Obituary: Jim Redmond
Meat Management is deeply saddened to report the death of Jim Redmond on Sunday 2nd October at Northampton General Hospital. He was 81 years old.
Born in Trinidad the eldest of eight children, he first came to Britain at the age of 14 where he had relatives in North London. He secured a job as a labourer and apprentice in a wooden packing case company and improved his education by going to college each night after work.
Always ambitious, in 1960 Jim answered an advert for labourer / lorry driver at ABR Food Machinery owned by the late Ron Burgess and two partners, who subsequently Ron bought out. Jim worked for his mentor Ron Burgess for around 16 years at ABR who gave him opportunity to develop, and amongst other skills Jim learnt how to demonstrate machinery, although he was never formally trained.
He seized the opportunity to get into sales when the midlands sales executive left, which highlighted his natural and brilliant sales ability. When Ron retired from ABR Jim left to set up GB Food Machinery, with two of Ron’s sons and other colleagues.
However, in 1985 Jim felt at a crossroads in his life and he decided to set up his own business, under his own full control and subsequently J Redmond & Son was born. The business launched fully with a small operational factory at Northampton in March 1986 and, upon hearing of the demise of G B Food Machinery, that had recently gone into voluntary liquidation, he took over various machinery agencies including Inject Star and Bastra, and the business enjoyed substantial and rapid growth with a high profile.
Jim married Jenny in 1962 and they had two children, Derek and Karen. Many will know that Derek went on to become a world class runner participating at the Olympics and in World Athletics, and he held the UK 400 meters record between 1985 to 1992. Jim was a great supporter of his son and did much to facilitate his success.
Jim Redmond joined the Worshipful Company of Butchers (WCB) as a Liveryman in 1991 and became festival chairman for the Butchers & Drovers Charitable Institution in 1994/5. He was also an active Freemason and was responsible for raising very substantial funds for charity both via the Masons and through meat trade events.
Managing Editor and Publisher of Meat Management Graham Yandell was a close personal friend of Jim and commented: “There is a lot of talk about diversity these days, but Jim Redmond actually broke down the barriers years ago and at a time when prejudice was much more prevalent than in today’s enlightened society was a great example of a man who never let the colour of his skin hold him back.
“He proved that talent, personality, ambition and sheer hard work will take you to the top. He was an outstanding example of how to succeed in life by continually learning and not being afraid to take risk. He was also enormous fun.
“Jim was a philosopher and enthusiast for life, and his hospitality at exhibitions was legendary. In short, he was someone who made a difference and was highly regarded and liked by so many throughout the meat industry as well as in sport. He set high standards and was a fantastic example to those of us in business and demonstrated how to succeed with style from humble beginnings.
“Jim Redmond will be sadly missed and all the team at Meat Management send our heartfelt condolences to Jenny his wife and to his children, Derek and Karen.”