Obituary – John C Entwistle, 1934 – 2012, Movetech UK

John Entwistle, Chairman of the British Turntable Co, (now known as Movetech UK), and a stalwart of the local business community has died, aged 77, after a short illness.

Born in Bolton, the son of John Entwistle Snr, owner of the respected Entwistle & Walker car dealership, John Entwistle was passionate about his home town and a champion of North West business.

He became a successful entrepreneur at the tender age of 24 when his father asked him to design and build a turntable for his car showroom. He had seen car turntables at exhibitions and felt they also had a place in the showroom.

With an engineering background but working as a cost accountant at De Havilland in the town, John Entwistle Jnr set to work on the project. This first unit was such a success that, in 1959, he founded Bolton Turntable Co at Flash Street Mill and left De Havilland to work on building his own future. The company has gone from strength to strength, designing and manufacturing revolves and revolving stages from 12cm in diameter to 33m in diameter and a range of industrial transporters and moving equipment that incorporate the firm’s Hovair air film technology. It has exported to more than 140 countries world wide.

Throughout his working life John Entwistle was committed to putting Bolton on the business map. He was a Council Member of the Bolton & Bury Chamber of Commerce for many years, served on the Three D’s regeneration project, and was the instigator behind Bolton WIDE, a public/private partnership that was established to promote and develop the area to the west of Bolton in the M61 corridor. Some of this area is now known as Middlebrook, home to thriving retail and business parks, the prestigious Reebok Stadium and De Vere Whites Hotel. It also includes other parts of Horwich, Chequerbent and Wingates Industrial Park.

John Entwistle regularly opened the doors of his business to young people and the University of Bolton to promote the value of engineering and manufacturing, which he felt were key to Bolton’s prosperity.

He also worked with Commonwealth Games and Council officials to put Bolton on the map during the Manchester Commonwealth Games 2002.

In 2008 John Entwistle won a Special Achievement Award at the Bolton & Bury Business Awards for his lifetime’s work in helping make British Turntable a leading company in the world.

Although enjoying the odd round of golf, John Entwistle continued to work part time in the business after handing over the reins to his son, Tim Entwistle. As Chairman he continued to research future opportunities for the business and develop special projects. His son, Russell, also works in the business as purchasing manager.

John Entwistle is also a published author. In 2008 he published his autobiography, Bolton Born and Bred and, in 2011, a novel, Dreams Really Do Come True. At his death he was working on two further novels and a pictorial history of British Turntable.

John leaves behind his wife, Elizabeth, six children and ten grandchildren.

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