Gerard Sampson Grainger (1945 - 2016)
Ged Grainger was a non-executive director of the Company for nearly 40 years, as well as a trustee of the Company's pension scheme.
Ged joined the Midland Bank in 1968, after completing a BSc in Geography at London University. After qualifying as an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, in 1973 he joined a small private Merchant Bank, E.S. Schwab & Co, who were in 1975 appointed as the Company's Financial Advisors. In November 1976 Ged joined the Board, sitting alongside Jim Herbert, Eddie Wheeler and John Dymoke, also from Schwab.
This was a time of huge change for the Company, the Lion 2000 Retail digital weighing machine having been approved in June 1975. The machine incorporated many improvements and innovations from the Lion Monarch, such as a price-entry keyboard, rapid settling time and speedy weighing resulting in the display of computed price within a second. The electronics were particularly innovative, representing a very early application of microprocessors. But the development cost put a huge strain on the Company finances, which the clearing bank refused to cover. However once funds were secured from Schwab, the Lion 2000 proved to be particularly successful product with buoyant sales throughout the late 1970s. As a consequence Herbert & Sons were able to secure a substantial share of the UK market for electronic retail weighing machines.
In 1981 Schwab was bought by a South African bank, renamed Volkskas International Ltd, and Ged was appointed as Assistant General Manager. However Volkskas's strategy changed away from investing in UK manufacturing companies, and as a consequence our arrangements with them came to a natural conclusion. Ged however was invited by the then Chairman, Jim Herbert, to continue on the Board, where his wise, steady and impartial advice was highly valued.
Ged was also a non-executive director of GT Culpitt & Son, a family owned business engaged in the manufacture of food and cake decorations, and was appointed Managing Director of that firm in 1991.
Ged was elected Chairman of Herbert Group Ltd in 1993, a position he held until 2007 when Richard Herbert took up the rôle.
Among Ged's other interests, in 2002 he was appointed company secretary of Foodex Meatex Ltd, the UK food industry exhibition of which Herberts was a founding member, subsequently sold to Reed International.
Ged was also a keen cricketer, helping to organise two matches between the Company and Schwab. The first was held in 1978 at Whepstead Cricket Club, where Ged kept wicket, helping the visitors win the day. The rematch was held the following year in Harpenden, again won by Schwab's.
Ged also played golf for the Company, partnering Bill Lee in a match against Safeway in 1990, and taking part in the Retail Golf Days at John O'Gaunt Club on many occasions.
Ged died on 28th January 2016 after a short illness.