Obituary: David Whitworth, former chair of Door & Hardware Federation and GAI

Door & Hardware Federation (DHF) has announced the death of one of its directors and former chairman, David Whitworth, who recently died at the age of 91.  

David started his lifelong career in architectural ironmongery in 1955 when he joined his family’s business, Laidlaw & Thomson. In 1958, he became the managing director.  There followed a period of expansion which saw the business becoming one of the leading architectural ironmongers in the UK.  

Laidlaw & Thomson was a founder member of GAI (the Guild of Architectural Ironmongers) in 1961 and David sat on the Executive Committee right from its formation.  He was chairman of the GAI between 1968-1970 and, again, in 1978-1979, as well as being president of ARGE, an association representing lock and hardware manufacturers throughout Europe.  

David was a member of the ABHM (Association of Building Hardware Manufacturers) Management Committee and was elected ABHM chairman in 2001. In 2004, he was a key player in ABHM’s merger with DSMA (the Door & Shutter Manufacturers’ Association) to form the new, larger, and stronger association, DHF. In 2007, he became chairman of DHF and, for a number of years, also chaired the newly formed DHF Building Hardware Group.  

Even after David stepped away from his chairmanship role at DHF, he continued to take a keen interest, both in the growth, development, and on-going success of the federation, and in the industry as a whole.  

Bob Perry, DHF CEO, commented: “David’s knowledge and expertise of architectural ironmongery and building hardware was absolutely unparalleled. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to him for his extraordinary and outstanding commitment and contribution to DHF and to the wider building hardware industry. We all join in expressing our condolences to David’s family and friends at this very sad time.”

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