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Internal News - 21 July 2005
Entrepreneur and inventor Jeremy Fry dies
Local entrepreneur and supporter of the University, Jeremy Fry, has died aged 81. Jeremy served on the University Council from 1984-87 and sat on the Honorary Degree Committee.
Jeremy founded Rotork Engineering in 1957 after identifying the potential of valve actuators (a device which automatically moves a valve to a desired position). Rotork is the market leader in equipment for use in oil and gas pipelines, refineries, power stations and waste water plants.
He is remembered as an inspirational mentor by designer James Dyson, who joined Rotork in 1970. James said, “"Jeremy was the most charismatic and inventive of engineering designers.
"Yet his real brilliance was to nurture and help young engineers, to whom he showed huge generosity.”
Jeremy will also be remembered as the saviour of the Theatre Royal. He bought the theatre in 1979 and as its president oversaw its extensive renovation. In addition to other artistic projects Jeremy was chairman of the Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol.
Jeremy, a descendent of JS Fry, the chocolate manufacturer, was also a close friend of Princess Margaret and was godfather to Viscount Linley. The royals were regular visitors to his home in Widcombe.