An obituary for Leonard Cox

Aug 16 | 2021

Len Cox, a leading light in the UK moving industry and past president of BAR and chairman of IFWRI, died on 21 June in his adopted home in Spain.

Len Cox (left) with Robin MasonHere, his cousin, Robin D Mason, from Selles of Hull, who held the same positions a few years later, remembers his life and work.

Len Cox was born in Henley on Thames in 1935 and after primary school attended Henley Grammar School for Boys. On leaving school, he went to work for C & G Ayres Ltd in Reading at its parcels and rail office.

At 18 years of age he was called up to do National Service and joined The Army Pay Corp. He trained in England and then saw service in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) and Hong Kong, which he always said was a fantastic experience.

On leaving the Army Len returned to C & G Ayres in Reading in the removal department, where he learned a great deal about the industry that was to be his life. From Reading he was asked if he would like to go to E W Reeves & Co in Wokingham (a company owned by Ayres) as assistant manager. This he did under the guidance of the late Cecil Culver.

From there Len moved to R P Over & Son in Camberley where he took on the responsibility of removals manger.  After a successful period there he took the prestigious roll of removals manager at Heelas in Reading, part of the John Lewis group.

Len’s last move in the industry was to Robert Darvall where together with Ken Darvall they built up one of the most successful businesses operating a regular service to and from Spain.

During his time in the industry, Len was, in 1976, National Chairman of the IFRWI (Institute of the Furniture Warehousing and Removing Industry) and, two years later, president of BAR (British Association of Removers). Many will remember his many hours of work on the reform of the trading conditions in the industry. This became well known as ‘Coxes Cross’!

Len moved to Spain in his retirement over 20 years ago, with his wife Dinah, and they enjoyed a happy life together.

Sadly his health deteriorated, and he passed away on 21 June, 2021 in hospital in Javea, his home town in Spain.

Photo: Len Cox (left) with Robin Mason.