Shock death of leading Pendle businessman

A highly-successful businessman – Mr Barry Mulholland – died suddenly last week, shocking his family, friends and colleagues.

The late Barry Mulholland. (S)
The late Barry Mulholland. (S)

Mr Mulholland (74) was managing director of bakery equipment engineering firm Sugden Ltd in Barrowford. He was still working but had been planning to retire and sell the firm.

He lived in a bungalow near the Pendle Inn in Barley. He was born in Dublin in 1939, but then moved here with his family. He had been operating as an engineer for around 60 years.

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Sugden Ltd, established in 1972, had Nelson firm Farmhouse Biscuits as its first customer which became its biggest. But it then became one of the world’s leaders in the design and manufacture of hotplate plants for the production of things like pancakes, English muffins and crumpets.

The firm secured a £1.7 million contract with a German bakery firm in a deal supported by bankers Barclays.

Sugden also had impressive British client lists including Warburton’s, Allied Bakeries and Northern Foods as well as Farmhouse Biscuits. But they then gained the international appointments thanks to their successes.

Mr Mulholland was also a trumpeter and was a member of Nelson Brass Band for half a century.

On Wednesday morning last week, he had a heart attack and died.

Mr Mulholland married his wife Kate 33 years ago. Mrs Mulholland is a local author who has had lots of novels about the area published, including the Pendle Witches.

His son Dr Jonathan has a PhD in sociology and Jonathan’s brother Simon has an MSc in engineering. Simon lives in Bournemouth and goes all over the world to work.

Mr Mulholland also leaves a step-daughter Sandra and step-son Keith Duncan, who is a consultant gynaecologist in London.

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His funeral takes place next Wednesday. At 1pm there is a funeral service at St Thomas’s Church in Barrowford and friends and colleagues are invited to attend there. It will be followed by cremation at Skipton which will be a family service. And afterwards there is a buffet event at Pendle Inn, Barley, in his memory.

There will be family flowers in his memory, but people can make donations to Pendleside Hospice instead of getting flowers.