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Past Master Roy Seeman passes away, aged 83
Published:  07 December, 2016

The industry is saddened to learn of the passing of Roy Seeman, past Master of the Worshipful Company of Butchers. 

Survived by wife Gloria, a son, a daughter and grandchildren, Roy passed away on 3 December at the age of 83.

He was educated at the Ilford County Grammar School and South West Essex County Technical College.

Roy’s career began in the baking industry when he joined Garfield Weston on a full-time training scheme for potential management for Allied Bakeries. When the scheme folded, he went to the National Bakery School, at the then Borough Polytechnic, where he was awarded the Joseph Rank Scholarship. He was a member of the three-man team that made the Exhibition Bread featured in the display cabinet when the Festival of Britain was opened by HM King George VI and HM Queen Elizabeth. He qualified with Final City & Guilds and the National Bakery Diploma.

Roy served as a baker in the Royal Army Service Corps at Aldershot from 1952-1954, where he was the champion recruit and selected to represent the regiment in the Coronation Parade in 1953. On demobilisation, Joseph Rank wanted to sponsor him in business, but he wanted more commercial experience in the trade and worked for a local baker. Eventually he joined Unilever, where he was responsible for quality control and customer enquiries for its margarine division.

Career in butchery

He then became a third-generation butcher as a management trainee, where he learned all aspects of the trade and spent two years working for selected tradesmen. He ended up as general manager and director of 22 Hedges shops in London, and PA to Bill Hedges in his other ventures.

Roy turned his hand to the catering side, becoming a general manager for Eastwood Thompson and a general manager of a large processing plant under Jim Sanger.

In 1980 he started his own business, which he ran until his retirement in 1998.

He became a liveryman in 1964, joined the Court in 1985 and was elected Master in 1995.

As well as his career in the meat industry, Roy was part of the Ralph Reader Gang Shows and performed at the Royal Albert Hall. He also sang in the first choir to perform in the new Royal Festival Hall in 1951 and was a founder member of the Borough Poly Choir.