A Bournville man who helped see the village’s world-famous Cadbury factory into the digital age has died, aged 91.
Raymond Plenderleith joined the chocolate company after leaving King Edward’s School, then in New Street, just before the outbreak of the Second World War. He also played rugby for the Old Edwardians for some years after his 1930s school days.
War service took him around the country but on demobilisation he returned to Birmingham to embark on an extended and successful career with Cadbury. He qualified as a certified accountant and worked for some years on costs and works management and on business systems, before being appointed to lead the company’s first steps into the world of computer technology.
One of his proudest memories was when Sir Adrian Cadbury was assigned to work for him to learn the basics of the business on joining the firm. Mr Plenderleith, who was living in Weoley Hill when he died, ended his career as an experienced and respected member of its senior management.
On retirement he established his own consultancy accounting business, handling the accounts of numerous small firms from an office in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter.
He was also active in Rotary and his local Masonic lodge. It was through his involvement with St Francis's church, Bournville, he met Louise Martin, whom he married in 1940.
They were married for 62 years until his wife died in 2002. Mr Plenderleith leaves two sons, Ian and Neil as well as younger brother Michael.
Born and raised in Bournville, he was the elder son of Robert and Bertha Plenderleith. His father was superintendant of a local children’s home and a leading national budgerigar fancier.
Ian Plenderleith described his father as a “dedicated family man”.
He added: “His quiet humour, steadiness and reliability, good companionship and strong sense of loyalty to family and friends were much admired and he will be greatly missed by all who were privileged to know him.”