Stuart Sydney Smith – A Giant of UK Textiles

The textile world lost a real giant this week.  Stuart Smith.  Those of you in the industry will know he founded and developed Roaches Engineering into a highly successful and respected business.

I joined Roaches International after Stuart had left to enjoy caravanning and his garden, which was open to the public in later years ,so never had the opportunity to work with him.

On many an ITMA night, after a long day at the show, the directors of Roaches Int would regale us with stories of Stuart going into the kitchen in a Milan restaurant to find out why his main course was taking so long, or refusing to walk down a street because there was a large and noisy dog somewhere in the vicinity.  Many of the stories seemed to involve red wine.

After selling the business as part of a management buy out,  he carried on being prominent in the Industry and was involved with both the SDC, serving in many roles including President, and later with the commercial part of the SDC – SDC Enterprises.  It seems that Stuart never stopped caring about the Industry that gave him his highly respected career.

As I joined Roaches after he had “retired”, there was always confusion over our surnames, with many people thinking there was a family relationship….and indeed Stuart was always willing to talk and offer advice etc. to someone new in the Industry, especially when it came to SDC committees and the workings of the SDC.

Stuart was very active up until 2011 with SDC Enterprises and you can see the tribute paid by SDC Enterprises to Stuart when he finally retired below:

Stuart Smith – An Appreciation.

I think Bill Laidlaw who wrote the piece says it all much better then I ever could – I hope you enjoy reading it.

Everyone at Coloursmith Ltd offers our deepest condolences to Stuart’s family on this sad news.


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