Photos from Winchester Science Centre archive

Chief Radar Design Engineer, Scrabble Expert and TV Quizshow contestant Noël Turner, died unexpectedly at the age of 56 on 16th October 2015.

Born in Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire, his parents moved south when Noël was six years old and his brother Nigel was two. He attended Cowes High School and his year was the first in which students were encouraged to apply for Oxford. He gained a place at Merton, where he qualified with an MA in Physics.

After graduating, he joined Plessey Radar, now known as BAE Systems, in a career lasting over 30 years. His immense problem-solving skills were utilised in his work on the Sampson Radar, which is now installed on our naval Type 45 Destroyers. 

Noël became the first person on the Island to achieve 'Expert' status in Scrabble, with a rating of 162. In 1990, he started the IW Scrabble Tournament, at its peak attracting over 100 players from around the world. Noël's TV Quiz appearances included Countdown, The Weakest Link, Brainteaser, Only Connect and Eggheads. He sat in Mastermind's famous black chair and made a comedy appearance on Balls of Steel, where he was set up to lose in a science quiz with the Cheeky Girls.

Noël had a vast knowledge and love of pop and classical music. He wrote a symphony as a boy and also composed piano pieces. He was a regular competitor and winner of Mime Classes, widely known for his extremely funny facial expressions. His published humorous book 'Noël and Ellen's Strange & Wonderful History of the Dreaded Christmas Newsletter' imagined letters from famous historical figures such as Leonardo Da Vinci and Henry VII.