Earlier in the year Bedfordshire saw passing of two of it stalwarts. The Radio and television presenter Stephen Rhodes died at the age of 66 from Motor neurone disease.
Stephen was well known nationally having started his radio career in his home city of Dublin on the pirate station ARD in the 70s before moving to the UK and working on several stations including BRMB, Beacon and BBC local radio
On TV, Stephen was the main cover for the daily This Morning show on ITV, and hosted a number of other television programmes. In much of his investigative journalism he championed consumer rights over a 5-year period in the 90’s irritating and exposing rogue traders and operators
Less well known is the fact that Stephen was a great friend and supporter of the FSB and a period when he served as vice chair of the former Luton and south Beds branch. With his media background, he also hosted several FSB awards galas and trained several local members in media skills.
Branch chairman Ian Cording said: "I remember oh so well his caustic wit and dry humour on many occasions often reducing local politicians to stunned silence; Stephen will be sorely missed by many whose paths he crossed."
We also saw the passing of Stanley Thompson another long-time servant of the FSB and the business community at large. Very ‘old school’ and never terribly PC, Stanley signed up huge numbers of new members back in the days before ROs and full time recruiters existed whilst running his corner shop, a newsagents and tobacconist at the northern end of Bedford’s High Street.
Ian Cording Bedfordshire branch chairman still recalls the sign-up technique he experienced when summoned to The Bear PH across the road from the newsagents recalling Stanley’s words: "I hear you are entering the world of business young man from those sheltered waters of local government, so you need to join my fine organisation by signing here at the bottom of this form and yes mines a large red, thank you."