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IndustryNews OBITUARY


Hamilton mourns the passing of founder, Rod Hamilton


H


amilton Litestat, which this year celebrates 50


years since the company’s incorporation, has announced the death of founder, Rod Hamilton, aged 90, following a stroke. Rod started as a


commission agent selling electric shavers, smoothing irons and electric fires. A request to try selling a new piece of technology called a dimmer, when the first question was “what’s a dimmer”, led him into the field of switches, sockets and lighting controls with an ever-expanding choice of plate designs and finishes. For many years these came from the Italian firm, Frascio; a close relationship that built the fortunes of both companies. From an initial base in the west of London, Rod moved the company to Mere


in Wiltshire in 1984. This allowed expansion to serve national and international demand and to build the brand. The need for a wider skill base led to a Bristol factory being established, where most of the operation is now based. Rod was still going into the firm at the age of 86, although much of the day


to day running had moved into the hands of his son, Ian. Known as a tough businessman with native acumen, he, nevertheless, was also gregarious and generous, hospitable and humorous.


Torquay branch manager Phil Squires with apprentice Will Messenger and Paignton apprentice Ethan Stapleton with branch manager Ryan Peryer.


Hamilton Litestat founder, the late Rod Hamilton, with his son, Ian.


T


he two South Devon branches of Devondale Electrical Wholesalers have each taken on an apprentice, continuing


the company’s commitment to encouraging young talent into the trade.


Ethan Stapleton has joined the Paignton branch, which is headed


up by Ryan Peryer, himself a former Devondale apprentice. Ethan, 17, comes from the area and attended South Devon College. Ethan plans to stay in the sector once he finishes his apprenticeship


in September 2019 and aims to become a branch manager. At the Torquay branch, 18-year-old Will Messenger is the latest


apprentice. Will previously worked as an electrician’s mate concentrating on fire panels and alarms, before he was recommended to branch manager Phil Squires as apprentice material. For both apprentices, the majority of their 15-month contract will be spent learning on the job, working with experienced counter staff and account managers, and undertaking in-branch training before they take their final written exam.


New apprentices for Devondale in South Devon


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