It is with sadness that Bradfords Group has announced the death of Peter Stanley Bradford, widely known affectionately as Mr Peter, on 13th January 2023.
Peter had a school holiday job on the factory floor of Westlands. It was a time he would recollect fondly as the men working here took him under their wing and were extremely kind to him when he arrived, fresh faced, with his flask and box of sandwiches. It was also here that he first heard the ripest of swear words which prefaced pretty much every utterance on the shop floor, and this language served him well as a good grounding for Bradfords.
Peter was a war baby, born in August 1941 to Philip and Peggie, and the youngest of his family with two older sisters, Gay and June. Philip was of course at the helm of Bradfords before him.
On graduating he had several different jobs learning the trade from top to bottom in preparation for his career at Bradfords. He first worked at Ellis and Everard in Leicester Then he worked with Miller and Lilley, a Bradfords’ subsidiary, in their Sidmouth branch Then he moved to Bradfords Sherborne branch, joining the Company in 1964.
He had a long and extremely successful career at Bradfords. He initiated the separation of the company into three businesses, building supplies, coal and agriculture. He introduced light side products to widen the customer base and was a leading light, under whose stewardship the company grew from 16 to 28 locations and turnover trebled. Still a family business. He retired as executive chairman in 2006 after 42 years’ service, having been recognised with a lifetime achievement award from the BMF. He was renowned for his meticulous research and attention to detail.
It speaks volumes that his secretary, Jackie Smith, worked for him for 32 years.