Tributes have been paid to Forman’s Fish Island’s director of events, Arthur Somerset, who passed away suddenly yesterday (Wednesday). It is believed he had taken ill while on site at the London venue - which is just metres from the Olympic Park. He had been working with Forman's Fish Island in the build up to the Games.
Somerset was formerly managing director of Mask Event Design and Production, staying with the company 20 years before taking up the managing director role at event consultancy Ask-Arthur. He was also president of the International Special Events Society (ISES) from 2002-2004, successfully campaigning the government to increase the tax-free entertainment allowance from £75 to £150 per employee, which has enabled companies to explore new ways to make their staff feel valued.
Robert Wright of Davies Tanner paid tribute to Somerset, who he had known for 15 years. He told meetpie.com: “Arthur Somerset was an industry legend, great friend and, more importantly, a genuinely wonderful human being. His character was as colourful as his wardrobe, and the industry, and world, will be a much darker place without him."
Other event industry professionals have taken to social networking sites, Twitter and Facebook, to share their memories of Somerset. Claire Graham said: "Such sad sad news. Arthur was a legend, an inspiration and the world will be a smaller place without him."
David Young added: "A great mentor, a great client and a great big gap in the special events industry - my thoughts first and foremost to his wife and young family. I only spoke to him last week and he was f'ing and jeffing about caterers - I'll miss the humour and even the shirts!"
Pictured: Arthur Somerset