Well known furniture retail figure Robert Maskrey OBE has sadly passed away at the age of 76 following a short battle with cancer.
The Welsh businessman, philanthropist and supporter of the arts, Robert Maskrey was at the helm of the iconic furniture retailer, Maskreys, which had outlets in Cardiff, Newport and Bristol before the business closed its doors in 2011 after 112 years of successful trading.
Robert Maskrey brought blond wood from Scandinavia to the UK in the fifties, and also introduced stylish brands Ligne Roset and hulsta to the UK in the late sixties and seventies.
Aside from his business interests, Robert Maskrey was a keen supporter of the arts and was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours list in 2015 for his voluntary and charitable services to arts and the community.
Robert John Maskrey was born in 1940 in the flat above the Maskreys’ shop, which was located on Whitchurch Road in Cardiff.
After studying Textiles at St Martin’s School of Arts in London, Robert Maskrey joined the family business in 1960. He started learning the trade from the bottom, working in the warehouse for a year sweeping floors, driving vans, fitting carpets and cutting curtains. He became manager of the Newport store in 1961 and sales director of the Cardiff store in 1964, before assuming control from his father, Leonard Maskrey, in 1970.
Robert Maskrey supported the arts through voluntary roles that were of considerable benefit to Wales and the West. He was chair of Cardiff Arts Marketing (1992-1998); Trustee of Cardiff Old Library Trust (1995-2002) and chair of the Lower Machen Festival (2005-2010).
Robert Maskrey died on 14 September 2016 and is survived by his wife, Samantha, and his two children, Simon and Michele.