Tributes paid to industry stalwart David Edwards
- Credit: Archant
Warm tributes have been paid to UK oil and gas fabrication industry stalwart David Edwards OBE, who has died aged 67.
Mr Edwards, who lived in Carlton Colville with his wife Jan, became a well-known figure in the UK offshore sector during a career that spanned almost five decades at companies including SLP Engineering in Lowestoft and, more recently, OGN Group, based in Newcastle upon Tyne.
He died in hospital suddenly on April 14 with all close family present after suffering a stroke six weeks earlier.
Mr Edwards joined SLP Engineering in the late 1970s as operations manager, and became managing director in 1987 and chief executive in 1999. He saw SLP through four periods of different ownership, including the eventual management buy-out from Odebrecht in 1999.
His family have described him as a devoted husband, father, brother and grandad and a well respected businessman.
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They said: 'Originally from County Durham, David had the ambition of a king and the heart of a saint. From a big family, being the oldest of five, he grew from a small boy into a entrepreneur. He spent many weekends taking his grandchildren to his home football club Norwich City or supporting his grandsons playing whilst he stood pitch side proud in those cold mornings.
'He wasn't shy of a bit of attention as he had many talents, one being music. As a youngster David was part of a band and he never lost his touch, making sure he taught what he knew to his children and grandchildren.
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'Being a much loved husband to Jan, they spent late nights in his many local stops as he was a fan of good food with good company, not to mention a pint or three. He was the life and soul of a party, and the backbone of the Edwards family.
'He gave the oil, gas and renewable industry a new way of life, so much so he was made an OBE by her majesty the queen. This was his highlight for all his hard work and appreciation around the UK and Lowestoft.
'He will be dearly missed by all in his industry and further more his friends and family.'
His funeral was held at St Peter's Church in Carlton Colville on Wednesday with several hundred people gathering to pay their respects.
He leaves behind his wife, four children and 10 grandchildren.