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Tributes to respected businessman

Mr Robert Reed
Mr Robert Reed
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A well-respected retired Pendle businessman has died at the age of 94.


Mr Robert Hargreaves Reed was a well-known figure throughout the area, primarily through his role as managing director of family business William Reed Weaving, which is still operating today in Nelson.

The business, one of the longest-running weaving operations in the country, was founded in 1891 by Mr Reed’s great-grandfather, who was a Mayor of Nelson.

Mr Reed, who had spent the last two years of his life at a care home in Chatburn, had retired to Windermere where he enjoyed gardening and walking, as well as spending time with his family.

He retired in April, 1989, but continued to live a full and active life.

His son, Mr John Reed, said: “My father was very family-oriented and was kind, generous and loving. He spent his childhood in Nelson before attending The Leys School in Cambridge.

“However, the pupils from this school were evacuated to Pitlochry in Scotland during the war. After leaving school my father wanted to become a doctor but his older brother John, who was due to go into the family business, was killed while serving as a tail-gunner on a Wellington bomber during the war.

“My father then entered the family business. It had originally started as a cotton weavers but later switched to synthetic fabrics, providing materials for parachutes and other such things.”

A well-respected figure, Mr Reed was awarded the OBE in 1986 for services to textiles.

He was also chairman of the North East Lancashire Textile Manufacturers Association, was involved in the National Trade Associations and was a director of Marsden Building Society.

He was married to Janet who died 15 years ago, and the couple had five children John, David, Roger, Alison and Steve, as well as 11 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

In later years he had a long-time partner Susan.

John, who also worked for William Reed, which passed out of family hands many years ago, added: “Family was very important to my father. He was also heavily involved in local cricket, serving as president of Nelson Cricket Club for many years.”

His funeral will be held on Wednesday, May 30th, at Burnley Crematorium at 1-40pm followed by a reception at the Dunkenhalgh Hotel.