By David Shaw, ERJ staff
Wigan, UK - It is with sadness and no small measure of regret that we have to report on the death of Eric Holroyd. Eric passed away peacefully at his home on 12 June. A family funeral service was held last Friday.
Eric developed the original concept of highly efficient tyre manufacturing systems. He was truly a pioneer. While it was sometimes hard to get along with Eric, thanks to his fierce integrity and passion for his inventions, the industry needs pioneers like Eric.
In his time he worked with Donald Campbell designing and producing the tyres for the car which broke the land speed record for a rear wheel drive vehicle, a record which still stands today.
He worked up to be the senior engineer in Fort Dunlop and in 1974 was appointed as Director of Engineering Consultancy Services in Wigan and was given the freedom and time to really turn his genius into a practical reality, designing a ground-breaking tyre factory. The concepts developed at Dunlop were the fore-runners of all the modern, ultra-compact, energy-efficient tyre building systems in use today.
In the mid 80's, after Dunlop was taken over he started his own consulting business and worked with a range of tyre companies right up to retiring at 75. In 1986 he was awarded the Colwyn Medal for his services to the Rubber industry and became a fellow of the institute for Rubber Technology -- a fitting tribute to his long career in the industry.
I for one mourn his passing. On a personal note I met Eric and his son Colin a number of times. Eric was a man of passion - an engineer's engineer. He would work on a problem until he had it solved. In an age when accountants run companies, his approach did not match the short-term cost-cutting agenda.
My thanks to Duncan and Lorna Dobson for their help and support. My condolences on their loss.