John Austin-Davies, whose name became synonymous with the UK commercial refrigeration industry, has retired after a career spanning 40 years.  John was a past Chairman of FETA, and a past President of the BRA.

John’s career in refrigeration started at Prestcold Ltd in September 1978, before moving to George Barker & Co (Leeds) Ltd in 1980, where he spent the rest of his career, rising to Commercial Director. George Barker was acquired by Italian company Epta in 1999.

John was a great supporter of the BRA, and served as Chairman of the Cabinet and Coldstores Section for many years.

John has also been a great advocate for training in the industry via his involvement with the IOR and ACRIB and chairing the Trailblazer Apprentice Employer’s Group.

Reflecting on his career, John said: “That journey has encompassed refrigerant changes from CFC through to natural refrigerants, the start-up of the Barker Refrigeration Contracting and Service & Maintenance business, the role of technical director for several years and, via Epta product marketing, into the role of UK commercial director.”

On his retirement, John Austin-Davies paid tribute to the great people he had worked with, thanking those who had endured his “Celtic temperament” and provided encouragement and support.

“I have remained a “techie” throughout my professional life, and I shall retain this interest after my retirement through various means, including ongoing activity in the Institute of Refrigeration,” he said.

To crown off a distinguished career, John was awarded the RAC Gold Award at the recent RAC Cooling Awards.



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