Barry Lawton, the well-known owner of former West Midlands-based Lawton Trade Supplies, has died. He was 71.
Lawton Trade Supplies was based in Smethwick, West Midlands, and became one of the largest national CE distributors, selling everything from cables to hi-fi.
Mr Lawton started the business in the 1980s and sold it 12 years ago.
After selling his business, he retired to a farmhouse in Bayeux, France, but returned to the UK a few years ago to live in the Clent hills in Worcestershire.
Ralph Allen, chairman of UK-based AV accessories specialist Techlink said: “It is with great sadness that we hear of the passing of Barry Lawton. As a supplier, I dealt with Barry for more than 25 years and being a start-up myself, found him to be very supportive and encouraging in my early days and we became personal friends.”
Mr Allen said that Mr Lawton’s “enthusiasm and hard work” grew his business from local to national coverage, “eventually resulting in everyone who was anyone coming to see Barry asking him to take on their products”.
He added: “His sense of humour and readiness to see the funny side of things made every meeting or encounter with Barry a true pleasure.
“It is a saying that is often overused but really, no one I ever met had a bad word to say about Barry and he will be sorely missed by his wife Carol and his daughter Pippa – and all of us that knew him.”