The former chairman and chief executive of British specialist transport manufacturer Severn-Lamb has died.
Michael Severn-Lamb was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at the end of November last year and passed away on February 7, aged 63. A celebration of his life was held at a civil ceremony on February 16.
Michael was the son of Severn-Lamb founder Peter Severn-Lamb and his wife Rita and was born in Stratford-upon-Avon. He began his career as an interior designer but joined the family business in 1975 following the untimely death of his father at the age of 53.
Under the leadership of this larger than life character, the company grew significantly. What had at one time been a relatively small model making company building miniature railways, developed into a major player in leisure transportation, supplying trains and other people-moving products to parks ranging from Drayton Manor to Disneyland.
In 1995 Michael won the title of (UK) Businessman of the Year and during the same year Severn-Lamb won the Queen’s Award for Export. During the late 1990s and early 2000s the company enjoyed continued success although the challenges of the business took their toll on Michael’s health and he retired as chairman in 2004, at which point his eldest son Patrick took to the helm.
“Michael’s father was an excellent engineer and when Michael took over the company he showed a great ability to adapt what his father did to the changing requirements of the industry,” recalls Drayton Manor managing director Colin Bryan. “I’ve enjoyed a lot of discussions and great friendship with Michael over the years and now with his son Patrick at the helm, Severn-Lamb continues to help us with a variety of projects on the park.”
Michael leaves a widow, Francoise; two sons, Patrick and Richard; and two grandchildren, Harrison and Olly.