One of the region’s most respected business figures has passed away aged 82 after a short illness.
Gordon Nicholls, the chairman of Leamington based-builders and developers A. C. Lloyd, had been with the company for just over 60 years after joining the firm on a 12-month basis in June 1953.
The company, which had been started just after the Second World War by Cyril Lloyd, was responsible for much of the development of present day Leamington, including the Sydenham, Heathcote and Tachbrook Park estates.
The company also worked on the post war restoration of many of Leamington’s historic buildings and carried out the major refurbishment of Rossmore House and the Leamington Pump Rooms in the 1980s and 90s.
Just last month the company moved to new headquarters on Tachbrook Park – named Nicholls House in his honour.
Gordon was made a director of A.C. Lloyd (Builders) after three years with the firm when he was just 25 years old. He became group managing director in 1976, and chairman of the group in 1991.
He was married to Thelma for 57 years, and the couple have two daughters Michelle and Karen. He also has four grand-daughters.
Gordon was a keen sportsman. He boxed in his youth, played cricket for Newbold on Avon for almost 40 years from 1945 and rugby for Old Laurentians.
He also played squash, real tennis and golf and entered various sporting events to raise money for causes including the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, Myton Hospice and Castel Froma.
Peter Beddoes worked with Mr Nicholls for around 30 years as a lawyer and, for the last 10 years, as a fellow director of the A C Lloyd Group.
He said: “I have been inundated with emails and messages since Gordon’s death – and the one word mentioned in almost all of them is ‘gentleman’.
“He was the most honest and genuine person I have ever come across in my working life. He really was a gentleman who had integrity running right through him.
“In all the time I worked with him I can’t recall him ever losing his temper.
“He was a thoroughly genuine man.”
Alistair Clark, a director of A.C. Lloyd, who has worked with Gordon for over 30 years said: “Gordon has been my inspiration and mentor throughout my career.
“He had integrity in the way he carried out his business which set the philosophy and reputation for A.C. Lloyd. Gordon’s word was most definitely his bond.
“That is the way business was done when he first started, and that is the ethos that he instilled in the company and will continue as his legacy”.
“He was a true gentleman in everything he did.”
There will be a memorial service forGordon Nicholls at St Mary’s Church, Warwick, tomorrow (Wednesday, September 25) at 3pm.