David Trevor Miles Smalley CSci FInstPkg (Obit)

Fellows' Lounge
22 Dec 2010

David Trevor Miles Smalley CSci FInstPkg was part of the packaging establishment. For years it had always been ‘Let’s ask David’. Sadly our fountain of knowledge passed away on 5 November.

David was born in 1935 in Nottingham and finished his education at Nottingham High School in 1952 with a number of ‘O’ Levels, including Architecture. On leaving school he joined the RAF on a Short Services Commission until 1961.


Early packaging career

David started his packaging career with the then leader in packaging, ES&A Robinson of Bristol, as a representative. David, ever the salesman, spent time with Robert Shaw Co (now Speedo) and then Spirella, both based in Nottingham. In 1973 David became Sales Manager of Fine Colour Printing, also in Nottingham. In 1982 he took a leap of faith and founded his own company – David Smalley Ltd. His years of experience and contacts gave him the opportunity to deal with a variety of customers. He finally retired in the early part of this century, but there was no rest – he seemed to gain added strength to help packaging and his other interests.

Work within the former Institute of Packaging

David joined the former Institute of Packaging (IoP) in 1964, sponsored by none other than Dixie Dean. David was most active in the local Nottingham branch and moved on to National Council. During this time he chaired the Starpack judging panel and the Admissions Committee. In the 1990s he won a Silver star for a Tiepack entry in Starpack. He was awarded his Fellowship in 1980 and became National Chairman in 1986.

He became a Trustee of the IoP, a position he held until the merger with IOM3 in 2005, by which time he was Vice-Chairman. Since then David was a permanent member of The Packaging Society Board until his retirement a few months ago. While on the Board, David chaired the Membership working group and was the tireless organiser of the annual Fellows’ Lunch in London. He was still a strong supporter of the East Midlands Packaging Society and, in 2009, was given an Outstanding Service Award by IOM3.

Other interests

He had many other interests – the Lions organisation, the Nottinghamians cricket and rugby clubs, and President of the Old Nottinghamians Society. He was also a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Stationers.

David always found time for his dear wife Margaret, who he married some 45 years ago in Southampton, and his children Michael and Susie, with two lovely grandsons of whom he was so proud. Margaret came along to many of our local activities and there is always a welcome for her. To all his family and many friends, we extend our deepest condolences for this sad loss.

David will go down in the history of packaging and our Society as a giant of a man, deeply passionate about packaging and always striving to increase our profile in whatever way possible. His wisdom, wit, experience and knowledge will be missed. Most of all I will miss the friendship of this perfect gentleman who thankfully affected our lives during his lifetime. The absolute pillar of our Society, he will not be forgotten.