We have received the sad news that Douglas Clow chairman of ladder, steps and access equipment manufacturer the Clow group has died following a short illness.
He passed away peacefully in his sleep yesterday morning, February 5th, with his family by his side.
The third generation of the Clow family to work in the family firm, He started selling Clow products in Northern Ireland, while he was employed as a student night porter in the Skerry Bhan Hotel in Portrush.
He was far more successful than his grandfather - who agreed to pay him a commission while in Ireland – expected. Eventually W.J. Clow only paid half the commission rate that he has originally agreed, however it was sufficient to pay his university fees. He later moved to Glasgow University to study engineering.
His father John Clow managed to persuade him to give up university and join the company as a representative. The lure of selling was clearly greater than university. He initially covered the East and North of Scotland. Although he retained a love of Ireland. So he persuaded the three directors to let him go to Ireland for four week sales trips. He reduced them to three weeks at a time after getting married in 1966.
In 1970 he was appointed sales director, while his cousin Bill Clow became production director. The two employed a sales manager for Northern Ireland in 1978 and opened Clow's first depot in Belfast.
When Bill Clow died Douglas had to buy his shares, which he managed with the support of the Clydesdale Bank, which later helped him make 15 acquisitions between 1980 and 2007. In 2000 Clow and his directors decided to build a new factory and office block adjacent to the premises they had purchased in 1975.
His youngest son Cameron is currently the company’s managing director, he has one other son and a daughter. His funeral will be held at South Lanarkshire Crematorium on Thursday 13th February, at 15:30.