We were saddened to hear the news on Friday of the passing of Tony Pidgley CBE, founder of Berkeley, without doubt, one of the UK’s most successful and admired housebuilders.
I first met Tony back in 2003 when Berkeley who had formed a joint venture with Thames Water known as St James appointed us to sell their development in Lower Earley. From there I went on to work with Berkeley at their flagship site Kennet Island in Reading plus what turned out to be many other sites over the years including Fleet and Bracknell. Tony was an ever-present face on-site for his monthly meetings and you could always guarantee to be getting a phone call from him anytime after 5.30am when he sussed out I’d be travelling to work or in the car to chew the cud or find out what was going on.
Tony had a knack of buying land and everyone was in awe of his ability to close a deal and regenerate land into iconic developments – let’s face it if he could turn a sewage works into a stunning development, then the man was a genius. If he said he’d buy a site, then he performed and there was never any nonsense.
Anyone who met Tony had nothing but admiration for the businessman, the family, the friend, the industry inspiration and without any doubt, the industry has lost a true icon. When I set our businesses up, Tony was incredibly supportive, keen to know what I was doing and offering his wisdom.
Our thoughts go out to all our friends at Berkeley Group, those close to him and of course his family.