Tributes paid following death of Peter Goodwin, former director of Ipswich-based Titchmarsh & Goodwin
PUBLISHED: 14:17 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 09:30 21 March 2017
A former director of Ipswich-based fine furniture maker Titchmarsh & Goodwin has died at the age of 74.
Peter Goodwin followed his older brother Jeremy – who died four years ago, aged 81 – into the family business co-founded by their father, Gordon Goodwin.
Among Peter’s responsibilities were the firm’s sawmill at Witnesham, near Ipswich, which opened during the 1970s, and the management of an area of woodland the family bought at Edwardstone, near Sudbury, to provide timber for the business.
He went on to become chairman of the Royal Forestry Society (RFS) in East Anglia and was a co-founder of the Woodland Heritage charity, for the sustainable management of timber for use in craft industries.
A spokesman for the RFS said: “He recognised that cabinet makers could be connected with foresters, to improve the way in which trees were grown and cared for, with the ambition of producing not only high quality British timber but also a supportive environment for our native wildlife.
“To further his concept he co-founded the organisation Woodland Heritage, an exciting charity that works to revive and embrace our woodland culture.
“As chairman of their board of trustees, Peter worked tirelessly in a voluntary capacity for the charity for over 23 years, securing its first 40 founding members (of very competitive cabinet makers) and the patronage of HRH The Prince of Wales, who describes the charity as ‘the perfect example of a virtuous circle’.”
Mr Goodwin also played a key role in raising awareness of Acute Oak Decline (AOD) disease and in 2011 was presented with the society’s top award, the RFS Gold Medal, for distinguished services to forestry.
Mr Goodwin leaves his wife, Sally, who lives in Woodbridge, and two daughters and step-daughters.
James Goodwin, Mr Goodwin’s nephew and godson, said: “His knowledge of furniture and porcelain among other fine and decorative arts was immense. He was also very funny.”
Titchmarsh & Goodwin, based in Back Hamlet, Ipswich, was founded by Lawrence Titchmarsh and Gordon Goodwin in 1920, although the origins of the company can be traced back another 150 years to 1770 when Samuel Goodwin, a carpenter in Woodbridge and an ancestor of Gordon, sent his son, George, to take up an apprenticeship with a firm of cabinetmakers in London.
On his return to Suffolk, George established a business of his own, designing and crafting fine furniture, and this created a tradition of cabinet and clock-case making in and around Ipswich which eventually led to his descendent co-founding Titchmarsh & Goodwin more than a century later.
Over the years, Titchmarsh & Goodwin furniture has found its way into some of the world’s finest interiors, including Buckingham Palace and Riyadh Palace in Saudi Arabia, with former US president Lyndon Johnson also among its customers.
The Goodwin family sold the business in 2012 to Russian interests but it returned to local ownership last year through a management buyout, backed by NatWest Bank.