Bailey of Bristol is mourning the death of Stephen Howard, the owner of the company who, together with his brother Patrick, grew it to have the prominence it now has.

Stephen, who just missed his 82nd birthday, bought the company with his brother from founder Martin Bailey in 1977.

A fully qualified civil engineer, he became technical director and led a formidable operations management team that helped the company grow rapidly.

Although his sons Simon and Nick slowly took over the running of the business after they joined in the 1990s, Stephen remained a director until relatively recently.

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