Geoffrey Pidgeon, the man behind bathroom retail forerunner Humphersons and Original Bathrooms has died aged 95.
Pidgeon, born in Fulham in 1926, went into the bathroom market after World War 2 and joined the Humphersons family plumbing business and oversaw its significant growth and success to become a key name in bathroom retail, gradually moving it from the trade counter to boutique Chelsea showroom in 1970 and supplying premium hotels across London and beyond.
With his deep technical knowledge of plumbing products and their applications, Pidgeon sat on no less than 14 British Standards committees and was heavily involved with the metrification of the building industry and its components. He was always an ardent and forthright campaigner for the, now standard, water saving valve flushing systems in WCs.
He also took the company into the infant fitted kitchen market by taking on national agency for Nobilia and supplying emerging kitchen specialists around the country. From this beginning Humphersons became the first Bulthaup dealer in the UK and opened showrooms in Knightsbridge and in the Heal’s flagship store in Tottenham Court Road.
Later, when the family business was sold, he launched a new company – Original Bathrooms – selling and distributing advanced European bathroom products around the UK. Specialising in Italian products particularly, he introduced brands such as Flaminia, Fantini, Signorini, Sbordoni and many others to the UK.
It was then that he started to put together information gleaned from his own wartime experiences and those of many others to write his book – The Secret Wireless War – which is universally accepted as the reference book on the transmission of the Ultra secret intelligence and many of the other vital peripheral aspects of the Bletchley Park operation.
In October 2019, he received the Légion D’ Honneur at Lancaster House from Her Excellency the French Ambassador and the Minister of Defence as the 6,000th British recipient for their contribution to the liberation of France (pictured).
He leaves three sons and a wide family who will miss him very sorely.