Stuart Smith– An Appreciation

12th May 2011

Stuart  Smith retired from the Board of SDC- Enterprises  - where he served as the Managing Director at the start-up of the business and latterly as deputy Chairman – at the AGM on 15 February 2011.

Stuart has enjoyed an outstanding career in business and has given much to the Society. In modern parlance he “ticks all the boxes”.

In his business life, Stuart ( a Yorkshireman – first tick?!),started at the coalface as an apprentice dyer at Joseph Gee in Halifax while studying for his HNC.  He joined the Society at this period and gained his Associateship in 1955.

After National Service he joined Stevensons dyers in Ambergate and after a year was Work’s Chemist. He also became Production Manager and Head of Quality Control. On top of this, he found time to lecture at Derby Technical College.

He then went into sales! Firstly, at Textile  Dyestuffs of Brighouse and then to Dyeing Services at Leek as Sales Director.

Having collected the full pack of skills, Stuart then took that great leap of faith that marks the entrepreneur – he set up his own business.  He founded Roaches Engineering Limited which he developed and expanded into an internationally known supplier of laboratory dyeing and sample production machinery.  Stuart sold the business in 1995 but continued to keep a watchful eye on his “ baby” for a few years thereafter.

Stuart, an openly generous man, did not allow a growing and successful career, to prevent him from giving whole-hearted support to the Society. Over the years  he has done everything!  Harken to this:-

COMMITTEES:  Since the late 1980’s Stuart has served on Symposium and Technical Meetings; Textbooks; Fastness Tests; Examination Board; TCC;  E&FC; and Chairman of Council.

AWARDS: Associateship (1955); Fellowship ( 1991); Silver Medal ( 1991 –for outstanding contribution to the coloration industry, particularly in the development of laboratory scale dyeing machinery ); Honorary Membership (2002); 50 year Award  (2003).

OFFICES: Vice President 2000-2001; 2001-2002: President 1995/96 and part of 1996/97; interim Hon. Sec. 1997/98.

A life-time of service which takes some matching!  It could have been all over by 2003 – but in that year the call for help came yet again! Circumstances dictated that the Society had to separate its Commercial and Charitable activities legally. Stuart was actively involved in drawing up the necessary legal documentation that established SDC- Enterprises as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Society. His wealth of experience in business and his unrivalled knowledge of the Charity Law ( he co-wrote the SDC’s By-laws!) ensured that this land- mark initiative was executed faultlessly. Stuart then withdrew from his SDC activities to give his full attention to the development of SDC- Enterprises. The results are plain for all to see! SDC- Enterprises has been an outstanding success and Stuart leaves with our grateful thanks for a job well done.

Outside of SDC, Stuart enjoys an active social life in his village in the Peak district where his garden is a joy to behold; He travels frequently – often to France towing his caravan; and is the active Secretary/editor of an international Philately Club where his linguistic skills are essential. All that plus a close family life will surely keep Stuart busy and happy.

Notwithstanding, we will miss him.

WL.