1929-2012: Sir Matthew Goodwin, co-founder of Hewden

By Murray Pollok16 October 2012

Co-founder of UK rental company Hewden Sir Matthew Goodwin passed away on 10 October aged 83.

Sir Matthew was a key figure is the UK’s plant hire sector for more than three decades, building Hewden into the UK’s and Europe’s largest rental business with turnover approaching £260 million in 1995.

An accountant, he first dabbled with plant hire in 1960 when he went into partnership with a friend to buy and rent out a single excavator. Having seen the potential for the business, he founded Hewden Plant in 1962 with Frank Jaimeson, going on to be the figurehead of the company for the next 33 years.

The business was expanded in 1968 with the acquisition of RG Stuart Plant, with Mr Jamieson becoming its first chairman, succeeded by Sir Matthew in 1979.

By 1993 he had been appointed non-executive chairman and he retired fully from the business in 1995. He was knighted in 1989.

Throughout his career Sir Matthew and Hewden were known for a conservative approach to finances, with an aversion to debt. He was also involved in politics for many years, becoming deputy chairman and treasurer of the Conservative Party in Scotland. He also stood for Parliament in a Glasgow constituency.

Sir Matthew’s funeral service is at Daldowie Crematorium in Glasgow on Thursday, 18 October, at 10.45 am.

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