Derek was born and brought up on Garstang Road, not far from the Black Bull and went to Hutton Grammar School.
Straight from school Derek became a draughtsman at Iddon Bros. in Leyland, working his way up during his 50 years there to Company Director, tirelessly representing the company at home and abroad - in Sweden, America, Canada & South Africa, helping to develop new products and customers alike, right up to his retirement at the age of 67.
Derek was also very proud to serve as a Preston Magistrate for over 20 years and made a significant contribution to the North Western Chamber of Commerce for over 40 years, holding the office of Chairman in the early 90s.
He had a strong belief in the development of young people, serving as a board member of Preston Training for many years. He was also very active and generous with his charity work; selflessly supporting the National Children’s Home & NSPCC.
In the middle of all this, no less than 66 years
ago, Derek met Muriel, a key milestone in his life. They shared many happy times
together, with lots of socialising at dinner parties and functions. There was
sadness too in 1963 with the loss of a son Richard, who sadly was taken too
soon. Then the following year along came Sara to form the "3 Musketeers". Sara
and Derek were like "me & my shadow", spending hours & hours together, playing
tennis, gardening or washing the car. Many happy holidays followed; caravanning,
apartments, the Lakes, Cyprus, France and Tenerife to name but a few.
Derek had a strong passion for tennis, jam sandwiches, black woolly dogs and all things mechanical, particularly bikes and cars - Norton Dominators and Jaguars especially. Who can forget that beaming grin of Derek’s when he was driving that beloved primrose yellow E type Jag?
Derek was always the figurehead of the family, to Muriel & Sara of course, but also to his 3 grandchildren Alex, Francesca & William (who lovingly always referred to Derek as "Baba", Alex never could pronounce "Grandpa", and so the name "Baba" has stuck)
In all the years I knew Derek, I never heard him raise his voice or a cross word. He was a true gentleman, one of the old school you might say, professional but always utterly modest, positive and smiling, never ever complaining. He had time for everyone, being an excellent listener and always on hand to offer advice and never imposing or being a burden to anyone.