Industry stalwart Alan Rees passes away

Alan Rees crop
Alan Rees founded distributor Rees Associates during a 60-year career in the UK catering equipment industry.

Well-known UK catering equipment industry figure, Alan Rees, has sadly passed away.

Starting his career as a kitchen designer at Stotts of Oldham in 1959, he went on to become MD of Commercial Catering Equipment Co Ltd and was instrumental in the company’s subsequent buy out by Grand Met, where he was further entrusted to develop its Middle East operations.

He founded DataCater in 1985 and latterly Rees Associates in 1994, where he oversaw work at the Houses of Parliament, The Bank of England, Lords Cricket Ground, Twickenham Stadium, ICI, HMS Belfast, and Home House; as well as countless others over his 60-year career.

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Rees Associates will be continued by his son, Mark Rees, who said: “Working until the end, this industry owes a debt of gratitude to my father’s service, with many of the industry’s leaders having started their careers working with him.”

The funeral service will he held on Friday 18 September at South West Middlesex Crematorium at 10:40 am. In these difficult times, the Rees family is requesting that flowers and messages of remembrance are sent via the links below as they cannot accommodate the numbers that wish to pay their respect in person.

The full service will be streamed online to allow those who cannot attend in person the opportunity to pay their respects.

To join the live stream, visit and login with username Nejo5322 and a password of 893987.

The family is welcoming flowers, which can be selected and sent to Lodge Brothers in Shepperton here.

Donations in Alan’s memory can be made to Battersea Dogs and Cats home here under Alan’s name.

Tags : alan reesdealerdeathdistributorpeoplerees associates
Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls


  1. An absolute pleasure to have worked closely with Alan for many years on our Project business at Meiko UK, My best wishes to the family and all at Rees Associates.

  2. So sad to have been informed of Alan’s passing. He was a good friend for many years and was instrumental in the development of the Meiko UK project installation work for some 15 years plus. Rest in peace good friend.
    Bill Downie

    1. Alan a wonderful charismatic dynamo. He selected me to be the CCE man in the Middle East in 1977 based in Bahrain. Changed my life by sending me on a personal World Tour of over 90 countries

      Mark and family remember the happy smiley times together 🙏
      John Conneely

  3. Another industry stalwart that will be missed for his dedication to our industry.
    Alan carried out some amazing projects over the years with the help of his son Ian “Mark” and faithful Admin Manager Sue Hughes.
    RIP Alan

  4. Worked on so many projects with Alan throughout my career, he was a good friend and ardent supporter. Many of us have a lot to thank him for.
    It is disappointing that the industry will be unable to get together over a glass (or preferably two) to reminisce and celebrate a long life, well lived.
    No more deadlines, old friend.

  5. Whilst working with Alan over 9 nine years at Meiko UK we had some very interesting times, with some fantastic blazing rows. Ultimately he knew the industry inside out and he was a great man to have on your team. I have very fond memories and gleaned an awful amount of knowledge from Alan through working together. The social side of Alan was also great fun……………………
    I wish the family all the best wishes at this very difficult time.
    Mark & Emma Sharland

  6. I remember the advice he gave me so many years ago that kept me in good stead in the Middle East since 1989
    Great Man god rest his soul

  7. Very sad to hear that Alan has passed away. I was fortunate to work with Alan for around 5 years when he was MD of CCE. We had some great times together and he taught me a great deal about the project business, I remember vividly working with him on a project for Pontins Which turned out to be the biggest project CCE had ever entered into.
    He was a tough Boss but extremely fair. My thoughts are with Jill his wife and his family , Mr Rees you will be missed and I’m thankful for knowing you.

  8. Such sad news to hear this , he was a strong character and one which our beloved industry will miss dearly . My sincere thoughts to his family and friends at this sad time .

    1. I knew Alan in the early 80’s when we were competing for various export projects mainly in the Middle East.
      Alan was always helpful and a great salesman and
      am so sorry that we lost contact over the years as we Both moved on to other ventures in the trade.
      Sad news that we have lost another great stalwart
      and a further loss to the catering industry.

  9. Such a great loss to his family, our industry and his staff his staff. Will always be remembered by us. Our deepest sympathy to his family.

  10. Alan will be sadly missed, a pleasure to have worked with him on many projects.
    Best wishes to Mark and the family.

  11. Absolutely devastated to hear this news, it was 46 years ago this week when i walked through the doors of Commerical Catering Equipment Salford and Alan had given me a job as junior estimator, he then took me down to CCE Twickenham in 1978 to help set up the export department with Garry Noakes, he forged my career for the first 6-7 years and taught me a lot of things that have stayed with me until today. Because of these times its a shame we all cant get together and raise a glass because i am sure there would be too many great stories to tell.
    RIP Mr Rees you will be greatly missed

  12. So many kind words about Alan here. I too had the pleasure of project work through Meiko Uk and Alan. I always knew where i stood with Alan in business.. there was always a smile and a handshake when away from the office.. My thoughts are with Alan’s family. A great stalwart of the industry.

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