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Tributes paid to popular businessman

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: December 09, 2013

By Belinda Hargreaves

  • Trevor Jones

  • Trevor Jones with workers of John Mason outside its London Street factory.

  • Directors of John Mason 1987: Back L to R ; Brian Beech, Ian Perry, Philip Jones, Mark Jones. Front L to R; Rita Hunter, Trevor Jones, Delyth Jones

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A WELL-KNOWN textile businessman has passed away at the age of 90.

Trevor Jones died on Friday, November 29, and his funeral is set to take place next week.

Mr Jones had been chairman of John Mason & Son Lingerie Manufacturers in Shoobridge Street, Leek, from 1978 until 1989.

His son Mark said of his father: "He was a well known businessman in Leek during the 80s and will be remembered by many residents today."

Mark, aged 53, added: "Dad was a very practical man, and although he held the role of chairman at John Mason and Son he was forever going around the factory talking to the workers.

"When we had the mill in London Street re-roofed, Dad was up there having a go at helping. I think that the workers loved that Dad was always about and listening to people's problems."

Mark, who is a pilot for Jet Two, added: "He was everything a father should be. He was a very good role model and very supportive."

Born in Saint Asaph, North Wales, in 1923, Mr Jones later attended the University College of North Wales Bangor and obtained an Honours Degree in Agricultural Sciences.

He moved to Ashbourne in Derbyshire in the early 1950s following promotion within the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Foods.

Mr Jones married Beryl, daughter of Philip Webster a corn merchant from Waterhouses.

He joined John Mason and Son as chairman in October 1978 following the death of his brother-in-law Cecil Earls, the previous chairman.

He presided over the company's most successful years, culminating in John Mason and Son being bought by John Crowther PLC in 1986. He continued in the role of chairman for two further years, until returning to his first love of sheep farming in Ashbourne.

Mr Jones represented Wales as goalkeeper in the Welsh Universities football team, represented England in the International Sheepdog Trials, and was a regular competitor at the local Dovedale Sheepdog Trials.

He was quoted in a Leek Post & Times Supplement to mark John Mason's 50th Anniversary in 1987, as saying: "I accepted the invitation to become chairman of John Mason in October 1978. I knew nothing about textiles nor the clothing industry, but soon realised that Cecil Earls had left a potentially excellent management and workforce.

"I openly admitted to the machinists, cutters, mechanics and all the other workers that my knowledge of garment making was nil, and asked them to explain the various operations and skills to me. This they did unhesitantly and with good humour.

"I shall always be indebted to them for their patience and understanding, for without the 'grass roots' helping me I could not have succeeded as the leader of the company."

A widower since 1982, Mr Jones is succeeded by sons Philip and Mark, and daughter Delyth. Trevor was also a grandfather-of-eight.

His funeral, which is being arranged by H Lee Funerals Directors of Ashbourne, is taking place at St Micheal & All Angels Church, Kniveton, in Ashbourne on Thursday, December 12 at 11.30am.

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