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T&J Installations founder, Derek Jones, passes away



T&J Installations regrets to announce the loss of much-loved company founder, Derek Jones. Derek passed away on 8th August 2017 at the age of 71, after a short battle with cancer. 

Born in Birmingham on 29th November 1945, Derek - pictured right - began his professional life in beer dispense in 1970, when he left a job as Dept Manager at C&A after a chance job offer from one of his customers. 
Ever the hard-worker, Derek’s position at C&A was one that he’d worked up to since leaving school at the age of 15 and began working as a shop assistant. Fortuitously, he made the life-changing career move to become a brewery technician at Scottish & Newcastle Brewery.
It was here that Derek learned the skills that would prove invaluable, as he worked in the brewery’s technical services department.
In 1984, having been made redundant when the brewery closed the department he worked in, Derek decided to start his own technical services company. He founded T&J Installations with Ken Taylor, who had been a friend and colleague of his at the brewery. With the Jones family today dominating the company’s management team, many ask where the ‘T’ in the company name comes from – the answer is, it comes from Ken.
Derek believed in a hands-on approach, bringing new employees – often acquired through chats at the local pub – into the industry as apprentices and training them on the skilled work of a beer dispense technician.
Well-loved in the industry, Derek was known for his personal approach and endearing wit, which helped to grow the business and its client base. Much to the embarrassment of his sons, he liked to use his slogan, ”You’ve tried Mickey Mouse, now try Tom & Jerry” – a nod to the company’s initials of ‘T’ and ‘J’.
Along with these traits, Derek wouldn’t have achieved what he did without being a shrewd businessman and a forward-thinker. He was instrumental in bringing the company into the digital age, instigating the development of the company’s website and introducing an online job status portal for the use of staff and clients – when he did this, he was way ahead of the times.
Derek thought very highly of his team and their work, and in gaining clients through real person-to-person connections. A brief passage on the company in his own words, which sits on the website, reads:
“We believe that we are only as good as our last job and that our knowledge of the industry comes with experience and dedication. Our track record speaks for itself with the majority of our business coming from recommendation and referral.”
Derek spent the years following his retirement in 2008 travelling the world with his wife, Sandra. Together, they enjoyed the spoils of the persistent hard work both had put in for so long. 
His labour of love never fully escaped his mind though. While T&J continued to develop and expand into new areas, Derek made a point of popping in every now and then, to keep the team on their toes.
One of Derek’s two sons in the business, Ian Jones, Managing Director of T&J, said: “We owe Derek a great debt. The company, as it now stands, supports the livelihoods of over 100 staff and their families, and that number continues to rise. 
“Derek was very personable, and that earned him a lot of love and respect from the team and clients alike. He was great at making people smile. His approach and personality have shaped the way we do business and will continue to do so for many years to come.
“He will be greatly missed, not just by myself and my family, but by the whole T&J team. We are his legacy, and are immensely grateful for that.”
Derek is survived by his wife, Sandra, and sons, T&J Directors, Ian Jones and Paul Jones, and leaves behind T&J Installations which employs over 100 staff.
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