Obituary: Ben Bradshaw

Ben Bradshaw EngTech MCIPHE RP

Ben Bradshaw EngTech MCIPHE RP was an enthusiastic member of the heating and plumbing engineering fraternity and he exuded passion for the industry.

Ben left school at 15 and joined the Territorial Army. He worked as a type setter at the Bedfordshire Times with his brother-in-law, Les. Eventually, he went on to work in Fleet Street, London, setting the type for the national newspapers.

It was while on a cruise that Ben met the lovely Gladys, who, on returning to England, invited him to a dinner party. They went on to marry, in 1973.

Ben took a redundancy package at the age of 43 and, in 1975, he and Gladys moved down to a small village in Devon called Lifton, where they bought a derelict school house with no utilities. Never daunted by the magnitude of a task, Ben converted it into a comfortable home and along the way began taking on projects for other people too.

Ben soon decided retirement wasn’t for him and went to college, where he attained his City and Guilds and became a registered plumber. He started his own business, building it up to become a highly successful enterprise. He also joined the local branch of the CIPHE and progressed from member to treasurer and then secretary, eventually serving as branch president. Moving on up Ben had his sights set on much higher ambitions and put himself forward for National President of the Institute and his ambitions were eventually realised when he was inaugurated on 29 May 2009 at Warwick University Conference Centre. As with everything Ben did, he gave his all to the role, visiting as many branches of the Institute as he could, as well as attending functions and being entertained by members of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers while visiting London.

Ben advanced within the national framework of the Institute becoming the South West Area Co-Ordinator in 2011 and went on to mentor many Branch Secretaries, working extremely hard to keep branches in the South West going as well as putting an enormous amount of work into the Plymouth Branch, which later became South West Peninsular.

Following Gladys’ death in 2014, Ben decided to move to Scotland. His daughter Carole sent him details of a smart bungalow in Polmont, near Falkirk, and when she called him after sending them she found that he was already on his way up to view the property.

Always an independent man, Ben thought nothing of driving over to see friends or down to see family in Devon, usually arriving unannounced to be fed and watered, regaling those he visited with stories of his many exploits. He was also a keen gardener and a very competent cook, often entertaining friends to an excellently prepared lunch of home grown produce.

“Ben had an infectious enthusiasm, which encouraged many members to support the CIPHE,” says Kevin Wellman, chief executive officer of the CIPHE. “He went out of his way to help and mentor others who benefited significantly from his knowledge. Ben will be missed by the CIPHE and all those who knew him.”

Ben Bradshaw was a man of many talents who made his mark in so many ways and his sudden appearances will be missed by many as will his countless stories. Our deepest condolences go out to Ben’s family at this difficult time.

You might also like

​Managing the risks of hot tubs and play pools

​Managing the risks of hot tubs and play pools

​How can plumbers help the public reduce energy costs?

​How can plumbers help the public reduce energy costs?

Wellbeing: Taking care of mental health

Wellbeing: Taking care of mental health