Ken Boyson obituary

26 June 2006

Ken Boyson died on April 16 after a debilitating illness. He was 57. Born and brought up in Northamptonshire where his father sold leather for the myriad of tanneries then in existence, Ken left school to read chemistry at Nottingham University, graduating with honours in 1971. He took a job with the limeyard gang of Keunen Bros, Irthlingborough, but his scientific mind and technical abilities were soon discovered by Jan Maksym, senior leather technologist. The two developed a rapport based on genuine respect and affection. The young scientist and the experienced leathermaker made a superb team. Further encouraged by Mike Woodley, technical director, Ken was sponsored to read for his Masters Degree at Leeds University, awarded with distinction in December 1975. Returning as technical manager, he made a major contribution to the company's product and process development. By 1979 it was time to explore the wider world through a five-year spell in Kano, Nigeria, with Holts providing the base. In 1985 he moved with his family to join Stahl Asia in Singapore, becoming part of the technological transfer to the region in which he travelled widely. During this phase, Ken faced and subdued his personal demons, a fear of flying. There was no alternative form of transport. In 1989 he returned to Keunens as technical director and in 1994 joined Connolly Bros as technical director at the Wandle Bank site. Subsequently he worked as a technical consultant to the Lederval Group in Spain. Dr A G (Tony) Marriott writes: 'Ken was a man of great integrity and technical honesty. His colleagues always found him willing to impart his knowledge and share his experiences with a clarity based on sound logical thought, fully explained. When called upon to make decisions the same principles were deployed and were thus respected by those who needed to carry them through. He enjoyed life and will be missed.'

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