his professional life.
"It takes a lot to turn my stomach, but a visit to the kitchen after eating a meal in a restaurant 20 years ago did just that," he said. "It was absolutely filthy and full of droppings and live cockroaches.
"While that was by far the worst single moment, I have endured some pretty awful meals along the way, though, thankfully, standards overall have greatly improved. About 15 years ago, I spent July inspecting hotels along the south coast. Out of the 31 meals I had, I was not served one single fresh vegetable!"
The funeral of Perry Edwards will take place at 10.40am on 19 April at Charing Crematorium, Newcourt Wood, Charing, Ashford, Kent TN27 0EB.