We are sad to report the death of Mr Alan Evans, a major shareholder in Charles Ransford & Son Ltd of Bishop’s Castle and a Director of the company. Alan was one of the key players in saving the sawmill from bankruptcy in 1978 when he and his older brother Brian bought the mill for just £100. Along with the mill came £1.5 million of debts to the bank and trade creditors – every penny of which was paid off over the following 5 years.
In buying the mill Alan and Brian saved scores of jobs in their home town of Bishop’s Castle and established the financial conditions for the creation of one of the most advanced sawmilling operations of its kind in the UK.
Alan’s life’s work was in building up the egg packing business of A Evans & Son Ltd founded in 1936 by his grandfather Arthur and then taken on by his father, Jack Evans. As a child, Alan was sorting and delivering eggs into Birmingham almost as soon as he could walk. His wife Pamela and daughter Lisa were also active in this business, and he was on his rounds delivering eggs to customers until four days before he died, aged 74. The business employs 15 people in Bishop’s Castle and its customers in the Midlands and the North West are almost all long-standing, some of them being descendants of Arthur Evans’s original customers.
Alan was one of the most respected business figures in Shropshire and the Marches and was noted for his fairness and straightness. He and Brian built on a business tradition started first by their grandfather and then by their father, and were involved not only in the mill and the poultry and egg packing businesses but also in farming, forestry, and in the ownership of the Mellington Hall Estate.
Away from business, Alan was a dedicated family man. He married Pamela in 1969, had two children, Alistair (who is operations director of the sawmill) and Lisa, and three grandchildren Alex, Sam, and Ella of whom he was very fond and extremely proud.