OBITUARY:Sam Green

Having started work at the age of 13, in 1920, as an apprentice at Platt Brothers, textile manufacturers, in Oldham, Sam Green by dint of ability and hard work became a noted inventor, a distinguished industrialist and a champion of the disabled.

With a Platt Brothers' scholarship, he attended evening classes and eventually went to Manchester College of Technology. Obtaining Higher National Certificates in mechanical and electrical engineering, he subsequently became a member of the respective institutions and a Fellow of the Institution of Electrical Engineers.

While working, between 1935 and 1939, as a draughtsman and development engineer at the Northrop Loom Company in Blackburn, he invented the box motion of the four-colour Automatic Loom. This was a significant advance in that it eliminated the necessity to change by hand the shuttles carrying the yarn. Before the invention, it had been impossible to deal with three or four colours effectively.

In 1939 Green was appointed chief engineer of Betts & Co whose factories contributed to the war effort by making, amongst other things, foil for anti-aircraft warfare. During the worst of the blitz, in the course of which he was commended for bravery, he transferred some of the manufacturing to Scotland. In 1944 he started a factory near Maidstone which produced laminated plastic boards for the Navy that prevented fire spreading aboard ships attacked by German U-boats.

After the war, in 1945, Green joined the Industrial and Commercial Finance Corporation (now "3 i") which the first Lord Piercy created, with the assistance of the joint clearing banks, in order to provide venture capital for industry. Green acted as an industrial adviser and troubleshooter, being put in as chief executive to run companies in which ICFC had invested that had got into difficulties.

In 1952 Sir Walter Monckton appointed him as managing director of Remploy. He transformed their workshops for the disabled into factories using industrial methods, started incentive schemes and a sponsorship scheme by persuading, among others, the car and mining industries to provide work for the company. In 1965 the then Minister of Labour, Barbara Castle, asked him to do similar work for the blind and he became chairman of the Industrial Advisers to the Blind. One of his greatest pleasures was being appointed CBE for work on behalf of the disabled.

Sam Green was proud to be asked to help the Royal British Legion, was the first civilian to become a director of the Poppy Factory and the Royal British Legion Industries, and served on the Benevolent Committee. An inventor himself, he also did voluntary work on behalf of other inventors as chairman and vice-president of the Institute of Patentees and Inventors. He was responsible for taking the institute into the International Federation of Inventors' Associations, of which he became vice-president. His work was recognised in 1984 by the award of the Gold Medal of the World Intellectual Property Organisation of the United Nations, presented at a ceremony in Geneva.

Green was a director and chairman of a number of private and public companies, including Ralli Bros (Industries), Grampian Lighting and Duala UK. Characteristically, he continued working in his electrical business until last October. Not surprisingly for a man of great energy and creative intelligence, Green had a wide range of interests: in particularly, he read widely, was a keen walker, swimmer and cyclist (being a member of Britain's oldest bicycling club, the Pickwick), and, in his younger days, a potholer. Happily married for over 50 years, with a barrister daughter, he utilised his long life to make a substantial and significant contribution to the lives of others and to that of the community.

Allan Levy

Sam Green, businessman and inventor: born Oldham, Lancashire 6 February 1907; designer and development engineer, British Northrop Automatic Loom Co 1934-39; chief engineer, Betts & Co 1939-42; works manager, Morphy- Richards 1942-44; general works manager, Holoplast 1944-47; industrial adviser, Industrial and Commercial Finance Corporation 1947-52; managing director, Remploy 1952-64; CBE 1960; chairman and managing director, Ralli Bros (Industries) 1964-69; chairman, Industrial Advisers to the Blind 1964-74; director, Royal British Legion Poppy Factory, Richmond 1964-96; chairman, Dula (ISMA) 1969-96; chairman, Green & Associates 1970-96; chairman, Spear Bros 1970-96; Chairman, Institute of Patentees and Inventors 1975; Vice-President, International Federation of Inventors' Associations 1984- 96; married 1942 Lilly Pollak (one daughter); died Bromley, Kent 21 January 1996.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: HR Manager

£36000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, - 1 Year contract

£50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager Shared Services - Uxbridge, Stock...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Human Resource Officer and Executive Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join one of...

Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events business) - Central Manchester - £20K

£18000 - £20000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Assistant (Events busi...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living