Former Darwen businessman Thomas James Harwood, died peacefully on 15 May 2007 at the age of 95, writes his son, Tom Harwood.
He started his working life as a cotton weaver and door-to-door salesman, but after the Second World War he looked for other opportunities.
In partnership with Alec Spence, he founded Plastocraft Products, a business manufacturing Perspex handles and door knobs in Darwen.
Mr Harwood left Plastocraft in 1964 to start a new venture importing and distributing door furniture, initially from Basta in Southern Ireland.
He soon realised the potential for importing from the developing industries in India and the Far East. His company T.J.Harwood Co. Ltd became one of the foremost distributors of brass and Gainsborough porcelain door furniture in the U.K.
He sold his business to Welpac Plc in 1991, and finally retired from business life in 1993 when he was 82.
During his business career he met many eminent personalities and once made a speech in Russian to Nikita Khrushchev and Nikolai Bulganin at the BHF trade fair in London.