7th August 2023

Obituary: Philip Bottomley FCTSI

A modest and hard-working man who played a vital role within Trading Standards in the UK and overseas.


By Chris Armstrong
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Philip Bottomley was born in Sheffield in 1944. He began his career in the city’s Weights and Measures Department, eventually becoming Chief Clerk. He soon realised the potential of becoming an Inspector, so he studied for and passed the Board of Trade Examination in 1970 before being appointed as an Inspector within the authority.

Phil decided that he would seek a post through the UK Government contracts scheme and in 1972 succeeded in obtaining the post of Senior District Assizer in the Republic of Zambia.

The role involved routine inspections of trade premises across the country as well as the training of local officers who eventually took over as Heads of Service.

The experience of working in Zambia was unique and unrivalled. Phil returned after five years to take up posts in London; first at Havering, then as Assistant Chief at Newham, and then as Head of Service at Hackney.

Philip Bottomley, 1944-2023

Phil had a special interest in quality assurance and obtained a City and Guilds Certificate in Quality Control in 1980, becoming a Quality Auditor in 1986. He was also an advisor to the Association of Metropolitan Authorities and Local Authorities Coordination of Trading Standards – LACOTS as it was known.

Phil had a special interest in promoting equality of opportunity within Hackney and our Institute. He derived quiet pleasure from stimulating initiatives which made it possible for everyone to give of their best, regardless of their background.

Having shown an interest in the financial affairs of the Institute whilst at Newham, Phil was appointed Honorary Treasurer. This meant dealing with the rapid and considerable expansion of the Institute’s business arm, which had reached an annual turnover of over £1m and involved a great deal of painstaking and detailed work with no room for mistakes or inaccuracies. For all his efforts and service Phil was awarded a Fellowship in 1993.

He then became Finance Manager and Director of CTSI from 2001 to 2009. He was appointed as Registrar to the College of Fellows in 2007 until he retired.

Everyone knew and respected Phil, but few knew of his massive workload and contribution to our Institute as he took on all his duties without seeking any credit – nor did he seek any of the limelight for his achievements. His colleagues at Head Office were well aware of the number of hours he spent working over and above his official hours.

The College of Fellows particularly is so aware of his unrecognised efforts and involvement that they are to suggest that a special award should be named in his memory.

Phil was a quiet man who always had time for everyone else – a calm and reassuring presence even when things were at their most difficult.

Outside work Phil was equally a man of many skills. He even built a plane in his house! Although it was officially described as a microlite it had a huge propeller, wings, a body and wheels. He flew it from a nearby grass airfield. He was also a motor mechanic who did his own servicing and rebuilds of classic cars. He was an avid fan of professional snooker.

Phil was a member of a monthly breakfast club that met at restaurants in and around Southend, and which was attended by a group of other ‘old chums’ from the Institute and local TS offices. Some months ago, it was obvious that all was not well as he was losing weight and having an increasing number of hospital checks.

He was eventually diagnosed with cancer and had to spend his time at home being looked after by his wife Sue and eventually specialist carers. When his illness was made known there was a massive response from members and friends whose good wishes did help cheer him up at his lowest times.

Phil passed away on 28 April and had arranged a private funeral to ensure his family didn’t have the pressures of a full public funeral.

Phil leaves his wife Sue, two sons and a small extended family to whom we offer our sincere condolences.

Composed by Chris Armstrong with contributions from colleagues.

9 responses to “Obituary: Philip Bottomley FCTSI”

  1. J R Carroll says:

    I was fortunate to have known and worked with Phil since his return to the UK from Zambia. He was a great chap, an excellent friend and a very knowledgeable Officer. I sometimes felt guilty when I saw the amount of work he was doing for the Institute. He followed me in holding the Honorary Treasurer’s post and the Registrar of the College of Fellows. I often wonder if he would have volunteered for those posts if he had not worked with me. He is sadly missed, my condolences and best wishes to Sue and his family. RIP Philip.

  2. Les mchugh says:

    Great Guy….proud to know him… RIP, Phil

  3. John Evans says:

    So many great memories of Phil. We worked together on many projects through ever changing times for the Institute. Always reliable and a great friend. Sadly missed

  4. John Corfield says:

    A great Friend, Great Fellow, always very helpful
    and knowledgeable. Sadly missed RIP John

  5. Paul Allen says:

    Well done Chris. A fitting tribute. All the best. Paul

  6. Neil Edwards says:

    I used to be in constant contact with Phil during my time as the Scottish Training Officer. He was always so precise and efficient but so laid back. It was a pleasure working with him during this period. RIP Phil

  7. Noel Hunter says:

    Phil was an admirable man and a CTSI stalwart who I much admired and always enjoyed working with.
    Thank you Chris for this fitting tribute.

  8. Bob Wright says:

    Appreciated all the support from Phil as long time Registrar of the College and his unstinting commitment to the Institute at large.
    Friend and colleague over many years. Condolences to Sue and family.

  9. Steve Delahaye says:

    He was a lovely man and we often shared memories of being in Southern Africa in the 70’s, he in Zambia and I in Botswana. RIP Phil.

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