Peter Flesher

Former Managing Director of Allied Colloids Group, Peter Flesher, studied O.N.C. and H.N.C.
in pure chemistry leading to A.R.I.C. (Associate of Royal Institute of Chemistry) part-time at
Bradford Technical College from 1951 to 1959.

Peter FlesherPeter joined Allied Colloids straight from school in 1951. Following part-time study at Bradford Technical College leading to his ARIC award, he obtained a Clothworker’s Scholarship to do full-time research under Professor J. B. Speakman at Leeds University. He was awarded an MSc. in 1961 and rejoined Allied Colloids.

“I spent 45 rewarding years working for Allied Colloids. I was Research Director from 1972 and MD from 1982 to 1995. It seemed fated that my career was tied so closely to the company as the company was born on the day I was born - 21st March 1935. When I began the company employed 42 people and by the time I retired there were 3200 staff worldwide, over 2000 of them based at Low Moor in Bradford. My initial progression was made possible by many hours of study in the evenings, but there was no alternative if you had not been to university.

The evenings I spent at classes in chemistry, physics and maths at Bradford Technical College were long ones after you had worked all day, but gave me the opportunity to reach the top. When I started the Chief Chemist could make any apparatus you wanted and I recall teaching trainees the traditional chemist’s art of glass blowing. A lot of apparatus like flasks and condensers wasn’t commercially available so if you designed a piece of equipment, you made it yourself.”

Peter was awarded an honorary Doctor of Science award by the University of Bradford in 1992. He held Non-Executive Directorships for Yorkshire Water from 1980 until 1995 and Bradford and Bingley Building Society from 1995 until 2002.

He is Hon. Treasurer of the Society of Dyers and Colourists. Peter served as a Member of College Corporation from 1990 until 2006. In appreciation for his longstanding contribution, when he retired he was presented with a picture of the Science lecture theatre where he attended so many lectures as a student during the 1950s .

Photograph by Trevor Griffiths