‘Bright and brilliant’ Hampstead museum manager found dead next to his bike
PUBLISHED: 07:04 29 January 2015
A manager described as “the light and soul” of Burgh House has died suddenly at the age of 27 leaving colleagues shocked and deeply saddened at the loss.
Operations and events manager Andrew Hunt was found dead next to his bicycle on Sunday, January 18.
Burgh House chairman of trustees Matthew Lewin said the circumstances of the death of the apparently fit and healthy young man remained unclear.
“We are all in absolute shock,” he said. “All we know is that he was found last Sunday night in central London somewhere with his bike but apparently uninjured, so he wasn’t knocked down or anything, and he died.
“It’s just inexplicable, nobody understands it. He was 27, he was fit. For us it’s a catastrophe, both on a personal level where everybody loved him and because he was just such an amazing member of staff.”
A message on the museum’s website said words could not express the sense of sadness at the loss of the “bright and brilliant young man taken at the prime of life”.
Andrew had worked at Burgh House, New End Square, Hampstead, for 18 months and his welcoming smile was well known to the hundreds of people who had held weddings, memorials, birthday celebrations or anniversaries at the historic venue.
On the day of his death Andrew had visited Kenwood House on Hampstead Heath to see its renovation.
Close friend and Burgh House general manager Mark Francis, said: “I can tell you that Andrew had a particularly lovely normal day on Sunday, I know he’d been to Kenwood. I know he’d messaged and phoned a lot of people that evening and was in a buoyant mood.”
Paying tribute to his friend, he said: “Andrew was the light and soul of Burgh House. Not only that, he was my absolute rock here in such a small team and he was an incredibly close friend.
“He’s one of the most considerate and optimistic people I’ve ever met. I’ve don’t think I’ve met many people genuinely nicer than him.
“He loved the house and cared deeply about it. It’s a small amount of condolence to know that he was doing something that he really loved.”
Andrew had studied history at University College London, graduating with an upper second class honours degree in 2010.
He went on to work for MediCinema, a charity which brings cinema screenings into hospitals, as a manager before landing his dream job at Burgh House. The last exhibition Andrew had worked on is on display, titled Bright and Bold. A talented graphic designer, Andrew had put through all the imaging and created the displays.
“I can’t walk into that room in the house,” said Mr Francis. “That is the most fitting epitaph to Andrew that I can make – bright and brilliant.”
The Ham&High was unable to contact Andrew’s father Charles and sister Rosie, who lives in West Hampstead, who are understood to be dealing with the loss privately at his father’s home in Horsham, West Sussex.
Messages of condolence are being left on Burgh House’s Facebook page.
See the tributes at facebook.com/BurghHouse1704