Tributes for former head of one of Lancashire's best known family firms

Bob Tasker, who was the driving force behind his family business, has died at the age of 92.
Bob Tasker, who was the driving force behind his family business, has died at the age of 92.

A driving force behind one of Lancashire’s best known family firms has died at the age of 92.

Robert Haworth Tasker, who was known as Bob, went to work for Taskers of Accrington furniture store as a teenager, leaving to serve in World War Two.

He became head of the company after his father, also called Robert, died in 1953.

By then the firm was well established in the furniture and carpet trade, it was Bob who took the bold initiative to move Taskers to Queen Mill in 1965 which its still its home today.

Taskers was a tenant paying a rent of half a crown a square foot, which at the time was about the going rate. But by the 1970s, the increasing power of the supermarkets had already led to the demise of many smaller local retail outlets which had made up Taskers wholesale clients.

Wholesaling was therefore discontinued, but the freehold of the land and mill premises were bought and the mill’s interior refurbished into a direct-to-the-public furniture and carpet showroom.

Bob was a very forward thinking board member always taking a very keen eye on the performance and financial side of the business.

And he took great pride in the fact that Taskers of Accrington was maintaining the standards set over the generations of his family that had created the business in 1896.

Bob retired in 1984 and the reins were handed over to his son Robert Philip, Taskers current chairman.

Paying tribute to Bob, Managing Director Mr Ivor Lefton said: “I joined the business in 2001 and Bob was certainly fully engaged in bringing the business up to date with the latest ranges and technology and constantly looking forward.

“He was certainly a character that will be very much missed by us all.

“Over the years many of our customers have inquired about Bob because they felt a genuine fondness towards him because of his wonderful personality.”

An advanced driver, Bob took a keen interest in cars, motorbikes, horses and he also played golf in his younger days. He leaves his wife Hazel, two children and three grandchildren.