Builders' Merchants News

John W Lake: he ran Lakes Builders’ Merchants for almost half a century

Farewell to John W Lake

Published:  02 February, 2012

DERBYSHIRE: It is with great sadness that we announce the death at the age of 81, of John W Lake who ran Lakes Builders’ Merchants for almost half a century.

In 1953 Mr Lake took over at the helm of the Derbyshire family business Midland Contractors Supply Co (Messrs Lake & Son) following the death of his father, Norman Lake. This was subsequently incorporated as a limited company – E&JW Lake Limited (the name is derived from his mother's name Ella and his own initials).

E&JW Lake grew from its two established branches in Newhall and Derby to include branches at Alfreton, Ashbourne, Belper and Long Eaton.

Mr Lake was also founder member and chairman of Great Central Merchants, one of the country’s largest builders’ and plumbers’ merchant buying groups, which consisted of over 50 merchant members from all over the UK.

He received The Freedom of the City of London in September 1982.

He ran Lakes very successfully for almost 50 years with great humanity, helping many local entrepreneurs with advice and support when they needed it.

In 2002, Lakes joined the Grafton Group and Mr Lake retired at the age of 72. His son John E Lake, Buildbase director for the East Midlands Region, continues to run five of the original Lakes branches (now trading as Lakes Buildbase), as well as branches at Awsworth, Hatton, Leek and Stoke.

Mr Lake is survived by his wife Anne, to whom he had been married for over 51 years and his son John, daughter-in-law Emma and grandchildren Thomas, Charlie and Freddie.