Death of leading light in Britain’s carpet industry

Bury Times: Neville Cormack has died Neville Cormack has died

A SUCCESSFUL businessman who became a leading figure in the carpet industry has died at the age of 83.

Mr Neville Cormack was chairman and managing director of Cormar Carpets, and had been a pioneer of tufted carpets in Britain.

In recognition to his services to the industry, he was awarded an OBE in 1987.

Mr Cormack died peacefully at his home in Helmshore on Sunday and is survived by his wife Betty, his three children Helen, John and David, and five grandchildren. In 1949, Mr Cormack joined Greenwood and Coope, the company that his father founded in 1924 and which originally supplied bindings and felts to the shoe and slipper trade in Rossendale.

He then founded Cormar Carpets in 1956, and under his leadership the company was one of the most successful carpet firms in the country, after tufting machines were imported to Britain from the United States.

The first machines began to produce 54-inch wide tufted carpet at Nunn Hills Mill in Stackheads, Rossendale.

During his time in charge, the firm expanded and are now based in two mills – Brookhouse Mill in Greenmount and Holme Mill in Ramsbottom – where 23 machines produce more than nine million square feet of carpet a year.

Mr Cormack led the company for 57 years, and was a respected member of the UK’s carpet industry, being elected chairman of the Tufted Carpet Manufacturer’s Association in 1969.

He was also the founder of the Rossendale Enterprise Trust, and chairman of the Rossendale Industrial Society.

Mr Cormack also took a keen interest in education, and supported the Bury Grammar School Bursary Fund, which provided opportunities for some of the brightest students in the town.

In addition, he was a member of the Rossall School Council in Fleetwood and a governor of Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School.

In his spare time he enjoyed motor boat racing, and was the Senior Past Commodore of Windermere Motor Boat Racing Club. Mr Cormack was also a religious man, and was associated with Waterbarn Baptist Chapel in Stackheads, St Thomas’ Church in Helmshore, the Parish Church of St Anne’s in Tottington and St Mary’s Church in Staveley-in-Cartmel, Cumbria.

A private funeral for close friends and family of Mr Cormack will take place at St Mary's Church at 12pm on Monday.

A service of thanksgiving will also be held at St Anne’s Church in Tottington on a date to be arranged in January.

Instead of flowers, Mr Cormack’s family are asking for donations to be made to The Christie charity, Wilmslow Road, Manchester M20 4BX.

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