Tributes to Norfolk's Roy Snelling
PUBLISHED: 17:43 18 December 2012
Archant © 2009
Tributes have been paid to Roy Snelling, a Norfolk pioneer of the audio-visual industry, who has died at the age of 88.
The businessman’s career began more than 58 years ago when he founded Snellings in Blofield Heath. He was born and bred in Norfolk and lived near his company’s showroom.
After the second world war, where he served with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers training radio machinists across the country, he purchased a redundant Victorian laundry at Blofield Heath for £400, which is still the home of the Snelling Group today.
The arrival and rapid growth of television in Norfolk from February 1, 1955, saw the business flourish.
Over the intervening years, Mr Snelling, whose first wife Sheila died in 1987 and his second wife Judy died from cancer just two months ago, continued to build his business, ensuring it remained a market leader in service delivery and technological innovation. He died on Sunday.
Toby Wise, managing director of Snelling Business Systems, which was launched in 2000, specialising in the design, supply and installation of audio visual technology nationwide, said: “Roy was a true visionary. He had a gift for timing and his advice for anyone starting a business was always to ‘pick the right time’.
“It comes as no surprise to any of us that with Snelling Business Systems, he has once again developed the company in an area of technology which is leading the way for the future.”
Mr Snelling prided himself on creating a business with a reputation for always putting the customer first.
In 1999, he launched the R C Snelling Charitable Trust, a registered charity which was set up to help and support those most in need in the local community and to administer the group in the future.
In October 2010, he was recognised for his achievements by winning the EDP Business Awards Customer Care ‘Plus’ Award.
Mr Snelling stood down as chairman in January 2009, but his passion for the business continued and he maintained daily contact with his management team and board of directors.
Rowland Cogman, managing director of Snellings, said: “Roy was a true gentleman and a man of God. His faith shone through all areas of his life and he shared in the happiness of others as well as their sorrows.
“He was a quiet, unassuming and truly selfless individual, who always made time for others, frequently putting their needs before his own.
“He helped a great many people and organisations, both personally and through his trusts. It has been an honour to work alongside him and he will be greatly missed by all of us who knew him.”