Tributes paid to a catering equipment ‘legend’

The catering equipment industry is mourning the loss of a popular figure who passed away last week.

John Harrod, who is best known for his time as sales manager at Dawson, sadly lost his battle with cancer on Monday 7 July. He was 61-years-old.

John started his career with Moorwood Vulcan, which is now owned by Manitowoc, and also ran his own refrigeration import business for a time after leaving Dawson.

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Although he eventually moved out of the industry, he is fondly remembered as a larger-than-life character by those who knew and worked with him during his career in the industry in the 1980s and early 90s.

As well as affecting the lives of many people who are still working in the industry today, he was at the heart of the catering equipment scene when the route-to-market strategies of suppliers such as Dawson were undergoing a dramatic shift.

One former colleague said: “John was part of Dawson when they went down the route of working through distributors, which at that time in the industry constituted quite a change, as a lot of manufacturers were predominantly selling direct to the end-user. With that, John probably visited most of the UK dealers at that time.”

Another said: “Although John left the industry in the 1990s, those who knew and worked with him will always have fond, long-lasting memories of those times. John was a real character, a big man with a big heart, part raconteur, part philosopher. The stories around John were always, without exception, full of warmth and humour. He will be sorely missed.”

David Jones, managing director of Alpeninox, described him as a true stalwart of the industry: “John was very well known in the catering equipment industry and very much an industry legend — a term not used lightly by me.”

Dawson’s managing director, Mike Butt, also paid his tributes today. “John was a well-respected man who was instrumental in Dawson’s early years of development,” he said. “Although I did not know him well, we still have many long-serving staff that have fond memories of him. It is a sad loss.”

John’s funeral will take place on Tuesday 22 July at 11.30am.

The location for the service is The Beauchief Hotel, 161 Abbeydale Road, South Sheffield, S7 2QW.

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