Essential reading for retailers and suppliers in the home improvement market

Obituary: Ken Blanks

Published: 29 July 2009
Ken Blanks, formerly of Blanks Wallpapers and Kabco Wholesale, died on July 21, aged 78.
Obituary: Ken Blanks
Mr Blanks first became involved with the hardware trade in 1956, when he and his wife Peggy took over a vacant shop close to their post office in Hackney, east London, and opened the first Blanks Wallpapers shop. Several more shops followed in the ensuing years.

When a group of retailers and wholesalers set up the Span Marketing group in 1961, Mr Blanks became an active member, shareholder and director, remaining on the board until 2000. His own move into wholesaling came in 1970, when he set up Kabco Wholesale in addition to the wallpaper business.

Kabco grew to become a significant supplier to independents throughout London and the south-east, and during the 1990s he took over as the regular wholesaler contributor to DIY Week's 'One Man's Week' page.

With his son Chris working alongside him, Mr Blanks continued to run Kabco until the business closed in 2002. Blanks Wallpapers achieved its half-century in 2006, but closed shortly afterwards, chiefly because of Mr Blanks' failing health.

DIY Week continued to play a part in his life, his daughter Lesley Redfern-Phillips said: "Although in later years he had poor eyesight, he regularly had the publication read to him so he could stay abreast of what was happening in the industry which was so much part of his life. I know he will be missed by his family and former business associates."

The funeral is at South Essex Crematorium at 2pm on Thursday July 30.

All donations to The Saint Francis Hospice, The Hall, Havering-atte-Bower, Romford, Essex. RM4 1QH.


Published prior to March 2014
By Alan Hussey
Ken was the best partner you could hope for. Kept me on the straight and narrow.
Many fond memories over 25 years.
Published prior to March 2014
By Clive Lewin
Goodbye to one of the gentlemen in the trade from a supplier going back to the 70's.
Published prior to March 2014
By Lesley Redfern-Phillips
On behalf of my family, I would like to thank Colin Petty and all at DIYWeek for this acknowledgement of our father. Thank you.

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