Trevor Baylis OBE is a showman, who just also happens to be a world-famous inventor and top motivational speaker.
He was born in 1937 in Kilburn, London, and was brought up in Southall. At the age of 15 he was swimming for Great Britain and then found his first job at a Soil Mechanics Laboratory in Southall where part-time day release enabled him to study mechanical and structural engineering at the local technical college.
Aged 20 he began his National Service as a physical training instructor, and also swam for the Army. Leaving the army in 1961, Trevor joined Purley Pools as a salesman where his role progressed to take in research and development. Because Trevor was a swimmer he was soon asked to demonstrate swimming in the pools which led to becoming a professional swimmer, stunt man and entertainer.
Through Trevor’s activities as a stunt man and having many friends who were no longer performing due to injury, Trevor felt that stunt players and the disabled are kinfolk. He became involved with disabled people and invented and developed a range of products for the disabled called Orange Aids.
In 1991, Trevor saw a television programme about AIDS in Africa and he set about developing the Wind Up Radio. His first working prototype ran for 14 minutes and in 1994 was featured on Tomorrow’s World on TV. The product’s potential was immediately recognised and the following year BayGen Power Industries was set-up in Cape Town, South Africa employing disabled workers to manufacture the Freeplay Wind Up Radio.
The BBC programme QED filmed an award winning documentary about Trevor’s development of the radio and in June 1996 the Freeplay radio was awarded the BBC Design Award for Best Product and Best Design.
1996 also saw Trevor meet The Queen and Nelson Mandela at a state banquet; travel to Africa with the Dutch Television Service for a programme about his life and take part in the BBC’s update of the QED programme “The Clockwork Radio”, broadcast in September 1996.
In 1997, the new generation radio rolled off the production line in South Africa. Smaller, lighter and designed for the Western consumer market it ran for up to an hour after only 20 seconds winding. It also included a solar panel which meant that it could run without assistance in sunshine. That year Trevor and his inventions were featured in a Sky TV programme “Beyond 2000”.
Trevor has been awarded the Presidential Gold Medal by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He addressed the Conference of Commonwealth Ministers in Botswana for the British Council where he demonstrated the use of the radio to power a computer for the first time.
In October 1997, Trevor was awarded the OBE by The Princess Royal at Buckingham Palace, where he was also surprised by Michael Aspel and whisked off to be featured in an edition of “This Is Your Life”.
In May 1998, he embarked on a lecture tour of Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Singapore, Malta and Crete for the British Council, followed by a tour of Australia, Cyprus, Slovenia and India and in 2000, tours to Palestine, Israel and Bahrain.
In June, 2001 he completed a 100 mile walk in searing temperatures across the Namib Desert to raise money for the Mines Advisory Group whilst demonstrating his new invention, the Electric Shoes.
Trevor is a popular after-dinner speaker and has worked with clients as diverse as Anderson Consulting, Sun Life, Pfizer, The Law Society, The Royal Institution, Microsoft, Unilever, and RS Components. He is an inspiring, entertaining and enthusiastic motivational speaker with a real passion for promoting enterprise and innovation.
He has in the past participated in an Oxford Union Debate with the chief government scientist, Sir Robert May. He regularly lectures at Universities and Colleges, and this, together with appearances on many Satellite TV channels as well as the BBC, ITN and News World have made him into a well-known personality.
Trevor continues his tireless work to promote the concept of ‘personal power’. His biography entitled “Clock This” has been on the bestseller list.
In September 2003 Trevor teamed up with a group of experienced business professionals to create 'Trevor Baylis Brands', a company formed to help inventors learn more about their inventions, how to go about protecting them and seek routes-to-market for the commercially viable ideas. The business successfully became a plc one year later.