Obituary: Former boss of award-winning business dies aged 89

Conrad Lockey

Conrad Lockey. - Credit: Courtesy Sarah Ruffhead

The former boss of an award-winning Norfolk business has died aged 89.

Conrad Barry Lockey was former director and chief executive officer of Thetford-based Nichol Beauty Products, named EDP business of the year in 1993.

Newcastle-born Mr Lockey died on Wednesday, March 30.

He had attended both Newcastle and Leeds Boys Grammar Schools, followed by National Service.

After a short spell working at the Yorkshire Bank, he became a trainee manager at British Home Stores in Wakefield.

He soon moved to London to the firm's head office as a trainee buyer and was promoted to senior buyer.

He married teacher Beryl Roberts, whom he had met when he was at school, in 1956. The couple were married for nearly 66 years.

Conrad and Beryl Lockey

Conrad and Beryl Lockey - Credit: Courtesy Sarah Ruffhead

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Mr Lockey left British Home Stores in 1967 to branch out on his own, opening a hairdressers and three supermarkets in Buckinghamshire.

He sold them to join aerosol firm Nichol Beauty Products. Originally based in London, the company moved to Thetford in 1969.

Nichol arrived in Thetford with 30 staff and about £500,000 turnover, and the company was sold in 1997 with a turnover of £50m.

Mr Lockey and his family, including three daughters Sarah, Kate and Emma, lived in Garboldisham and later moved to North Lopham, where they stayed for more than 20 years.

Mr Lockey was Master of the Dunston Harriers in South Norfolk from 1983 to 1996.

He also owned point to pointers trained by the late Wymondham trainer Mike Bloom and had 19 wins, including eight with Mrs Lockey's horse Darrington Deal.

On retirement, the couple moved to Newmarket, where they bought flat horses - with 31 winners and about 40 places.

Ill health two years ago led the pair to move to Kentford Manor Care Home near Newmarket.

Mr Lockey's eldest daughter Sarah Ruffhead, said: "He had a long and happy life, and it is difficult for us to imagine him not being around."

His funeral service will be held at West Suffolk Crematorium in Bury St Edmunds, at 3pm on Wednesday, April 13.

Family flowers only, but donations can be made to Injured Jockeys Fund, c/o Southgate of Newmarket, Funeral Directors, 25, Duchess Drive, Newmarket, CB8 8AG.

To pay tribute to a loved one, email norfolktributes@archant.co.uk

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