Ian Hall, businessman

Ian Hall, who has died at 77, was for 38 years the heart and soul of Yorkshire’s Fox’s Biscuits brand. On his retirement from the company in 1996, its in-house newspaper christened him Mr Fox.

Ian Hall

He had started at the plant in Batley as a management trainee in 1958, and rose to become commercial director.

During his time there, Fox’s sales grew by 100-fold, as it went from a small regional business to a global operation. In large part, the growth was driven by his passion for the quality of the product and the strength of the brand.

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His proudest achievement, he said, was to have been granted Royal warrants by both the Queen and the Queen Mother.

Well known and liked throughout the business community for his integrity, work ethic and persistence, he also possessed an unrivalled sense of humour and an ability to communicate.

Following his retirement, he converted a barn and granary near Easingwold, turning the seven-acre plot into a conservation area. It became his passion and the playground for his grandchildren.

He is survived by his wife, Janet, and sons, Christopher and Anthony.