Obituary – John Smith

27 April 2021

John Smith, former sales director of JJ Smith Woodworking Machinery Ltd, and a well-known figure in the industry, has died following a short illness.

Along with his brother Colin, Mr Smith was one of the second generation to enter JJ Smith which was established by their late father Bill and his three brothers back in 1923.

Joining the business in 1962 Mr Smith initially worked on sales of the Smith range of classical machinery manufactured in the Liverpool factory, and was also involved in the purchase and sale of used / reconditioned equipment. In the 1970s he was credited with pioneering the import and sale of new machinery manufactured in Europe from companies such as SCM, Maweg, Klockner, and Balestrini, and this trend continues today with the company still importing a huge range from leading manufacturers in Italy, the US, Germany and so on.

Mr Smith will be remembered across the industry as someone who always looked for the positive in any situation.  He also had a phenomenal memory for people and faces, which was invaluable at exhibitions where he simply “knew everyone”, said the company.

Retiring from full-time work in 2002, Mr Smith was appointed chairman and was still involved until 2017, having worked continuously for the company for 55 years.  The business continues to be a leading player in the industry, and is still family run by the third and fourth generations.

Mr Smith will be sadly missed by all his colleagues at JJ Smith Ltd and the wider woodworking machinery community. He is survived by his wife Val and daughters Sarah and Kate.

John Smith