On 25 August 2021, we received the tragic news that Klaus Haddenbrock had passed away, aged 77. The team at Tyres & Accessories, along with those from our sister firms in Germany and Italy, join the Haddenbrock family in mourning a man who was a role model to those who knew him well, a source of ideas and, above all, someone with whom we could share our cares and troubles as well as our interests. We will sorely miss our publisher and managing director, and our grief is only mitigated by the fact that his death – while years too soon – was sudden. This is how he’d wished it.
Peter van ‘t Hof, founder of Dutch tyre wholesaler Tyre Trading International (TTI), passed away on 6 August 2021, aged 72. Van ‘t Hof founded the Numansdorp-based wholesale business in 1988, continuing a family connection to the tyre and automotive sector that dates back to 1924. He handed over management of TTI to son Peter-Alexander in 2006.
It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of David Edwards on 15th May. David suffered a fall at home and passed away after a short spell in hospital. The Edwards family was well-known in the UK tyre business in the 1960s and the four brothers – John, Mike, Dennis and David – built up a successful group of 10 tyre depots in and around East Anglia, which they eventually sold to Dunlop in 1961.
Friends and colleagues from the tyre industry have raised over £3000 in memory of Simon Davies who died of brain cancer recently. Those mourning his loss repeatedly referred to him as a true “gentlemen” who they came to know through his last 12 years as a national account manager for Bridgestone – a role that brought him into close connection with Kwik Fit, Stapletons, Micheldever and Bond International – as well as nearly a decade as a key accounts manager at Goodyear before that. Those wanting to support the Compton Hospice in memory of Simon Davies, can do so here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/simon-davies1958
Robert (Rob) Freeman, Malvern Tyres Group managing director and chairman, died on Thursday 29 April 2021 after a short illness. According to the National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA), which made the announcement, the NTDA reflects the feelings of the tyre business, with the team at Aylesbury “deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of leading UK tyre industry figure Rob Freeman”.
It is with great sadness that we report the death of Reg Bond on 15 March 2021, at the age of 77. Reg had been diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2010 and had been battling it ever since, ultimately succumbing to complications from the illness. It is testament to Reg’s character that he fought so long and so hard against the tumour.
Reg was the founder of tyre wholesaler Bond International and was the driving force behind it becoming a well-respected and successful independent business and one of the largest tyre wholesalers in the UK. Reg was the Chairman of the business, set up in 1966, until his death and was actively involved in the business for over 50 years, although he had handed over the day-to-day running of the business to his sons Greg and Charlie. Over the years the company has grown from a one-man band to its current size, where it employs over 450 people and sells more than 5 million tyres a year. Reg was immensely proud of the strides that Greg and Charlie had made in recent years in taking the business forward. He delighted in the fact that his sons and his business, continued to challenge the competition as he has done and always encouraged that sort of healthy competition.
Murray Walker, whose voice became virtually synonymous with Formula One, has died aged 97. Walker commented on his first Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1949 and became a full-time F1 commentator in 1978, a position he held for the next 23 years. Such was the esteem in which Walker is held within the Formula One fraternity, a constellation of racing stars have celebrated his life. Following the news of Walker’s death, which was announced over the weekend of 13 and 14 March 2021, seven-time Formula One World Champion Lewis Hamilton summed up their words: “The iconic voice of our sport and a great man, thank you for all you did, you will never be forgotten”.
Shortly before Christmas, Rema Tip Top shared the sad news that Andy Homer passed away on 17 December, aged just 56. Derek Myers, managing director of Rema Tip Top Automotive South Africa, wrote that as well as being lovingly remembered by his son and family, Andy “will also forever be remembered by his numerous extended families, business colleagues and dear friends.”
Philip P. “Phil” Friedlander Jr., retired executive vice president of the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association (NTDRA), died 2 June 2020, from Covid-19 having endured several life-threatening illnesses. He was 90.
Roy Croft, who was managing director of Stapleton’s for most of the second half of the twentieth century, died with family at his side at the age of 89 on Sunday 7 October following a short battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife Jean.
Richard Sermon, MBE, Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights and Chairman the Wheelwrights’ Charity, the NTDA’s chosen charity, died on 2 September after a short illness.
Sermon was a major advocate for closer engagement between the ancient craft of the Wheelwrights and the modern-day tyre industry, he actively encouraged tyre industry professionals to join the Wheelwrights, attended NTDA events and supported the establishment of the annual NTDA Tyre Technician of the Year Award.
Tributes are being made to Job van Vliet, the founder and owner of the Inter-Sprint Group, who died on Thursday 30 August at the age of 77.
Under his leadership Inter-Sprint grew to become one of the largest tyre wholesalers in Europe, with group businesses including De Sprint Autobanden, Inter-Tire and the Bandenexpress. In 2014 the company bought Van de Ban Banden. At the same time the companies he founded grew, van Vliet himself also prospered eventually becoming one of the hundred richest people in the Netherlands, according to Quote magazine.
Ding Yuhua, Triangle Tyre’s chairman, died on 13 June 2018 at the age of 70. In addition to running the large Chinese tyre manufacturer, Ding Yuhua, was deputy to the 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th Chinese National People’s Congress, deputy to the 8th and 9th Shandong Provincial People’s Congress, member of Weihai People’s Congress Standing Committee and senior vice president of China Rubber Industry Association (CRIA).