A few words from Philip Hamill (Managing Director of Recon)
This week's news completely shocked me. Si Hands, an old friend, had unexpectedly passed away at the very young age of 33.
When I received the phone call at Tuesday lunchtime, I was too shocked to speak. I had just returned from a weekend in Manchester where I had spent time with him and his lovely boyfriend Alex. We'd had dinner and then carried on with a pub crawl in the gay village, where the two of them got me a little drunk. It's incomprehensible to think that was the last time I would see him.
I've known Si a long time. The first time we met was in 2008 at an event I was running at The Hoist in London. My memory is a little sketchy with the date, but I think Si was fairly new to the scene. I'd spotted him on Recon, way back when WorldRubberMen was one of the subsidiary sites that we ran. I invited Si to be our door-boy at our upcoming event in London. He accepted the offer and travelled down to the capital, gladly jumping into his rubber to be our guy on the Hoist's front door. He was wearing his full rubber suit and a hood he borrowed from me. His job was to hand out vodka shots to everyone who walked through the door. He was a little shy that evening, but you could tell that he had an enormous personality looking to shine.
It seems such a long time since then and time has flown by. Since his early days, Si developed such a massive role within the community. He grew to become an exceptional photographer creating some fascinating and memorable images that you will all recognise. This includes images he produced for Recon over the years, which we have used on our website's login page, as well as for promoting our events around the world. He also formed the Manchester Rubbermen, and with this group, the annual Manchester Rubber Weekend. Creating an important legacy that has inspired and impacted on so many people, so positively.
It was always clear that Si was incredibly well liked and loved by the many people who were fortunate enough to meet him. Walking through the village in Manchester with him confirmed to me how popular he was with the community. He has continued to be one of the fetish and kink scene's greatest ambassadors - a true champion of fetish.
His legacy will live on.
Si, you have touched so many with your bright soul and your inspirational work. You will be missed by more than you know.