CAPITB has announced the death of former Chairman, Tom Edge CBE, who died on 29th January 2017, aged 92. Tom also served for many years as Vice Chairman of the British Clothing Industry Association and was awarded a CBE for his work for the industry, particularly for training.
Tom first became involved in the industry trade associations through the Shirt, Collar and Tie Federation, serving as its Chairman from 1970-71. When the six Federations managing the interests of the different sectors of the clothing industry formed the British Clothing Industry Association in 1982, Tom joined its Executive Council. He remained on the Council until 2009, having also served on its Industrial Relations and Negotiating Committees and as Vice Chairman of the British Clothing Industry Association (BCIA).
In his working life, Tom was a “production man”. He was Director of I J Dewhirst plc, major supplier to Marks and Spencer, running its menswear factories and looking after thousands of employees. Training was always a passion of his and he soon joined CAPITB’s board, becoming Chairman in the 1980’s. Through commercial trading, Tom and the Board raised and distributed over £70 million into the industry, helping to develop the UK clothing and textile industry and secure the future of the trade within Britain by supporting training for those within the industry.
Whilst Chairman of CAPITB Tom was successful in the purchase of many other UK companies, helping to sustain company income and prospects for many organisations. By the year 2000, CAPITB was the holding company for a group of 14 organisations. One of the group’s biggest successes during Tom’s time as Chairman is RTITB, formally the Road Transport Industry Training Board, which was acquired by CAPITB in the late 90’s. Tom played an instrumental part in the purchase of RTITB and remained a great supporter of the company until his death.
Tom retired as Chairman of RTITB in 2010, passing the reins onto current Chairman of CAPITB and RTITB, Mike Williams.
On Tom’s passing, Mike Williams commented: “CAPITB are saddened to hear of the passing of Tom Edge. He was a strong leader as Chairman and played a pivotal role in the development of both the CAPITB Trust, and the companies held by the group. He will be greatly missed by CAPITB and all of the companies and people he touched within his life.”
Tom played an integral part of the history of the clothing industry within the UK with enormous influence, who will be greatly missed by those who knew him. Tom leaves three sons-his wife Neva having predeceased him. The funeral will be held at 12.45pm on Wednesday 22nd February at North Road Methodist Church. There is a private cremation, followed by a funeral tea at the Bowburn Hall Hotel, Durham, DH6 5NH.