It is with real sadness that we report the death of our dear colleague and friend Graham, who passed away peacefully on 6 February 2022, after a long illness, with his loving family by his side. He is survived by his wife, Christine, and three children, Lucy, Robert and Anna.
The service and celebration of his life on 25 February 2022 was attended by over 100 colleagues, family members and many friends – testament to how people felt about him.
Having graduated with a degree in geology from Hull University, Graham started his career as a trainee Trading Standards Officer with Gloucestershire County Council in October 1986 and upon qualification was appointed a TSO in January 1990. He returned to his native North East, securing a job with Newcastle City Council in January 1991.
He gained his first promotion to Senior TSO by moving across the Pennines to Manchester City Council in June 1994 before being appointed as a Principal TSO with Derbyshire County Council in December 1997. Derbyshire soon recognised Graham’s potential and he gained experience in all aspects of the trading standards profession before being appointed to the Senior Management Team in 2005 with operational responsibility for Product Safety and Fair Trading. He was appointed Head of Trading Standards in October 2018.
He had the knack of being a good friend and colleague, with a sharp sense of humour and fun, whilst maintaining his authority as a manager. Graham always had time for his workmates, able to share his extensive knowledge and experience in an understated and helpful way. He had a keen eye for plain English, able to turn the most complex issues into something much more accessible.
He entered the profession for all the right reasons, and retained that underlying commitment to public service, getting justice for those most vulnerable in society. No-one who met him, through work or beyond, ever had a bad word to say of him – he was truly one of the good guys.
One of his lasting legacies to protect the public was that he led on the development and introduction of the Derbyshire Trusted Trader scheme – its continued success across the county is in a huge part due to his hard work and persistence.
Whilst Graham was highly regarded and respected by all his colleagues, above all else he was a dedicated family man. He met his future wife, Christine, when they worked together at Newcastle City Council and he was devoted to his three children, Lucy, Robert and Anna.
A lifelong fan of Darlington FC, Graham stayed loyal to his North East roots. Following his father, he had a real interest in the countryside, and enjoyed a round of golf. He had a keen intelligence and interest in history and enjoyed some of the simple things in life. He would like nothing more than a walk with the family dog, Molly, and a quiet pint with friends. Following his cancer diagnosis, he handled his illness with dignity and a wry sense of humour. A lovely man – he will be sadly missed.