The Printing Charity pays tribute to Victor Watson CBE DL

The Printing Charity is sorry to learn of the death on 25 February of Victor Watson CBE DL, a legendary figure in the print industry.

We presented Mr Watson with a Pro Merito Award in 2013 for his work on our behalf both locally as President in 1958 of our former Yorkshire Auxiliary of Volunteers (now our Yorkshire Committee) and nationally as the charity’s President in 1992.

Recognised as the father of today’s UK print industry, he joined Waddingtons in 1971 as an apprentice, rising to become its Chairman in 1977 until his retirement in 1993. The company went on to form the core of Communisis plc.

Until his death, he was the President of Print Yorkshire, now known as CDi Yorkshire (Creative and Digital Industries). In 2007, he was awarded the first ever BPIF President’s Award for Lifetime Contribution to the printing industry. The same year his autobiography, The Waddingtons Story, was published, which recounts saving the business for the employees and the City of Leeds.

He was also a past President of the Royal Warrant Holders Association, the Institute of Packaging, and the British Printing Industries Federation. He was awarded the CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 1987.

Stephen Gilbert, our Chief Executive, says: “A titan of the printing industry, Victor Watson worked tirelessly on The Printing Charity’s behalf. Our staff and trustees extend their condolences to Mr Watson’s family.”


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