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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Cumbrian business boss died on trip to Barcelona

One of Cumbria’s most successful businessmen, George Lloyd, has died aged 70.

George Lloyd photo
George Lloyd

Originally from Whitehaven, he founded and ran Group Lloyd, the motorcycle helmet and clothing wholesaler based at Pallet Hill, near Penrith.

The company grew to be a global operation with offices and distribution centres in North America, Germany, Monaco and the UK, and further distributors in 46 countries. It employs 45 staff.

Mr Lloyd began selling and repairing motorcycles in Whitehaven 56 years ago, trading as Lloyd Bros with premises in Preston Street and at the corner of Duke Street and Tangier Street.

The firm became one of the first Honda dealers in the UK.

The Japanese bikes proved to be a huge success prompting him to move the business to Hamilton, near Glasgow.

The Scottish venture, Motorcycle World, had the largest motorcycle-clothing showroom in Europe, stocked 1,500 bikes and sold 5,000 new and used bikes each year.

In 1988 he switched from retailing to wholesaling and relocated to Penrith.

The business focused on the distribution of specialised motorcycle protection including clothing and helmets.

He established the Akito brand of leather and textile clothing.

Expansion abroad was fuelled by the Nitro range of helmets, which took the market by surprise in 2001.

By 2006, sales of helmets topped a million.

Mr Lloyd received many industry accolades including ‘wholesaler of the year’ from Motorcycle News and a lifetime-achievement award from British Dealer News.

He was also a collector of motorbikes and owned a private motorcycle museum.

More than 100 guests attended a surprise party to mark his 70th birthday.

He was taken ill and died on a business trip to Barcelona in September.

His funeral took place at St Andrew’s Church, Penrith, on Thursday, followed by burial at Hamilton on Friday.

He is survived by his wife Cath, son John, daughters Vicky and Susan, and three grandchildren.

His family worked with him in the business.

Group Lloyd’s offices closed on Thursday and Friday as a mark of respect.


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