Tom Platts, a well-known figure throughout the timber industry, has died after a long illness.

Born in Birstall, Mr Platts served in the RAF during the second world war and then joined engineering firm Joshua Shaw and Sons, becoming sales director. He then became one of the founders of Shaw Sideloaders, which grew out of Joshua Shaw and Sons to become one of the largest sideloader manufacturers.

He went on to form Sideloader Specialists Ltd in 1976 with his son Colin, based in Gomersal.

Mr Platts continued to work almost right up to his death and in recent years worked as a consultant to his son Frank Platts and grandson Ian Platts at their company Northern Sideloaders Ltd, based in Wakefield.

In all, he worked in the mechanical handling industry for almost 60 years.