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Mr Charles Fenton, OBE, JP, Dip Text Ind, FTI, Hon FCGI

We are very sorry to report the death, on 22 August 2013, of Mr Charles Fenton, former Chairman of Convocation and member of the Court and the Council. 

Mr Fenton was a leading industrialist who, during the 1970s and 1980s, served successively as managing director and chairman of the BBA Group.  The group, which employed some 26,000 staff by the time of his retirement, had its origins in a company funded by his great grandfather to manufacture a new kind of power transmission belting that he had invented.  Mr Fenton also held a number of non-executive directorships.

High Sherriff of West Yorkshire in 1981, Mr Fenton was awarded an OBE in 1982 for services to the community; he was prominently involved in community life, doing much for organisations including the Leonard Cheshire Foundation and the Dewsbury and District League of Friendship for Disabled Persons.  He was also a JP, a Fellow of the Textile Institute, a Companion of the Institute of Management, an Honorary Fellow of the City & Guilds of London Institute, and a Vice-President of Yorkshire CCC.

Within the University, Mr Fenton was extensively involved with Convocation, serving as both committee member and Chairman.  He represented Convocation on the Court from 1984 to 1990 and again from 1994 to 2001; and was a Convocation representative on the Council between 1990 and 1994.  He was a source of wise counsel on all the bodies on which he served.  He was also a staunch supporter and generous benefactor of Devonshire Hall, serving on the Hall Council for over forty years.

Mr Fenton is survived by his son, Nigel.

The funeral service was held on Tuesday 3 September 2013, on which day the flag was flown at half-mast on the Parkinson Building in Mr Fenton’s memory.

A full obituary of Mr Fenton was published in the Yorkshire Post newspaper on 31 August.