Much loved, appreciated and respected Banbury GP and talented artist Dr Roger Shapley has died aged 82


Dr Roger Shapley, Banbury general practitioner from 1976 to 2000, and talented artist, deceased

Dr Shapley was a general practitioner at West Bar Surgery, Banbury from 1976 until his retirement in 2000.

Born in 1938 in Ealing, Roger Shapley was the eldest of three children. After a stay in Edinburgh to study French, he moved to Hornsey College of Art for 18 months. He gave up that to work as a lab technician at Harefield Hospital where he met Gill Rogers, a physiotherapist and his future wife. He retrained as a doctor at the Royal Free Hospital, graduating in 1972.

Dr Shapley went on to complete further internships, training in renal medicine and psychiatry before joining West Bar Surgery as a general practitioner in 1976.

One of Roger Shapley’s landscapes – a country scene near his North Newington home

His work as a family doctor has given Dr Shapley a deep understanding of people’s needs and he has gone out of his way to help them meet them. These ranged from checking the well-being of children in care to arranging defibrillators for the ambulance service, for which he was a dedicated fundraiser.

His caring nature made him endearing to his colleagues and to the many GPs in training at West Bar Surgery. He worked at the Katharine House Hospice, helping patients appreciate the creative art. His paintings are still hung in the hallways.

Dr Shapley was determined to work to help disadvantaged people and had a solid understanding of medical ethics. He continued this commitment until his retirement by giving lectures to explain the importance and functioning of the NHS and the impacts of the proposed changes on Horton General Hospital.

While still working full time, he was also successful in supporting the local community by chairing the governors of the Warriner School and the North Newington Parish Council.

Dr Roger Shapley at an exhibition of his work – including the pastel portraits – in Oxford

Dr Shapley was chairman of the Christabella Saye and Sele Trust in North Newington for many years, focusing on helping the village school, Bishop Carpenter CE elementary school and local residents. He oversaw the modernization of the trust role and secured ownership of the school premises.

He contributed to expeditions to the Himalayas which included research in high altitude medicine and, as a doctor at the Bloxham School, an educational trek through Norway before deciding to run marathons, participating in the London marathon and successfully complete the course.

After his retirement in 2000, Dr Shapley returned to his first loves, drawing and painting, earning a fine arts degree from the University of Montfort, then honing his skills in portrait, landscape and abstract painting – always at acrylic. He was also involved in printmaking at the Banbury School of Art.

Many of Roger Shapley’s works had a socio-political element. A recent example is a recent series of 60 pastel portraits made in response to the recent outbreak of racism and police shootings in the United States. He has exhibited widely in venues ranging from local galleries to the Royal College of Physicians in London. Following his usual model, he has contributed in the field of art exhibitions, helping to manage the Heseltine Gallery, Banbury Print Making and the Deddington Life Class.

Dr Roger Shapley passed away at Katharine House Hospice on Friday July 23

He painted many landscapes, especially scenes around his home in North Newington.

In an interview with The Heseltine Gallery, he said: “I think it was the quality of personal expression that was the most powerful attraction and I had to gradually struggle with the technical aspects. self with the need for power Drawing was important to me. I started art in sixth grade in college and although it was never considered academic enough to be serious it became for me not only academic, but the most complete means of self-expression that I know of. “

Dr Shapley is survived by his wife Gill, children Jonathan, Helen and Mandy and five grandchildren. His funeral will be a private occasion. Donations for Katharine House Hospice can be made through the Humphris Funeral Directors on 01295 265424.


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