Edward (Ted) George Skett aged 84 died Sunday 10th April
He was born in Handsworth, Birmingham, to the late Kathleen and George Skett on 22nd June 1931, the eldest son of seven children. He is survived by his 3 children, 7 grandchildren and 1 great grandson.
After completing his national service in 1951 in the Royal Engineers, Ted set his sights on becoming self employed and began selling Army Surplus on Kidderminster Market. It is here he met Betty, who would be his wife until her passing in 2002. Together they soon set up a market stall and business selling Haberdashery and became known as Mr Buttons with stalls and shops around the Midlands.
In 1956 Ted was given the opportunity to manage and erect stalls at Stratford upon Avon and E.G. Skett & Co was born. The company continued to operate this market until 2011 and it seemed a natural decision to make this area his home and head office. Operations of other markets quickly followed in Warwick and Banbury and several other towns throughout the Midlands. It was in 1971 whilst on a family day out that Ted discovered Halfpenny Green Airport and his dream of creating a huge outdoor market and family day began. An exhaustive legal battle to see Sunday trading repealed followed; he worked closely with large organisations and people like Sir Terrance Conran. This secured through to the London high courts to have Sunday trading laws referred to the European union for amendment or repeal. He was one of the original pioneers with many parts of this test case used for further influence for change. The market’s phenomenal success continued uninterrupted until 2002. No challenge was too big and Ted lead the company to diverse opportunities; from helping salvage the destruction of the Handsworth riots in 1985 with a market that enabled shopkeepers to continue trading, to representing England in Strasbourg at the International Market Event.
In 1986 his company acquired Pershore Airfield in Worcestershire where the successful recipe of Halfpenny Green Airport Market was reinvented. Ted enjoyed a good retirement pursuing his hobbies of photography, travel and all things gadget. The company which celebrates its 60th year is an original member of APMO and continuing supporter of NABMA. It is with great pride that Ted has seen the company continue to flourish and diverse with the third generation coming through with their life long experience.
Funeral will take place at Oakley Wood Crematorium, Leamington Spa at 3pm on Monday 25th April.
Family flowers only, preferred and donations to Alzheimer’s Society.