Sir Henry Spurrier (16th June 1898 to 17th June 1964)

 

Leyland Motors was created in 1896 and its multitude of cars, buses, tractors, trucks and lorries are woven into the fabric is British transport. They even made tanks throughout the Second World War. Here I am outside the home of Sir Henry Spurrier who was the third generation of the Spurrier family to run the company. He died here one day after his 66th birthday. Itís a large house at the end of a drive off a quiet lane. Parked up peering through the gate I stuck out like a sore thumb and didnít stay for long.

 

Henry was a pilot throughout World War One but as soon as the war ended he joined the family business and became the chief engineer. Aged 44 he inherited control of the giant company after his dad died. He became the Managing Director and was knighted in 1955 for his devotion to the family business.

 

He liked yachting and shooting though he probably had little time for these pursuits while being at the helm of such a capacious company. Ill health had forced him to retire at 63 years old but he only lived for another year. He died here at his home, the last generation of Spurrierís to run the motor giant. He left a widow and two daughters.

 

The large home in green surroundings near north of Preston is called Ingol Cottage but it's too large for such a name. I'm sure the warning sign stating that surveillance cameras were watching was accurate so I didn't stay for long. It's the kind of place cat burglars target in the dead of night. A car drove by with two people in it, both heads swivelling about 180 degrees to watch me. If I knew they were going to take such an interest I'd have put on my black balaclava mask and leapt over the wall like a ninja. I did a quick salute and left.