Chairman of Monument Tools passes away

John Collier

Monument Tools has announced the passing of its chairman John Collier, which took place peacefully after a sudden and short illness on 16 January 2024.

A public memorial service will be held where friends, colleagues and employees are invited to celebrate John’s life and work, on a date and location to be advised. A private funeral service will be held for family members.

John joined the business following an education at Epsom College. Along with his father, Arthur Collier Jnr, they set out to grow the business following the invention and patenting of an adjustable basin wrench for professional plumbers, a statement said.

Building on the Shetack brand and a range of professional plumbers and builders’ tools, which included copper pipe cutters, he moved the business from their Brixton base to new premises in Balham in 1969, doubling manufacturing space.

He continued to grow the business investing in manufacturing processes and automatic lathes and was an early adopter of computer-based systems in the early 1970s.

Monument Tools said John was a trailblazer, introducing General Wire Spring electromechanical drain cleaning machines to the UK market, plumbers soldering equipment to the UK in the early 1970s.

Throughout the 1980s he continued to invest in both product development and manufacturing, including installing plastic injection moulding equipment to increase capacity.

In 1996 he moved the business to new premises in Hackbridge, and UK operations still manufacture and distribute from this site.

John became a leading light in the Federation of British Hand Tool Manufacturers, it noted, serving a period as president and established the company as regular exhibitor at the Cologne Hardware Fair.

He was also a Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Plumbers.

In 1996 his son, Jonathan, joined to become the 5th generation of the Collier family to be involved in the business. In 2010 when Jonathan became managing director, John moved into the role of chairman and became affectionally referred to by the employees of Monument Tools as ‘Senior’, a tribute noted.

John’s last company activity was to preside over Monument Tools 90th birthday celebration which was held locally and attended by past and present employees.

Outside of the business John was a successful club cricketer playing and captaining Cheam Cricket Club and The Old Epsomians, where he was also president of The Old Epsomian Cricket Club.

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