OBITUARY: Airedale announces the passing of co-founder Peter Midgley
Leeds-based air conditioning manufacturer, Airedale International, has announced the death of its co-founder, Peter Midgley, on January 11. Peter, who established Airedale in 1974 with fellow Yorkshireman, Alan Duttine OBE, was joint managing director until the sale of the business to Modine Manufacturing in May 2015.
Airedale began life operating in Batley, before moving to premises off the Leeds West Park Ring Road in 1976 which later became and continues to be known as Airedale House. As the business continued to prosper, Airedale relocated to Park Mills, Rawdon in 1979, with the construction of a new factory completed and opened by HRH the Duchess of Kent in 1984. Airedale remains today at the Rawdon site, with a further redeveloped, state-of-the-art facility, opened by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal in 2016.
Peter will be remembered for his larger than life character by customers, Airedale staff and all that knew him. Well known, and revered throughout the region and industry, Peter was a real people person, approachable, warm, with an infectious sense of humour.
Commercially astute, Peter, along with Alan, was the heartbeat of Airedale. When Airedale was acquired by US-based thermal management company Modine Manufacturing in 2005, Peter had led the business for over 30 years, and seen it grow into a major manufacturing company, contributing significantly to the local and national economy.
Airedale managing director, Tony Cole, said: “We are tremendously sad at the passing of Peter. He will be remembered fondly by us all at Airedale. He, along with Alan, had a sizable vision in recognising the opportunities for specialised computer room cooling, a market which still sees us prosper today.
“Many of our employees have worked in the company since the early days and benefited from Peter and Alan’s approach of investing in people. They and I, will remember Peter fondly. We send our deepest sympathies to Peter’s family at this very sad time.”