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Spirits industry legend Laurence dies

Published:  27 August, 2008

Spirits industry expert Barry Laurence has died.

Spirits industry expert Barry Laurence has died.

Barry, 61, passed away suddenly earlier this week after suffering a brain haemorrhage.

Barry worked in the drinks industry for most of his life, most recently as a consultant for the Arthur Rackham emporia. He retired last year. Barry was also a national sales manager at Cambell Distillers (now Pernod Ricard) during the 1980s, and was widely credited as helping to put the company on the map during this time.

Those who knew him have described Barry as a character who will be sorely missed. Rupert Pritchett, director of Taurus Wines, said: "Barry was one of the kindest people you could ever meet, as well as bearing an uncanny resemblance to Oz Clarke, for whom he was often confused with at tastings, even by the trade.

"He was one of the those rare people who only ever said positive things about anyone, and was always full of enthusiasm for what was going on, offering help and advice and generally passing on the benefit of his experience. I am sure he will be greatly missed by a lot of people in the business."

Adrian Turner, national sales manager at J Wray & Nephew UK and a close friends of Barry's from his days at Campbell Distillers, said: "I worked with Barry years ago, he gave me my first chance in sales, a chance that he gave to a lot of people. He was a massive team player and highly regarded within the industry."

Barry leaves a wife, Pat, two sons and two grandchildren.

The funeral will take place at 10:30am on Tuesday September 2 at Guildford crematorium. Those who knew Barry are welcome to attend.

Did you know Barry? Please leave your tributes below.