Haulage and print firm boss dies aged 72

Joyce Cotterill. (s)
Joyce Cotterill. (s)

The co-founder of Simonstone business Seaways Services Ltd has died aged 72.

Mrs Joyce Cotterill, who set up the printing and haulage business with her late husband Doug in 1987, relocated to East Lancashire from Penistone in South Yorkshire.

She was a no-nonsense person with a very dry sense of humour

Mrs Joyce Cotterill

She remained a director of the business, based in Simonstone, following Doug’s death in 2000, and the couple’s children Robert and Jayne will continue to run the company.

Born Joyce Mott in April, 1943, she married Doug, a farmer’s son and coal miner, after a long courtship in 1966. Robert and Jayne joined the family in 1967 and 1970 respectively.

Mrs Cotterill was described as a real character with a fun sense of humour.

Robert said: “Mum grew up in Yorkshire where she met my dad. She was a no-nonsense person with a very dry sense of humour.

“Her and dad originally had a milk round in Silkstone Common, and later bought a garage, cafe and filling station called Seaways in Fridaythorpe.

“My dad saw a niche in the market to supply farms and dairies. He started putting pins in an Ordnance Survey map and found that Simonstone was central to most of the farms. That’s why they set up business there.”

Over the years, the family business, and with Robert and Jayne joining the firm, grew and diversified dramatically, becoming printers and suppliers of both glass and plastic bottles and later moving into haulage and also acquiring a fleet of milk tankers. Further recent diversification includes the printing of pharmaceutical, cosmetics and alcohol bottles.

“Mum was a very hard worker and was still involved towards the end. She lived in a house on the site and would chase off anyone who shouldn’t be there.

“Away from work, she loved her grandchildren and spending time with her family. She also loved her dogs and her parrot.”

Mrs Cotterill died in the Royal Blackburn Hospital following a short illness.

Her funeral was held on Monday. She leaves grandchildren Thomas, Harry, Mick, Amy and Jack, daughter-in-law Alyson and son-in-law Craig, as well as siblings George, Herbert and Susan.

Donations are being received on behalf of The Royal British Legion via www.champfunerals.com/obituaries.