Tributes to Byfield businessman who brightened up his local community

Geoffrey Lowe pictured with his wife Chris
Geoffrey Lowe pictured with his wife Chris

Geoffrey Lowe, a businessman known for his wit, humour and involvement in his local community, has died at Northampton General Hospital from a stroke aged 78.

Tributes have been pouring in for Geoffrey, who lived in Woodford Halse but was a well-known figure in Byfield.

Geoffrey’s wife Chris said: “Geoffrey was always very cheerful. He was an optimist and he always wanted to do more. He was always interested in people. Geoffrey was a fighter. He never moaned or felt sorry for himself. He was such a character.”

Born in London in 1936 to Stanley and Marian Lowe, Geoffrey was brought up in Oxford before being called up to the RAF at the age of 18.

After completing his National Service Geoffrey reenlisted. He was sent to Australia in the early 1950s as part of the British task force involved in a series of nuclear tests in the Australian desert.

After leaving the RAF, Geoffrey worked as a salesman for the Institute of Metal Finishing in Birmingham. In 1958 he married his first wife, Pauline, and had two daughters, Dina, who is 49, and Vicky, who is 53. In 1992 Geoffrey married his second wife, Chris, who has two children, Philip, who is 50, and Lesley, who is 49.

Geoffrey moved to Daventry in 1973 and after spotting a gap in the market he set up his own business cleaning and selling on used industrial metal drums.

In 1978 he partnered up with John Cannell to set up Phoenix County Metals, a company specialising in the extraction of silver from industrial batteries for the Ministry of Defence.

Throughout his life Geoffrey fought a long-running battle with cancer, but this did not prevent him from taking a keen interest in his community and engaging in a variety of hobbies including amateur dramatics, cooking and music.

Geoffrey was a grandmaster of the Beneventa Masonic Lodge in Daventry and addressed the haggis at Burns Night Celebrations every year at Byfield Village Hall.

In a tribute to Geoffrey, John Cannell said: “Geoff’s outgoing nature led me to sharing a stage with him as well as an office. I became involved in the various Byfield pantomimes, cabarets and musical shows which went on for many years. Geoff also joined in enthusiastically and he was greatly valued for his cheerful and colourful performances.

“Geoff was a local ‘character’, a good friend to many people and he will be greatly missed.”

A funeral will take place at the Holy Cross Church in Byfield on Friday, November 7.