Roberts Mart Chairman celebrates an unprecedented 60 years in the business

Roberts Mart Chairman celebrates an unprecedented 60 years in the business

We are delighted to be celebrating 60 years of service of our Chairman, John Roberts.

Mr John, as he is known to all the staff at Roberts Mart, began his career in the print industry in 1961, embarking on a diploma course at Leeds College of Printing and Technology, then joining the family business in 1964 at the age of 20.

As a boy John’s father, Peter Roberts, used to take him into work, setting the seed for both John’s future and that of the firm.  John went on to work closely for over 30 years with his father, taking over operational control in 1974.

There have been many changes over the past six decades, both in the business itself and in the wider industry, as Mr John comments:  “In the sixties Roberts Mart was essentially a letterpress and litho printers. We set type by hand, we were binders, we made paper bags – all that’s gone. Now we print flexographically reel to reel on big, huge presses that run 24 hours a day at high speed.”

Widely recognised for modernising the firm, with significant investment in both plant and equipment, in the mid 70s John introduced the production of polythene bags with the company’s first polythene bag making machine.  This was followed in 1983 by the purchase of a polythene extrusion business.  He also masterminded the moving of the Roberts Mart headquarters from its landmark site of 120 years at Bank Mills to a new state-of-the-art, purpose-built facility on the outskirts of Leeds, where we operate from today.

In 2009, after 45 years at the helm, John handed over the day-to-day management of the firm to his two sons, William and Ben, remaining very much a part of the business as Chairman. William Roberts, Managing Director, comments: “This is a remarkable achievement for my father.  His dedication and forethought have made the company what it is today. Both Ben and I are proud to follow in his footsteps.”

In 2016 John Roberts was handed the British Printing Industries Federation’s (BPIF) Outstanding Contribution Award.

Thank you to everyone who has helped make this celebration a very special occasion, for all the kind messages and tributes.