Timber and builders’ merchant Ridgeons, is sad to announce the death of former Ridgeons director, Peter Silk who passed away on 15th March at the age of 90.
Having joined in 1937, Silk was the company’s longest serving employee, accumulating an impressive 72 years’ service. This comprised working full-time for 50 years, before retiring and assisting for a further 22 years, through his support of the Ridgeons’ Long Service Club and the Link Scheme.
He joined Ridgeons at the age of 14, initially based at the company’s Hobson Street Showroom; one of his duties included the weekly application of a mixture of milk and water to two huge ferns in the entrance, to keep them looking bright and shiny.
In 1968 Silk was appointed General Manager and became an Executive Director, and over the next few years played an integral part in transforming the way in which kitchens, and later bedrooms, were sold.
On 22 December 1984, the Cavendish Road site experienced a massive fire, the heat of which was so intense it lit up the City sky, buckling steel structures and turning concrete pink. Fortunately, nobody was hurt in the blaze and the following day David Ridgeon, Alan Newbury and Silk led a team of dedicated staff who worked tirelessly to organise replacement supplies of timber, plywood and boards, ensuring that the site was able to reopen after the Christmas/New Year holidays.
He retired in In 1987, after 50 years continued service but continued his service with the company as a committee member of the 25 Club, which recognises the continuous service of full and part-time employees who have been with the Group for over 25 years.
He was also heavily involved with the much valued work of Ridgeons’ Link Scheme, a network of former employees, who ensure that regular contact is made with retired staff and their widows and widowers.
Commenting, director Gordon Ridgeon said: “Peter was a truly unique individual, who played a significant part in shaping the Ridgeons of today. He was incredibly loyal, and totally committed and as a company we were fortunate to have benefitted from his extraordinary qualities. Our thoughts are with his family and many friends.”