Mr Crane, born in 1924, started Duval with his brother Bill in 1950. In the following years, the company researched various drycleaning methods, chemicals and equipment.

With the development of specialist programs, the company became one of the foremost suede and leather cleaners for the trade.

At this point it was decided that the new 113 solvent was the way of the future and Duval started handling the equipment including finishing machinery and so pioneered the drycleaning package.

Des was responsible for one of the most important aspects of implementing this new technology – training.

It was an area where he excelled and his expert tuition allowed users to unlock and maximise the new system’s potential. Having “written the book”, so to speak, he had the answer to virtually all the drycleaners’ questions.

Des retired eight years ago and spent most of his leisure time playing golf and watching county cricket.

Despite health problems, Des had a wonderful sense of humour. and he was liked by virtually everybody. Although retired, he looked into the factory at least twice a week.

His death was sudden and shocked all who knew him. He will be sadly missed by all his friends and family.

Bill Crane