It is with great sadness that Bisley announces the passing of its Chairman and owner Anthony ‘Tony’ Brown, aged 86, on 4 April.
Tony began working at Bisley in 1960 and acquired the company from his father in 1970. At the time, the business had 45 staff members and annual sales of £370,000 ($400,000). Today, it generates annual revenue of around £70 million and exports its products to more than 75 countries.
Hugely passionate about manufacturing, Tony was awarded an OBE in 1993, as well as a lifetime achievement award from the Furniture Makers’ Company in 2016 for his outstanding contribution to the British manufacturing industry.
Tony was incredibly proud of Bisley’s international expansion, for which the company has received numerous accolades. These include two Queen’s Awards for Export Achievement, several Design Guild Mark awards for its products, and being a recipient of the Manufacturing Guild Mark from The Furniture Makers’ Company since 2015.
Outside of Bisley, Tony was also a staple of the local community, particularly in his support of his local rugby team, the Dragons. He became a major shareholder and, today, the main function room at the club’s ground – located in the Bisley Stand – is named after him.
Last year, Tony’s care for those he employed was evident in the establishment of the Employee Ownership Trust, gifting 51% of Bisley to its employees to ensure its long-term future.
“We are all hugely saddened by Tony’s passing,” said Bisley CEO Richard Costin. “Speaking personally, it has been an honour to work with Tony and be entrusted with Bisley’s legacy. We look forward to commemorating his wonderful life of public service, and sharing his great many achievements and our fond memories in the coming weeks and months.
“We pass on our condolences to Mr Brown’s friends and family. We will miss him greatly.”
OPI joins Richard in offering its deepest sympathies to Tony’s family and friends.