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Alfred William Sparrow 1921 – 2012

We have received the sad news of the death of crane man Alf Sparrow following a short illness. He passed away peacefully at his home in Cornwall this morning at 9:15, having entered a coma last week following a stroke. He celebrated his 90th birthday last summer.
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Alf Sparrow in retirement with wife Pat

Alf Sparrow was the third child of George William Sparrow a Batch, Somerset based entrepreneur and his wife Edith and the first of three sons in a family of seven children.

After serving in North Africa and Italy during the war, he founded a heavy recovery business and manufactured his own cranes using American army surplus vehicles. The venture, an offshoot of his fathers transport cafe, filling station and garage, was the foundation for the crane rental business that he and his two brothers, George and Gordon, were to build into one of the world’s leading international lifting specialists - Sparrows Crane Hire.

That business was floated on the London stock exchange in 1968 and was acquired by BET in a hostile take over bid in late 1985, when he was 65.
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Alf Sparrow in 1981

While he held a couple of non-executive posts after that, it essentially marked his retirement, leaving him free to play golf and travel. He leaves behind his wife Pat, daughters Wendy, Leslie and Nicola and son Stephen.

We will update this article during the next day or two when we have funeral/memorial service details. A full obituary will also be published in the March issue of Cranes & Access.

Alf Sparrow funeral and memorial arrangements
There will be will be private cremation on the morning of the 5th March, followed by an open service at the holy trinity church in Combe Down, Bath at 2pm, with a resception afterwards at the Combe Grove Manor hotel .


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