Richard Newman – an appreciation

It is with great sadness that Plenham Ltd has learnt that our great friend and mentor, Richard Newman had succumbed to the cancer that he had been fighting for the past few months.

Richard was a stalwart of the refinish industry, having spent many years working for Brown Brothers distributors, latterly in their marketing and events department. The bodyshop team had enjoyed working with Richard whilst he was at Brown Brothers, greatly admiring his efficiency and professionalism. Having been made redundant by the company in the late 90s, following an internal re-structure of the business, Richard responded to our call for help in staging our very first bodyshop Industry Event at the Swallow Royal Hotel back in 1997.

This was a totally new venture for us, put on to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the launch of bodyshop magazine in 1987. Richard soon had us licked into shape and despite our total lack of experience, with his help, guidance and enthusiastic participation, the event turned out to be a triumph, paving the way for the successful and well-established ‘thousand-plus’ industry gathering it has since become. Richard also played an important role in helping us develop our global IBIS events providing pre-event organisation, behind the scenes support and front-of-house discipline, his calmness and sense of humour ensuring that any problems were dealt with swiftly and effectively.

Richard was, in the best sense of the word, a true gentleman and an irreplaceable figure in the automotive aftermarket sector. He will be greatly missed by all of us at Plenham, as well as his many friends in the industry. We offer our sincere condolences to his family at this sad time.