The construction industry has been paying tribute to Christopher Seddon who has passed away on Saturday, August 1, 2015, at the age of 73 following a brave battle with illness.
Christopher, who last year was awarded an MBE for his services to apprenticeships and local charities, was a director at the family-owned Seddon company where he had worked for 56 years.
The business, which now has its head office on Plodder Lane in Bolton, was founded by Christopher’s grandfather John Seddon and his brother George in Little Hulton, Salford, in 1897.
Christopher joined the company as an apprentice bricklayer in 1959, and went on to take over the running of the business, which now has a turnover of almost £200 million and employs around 700 staff, in 1982.
A firm believer in providing training and work opportunities for the next generation, Christopher made Seddon’s commitment to delivering first-class apprenticeships part of the company’s DNA. His mission was to train ‘for the industry, not just ourselves.’
Christopher remained active at the business until the final days of his life, and is survived by his wife Patricia, his three children, Nicola, Jamie and Jonathan who are all now directors at the company, and eight grandchildren.
Christopher’s grandchild Josh joined the company as an apprentice plumber last year – the fifth generation of the family to work for the business.
Jonathan, who took over from his father as managing director at Seddon in 2007, said: "Dad’s commitment to both the company and the sector as a whole has been unwavering throughout his life.
"He loved what he did for a living and was proud of the way we did business. He took great joy in ensuring that next generation were given the opportunity to train and develop their skills and this will be his lasting legacy.
"It makes us extremely proud to think that the example he has set will be passed down through the company for generations to come.
"He remained true to his roots, and was well loved and respected in the local community.”
Seddon training and education executive Roy Cavanagh MBE, who has worked for the business for 45 years, added: "Having started his career as an apprentice bricklayer, Christopher never lost his desire to make sure apprentices were given a voice, not just in his own company but across the whole industry.
"I know that some of the happiest times in his career were when he ran the labour team, a role that I later took on, allowing him to run the sites but maintain a hands-on link with the workforce.
"He had a fantastic relationship with all the team, even earning him the nickname Batman due to his endless trips from site to site to meet as many people as possible.
"Christopher was immensely proud that all of his children have followed in his footsteps to take up roles at the company, which is now headed up by his son Jonathan, who like Christopher also started as an apprentice.
"I was proud to work for him and know him and I am honoured to continue his philosophy of helping people, particularly the young, to build a career in the industry.”
The funeral is expected to take place on Monday, 10th August, with the family set to provide more details in the coming days.
Friends and former colleagues within the industry wishing to pay their respects to Christopher are asked to consider making a donation to Cancer Research UK or to the Christie Hospital in Manchester.