Ex-John Dodds Ltd co-owner Nigel Dodds has tragically passed away following a light aircraft crash.
Nigel, 58, and friend Val Barnes were flying from his home in Menorca to Newcastle on Monday when the plane came down near Wolferton on the Queen’s Sandringham Estate. They both died at the scene.
Industry colleagues today paid tribute to Nigel, as it was revealed that The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is investigating the incident.
Nigel and his brother Trevor ran catering equipment distributor John Dodds of Gateshead until 2015, when both decided to retire. The third-generation family firm was founded in 1965, originally supplying equipment to the meat trade, before expanding into catering appliances.
Newcastle-based Crosbys bought the business in 2015, bringing five new members of sales and engineering staff to the team. Projects and design director Ben Crosby recalled: “It was clear when we were negotiating the takeover deal that it was very important to Nigel and Trevor that their staff were taken care of. I knew Nigel for 25 years and he was a lovely guy.”
Crosbys sales and service consultant Jonathan Young was one of the staff who made the transition from John Dodds, having worked for the firm since 1999. He too has fond memories of Nigel: “He was a brilliant guy to work for, it was a nice family business,” he told Catering Insight.
“Nigel was a larger than life character who could talk for hours and a very intelligent man. He liked to have fun – no-one had a bad word to say about him.
“Flying was his passion and he was an experienced pilot so we were all very shocked to hear the news. He will be sorely missed by anyone who knew him.”
Nigel also ran a business called Alpha Yankee Ltd, offering flights in the 1979-built Piper plane. His plane had been based at the private jet facility Samson Aviation at Newcastle Airport for many years. In a statement, it told the BBC it was “extremely saddened to hear of the accident”.