Former CIOB president David Llewellyn dies

15 May 2018 | By CM staff

David Llewellyn, president of the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) in 1986/87, has died.

Born in 1930, the great grandson of a stonemason who had walked from south Wales to Eastbourne, East Sussex, to ply his trade, Llewellyn had construction in his genes.

Aged 10, he was evacuated to Canada caring for his two younger brothers for what was to be only a brief stay. He returned four years later with them still in his care, demonstrating the start of both his abundant leadership and nurturing skills.

He was then educated at Radley College near Oxford, where he rowed, and spent much time out of school time crewing on his father’s sailing boat.

On leaving school he became the first management trainee within the industry’s new training scheme. He was articled to Norman Longley of James Longley and Co of Crawley. At the same time he was studying for an HND in building, the highest academic qualification in building at the time.

On leaving Longleys, he did his National Service commissioned in the Royal Engineers, and following that joined the family construction business bearing his name, started by his grandfather.

His whole career was spent within the Llewellyn Group, other than a period of sixteen months where he was on secondment as ‘industrial advisor’ to the minister of housing and local government in the late '60s.

He received his CBE for voluntary work for government. For nineteen years he was on the statutory committee which advises government on Building Regulations, and for six years he was its chairman.

He was a member of the Housing Corporation, was a key driving force behind the formation of the British Woodworking Federation and was president of the CIOB.

In conjunction with his brother John, through the '60s '70s and '80s they built the Llewellyn Group to be one of the most significant privately owned construction groups in the country.

Alongside construction of housing developments and town centre shopping malls the firm built district and general hospitals, supermarkets, airport terminals, offices, schools, factories, blocks of flats, and was reputed to be Europe’s largest timber frame housing supplier.

The company also laid claim to be the only business to have ever built the entire content of a grid square in Milton Keynes.

Away from construction, apart from family, Llewellyn was passionate about collecting, restoring and racing classic cars, but in particular vintage Bentleys. This passion was only matched by his dedication at the highest levels to City Livery, and freemasonry.

He was also an accomplished water skier, opera lover, and organist, keeping a full keyboard church organ in his living room.

He leaves his wife Tessa, sons Andrew, Tim and Simon, and grandchildren Emily, Sophie, Ben and Oliver.


What a man. From nothing to the building up a great company. May he rest in peace

sean, 16 May 2018

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