Dave Wilcox Funeral Details and Remembered by David Snook

01/06/2018

The funeral service for David Wilcox will be held on Friday, June 15 at 2.15 p.m. and the venue is the Carnarvon Chapel, Bretby Crematorium, Burton upon Trent, England, DE150QE, InterGame was informed yesterday.

David died on Monday morning in the Nightingale Macmillan Unit at the Royal Derby Hospital. He had suffered a progression of illnesses for some years and was aged 79. His wife, Heather, was at his side.

David Wilcox had a considerable impact on the UK coin machine industry through the 1970s and 1980s in particular, at one time heading the machine injection processes for the massive Associated Leisure/Phonographic Hire group of operating companies.

His connections with the industry went back much further, however, when a neighbour in his childhood home of Sutton Coldfield, took him to the Crystal Palace at Sutton Park, where David was to become a regular visitor to the extent where he was permitted to empty the penny machines.

Later after education and his National Service in the Army, David was reintroduced to the machine industry when he saw someone struggling with a machine on a railway station and offered to help. The recipient of David’s electrical engineering expertise was no other than Bob Gaines-Cooper who was to go on to head up another major operator, MAM Inn Play.

David went on to work for a Midlands operator named Wimbush but then joined the two sets of brothers, Roy and Peter Ashworth and Brian and Bob Cooper in 1962 when they started Electro Machines at Tamworth. That became Burton Coin Machines and subsequently was acquired by Phonographic Equipment. David moved with each new company and was heavily involved with the development of machines at South Wales company Thesis. Phonographic became Associated Leisure and then Mecca before ending up as Rank.

David Wilcox worked through all of the companies, gradually becoming an increasingly senior manager and director but took early retirement in 1992 when he started Solney Automatic Services in Burton upon Trent which he was to subsequently sell to Ken O’Byrne as David suffered illness. He was to fight off one illness after another for some years and in 2012 had a stroke.

His wife, Heather, was not unknown in the industry. Heather and David married in 1964 while he was with Electro Machines and had her own career in marketing and retail, but set up Solney Marketing Consultants in 1980 and it was this company that saw Heather begin to design trade show stands. Heather subsequently worked for a number of major UK and overseas companies in the design of their ATEI trade show stands, notably the Zaccaria Family from Italy, the principals of which became lifetime friends of the Wilcoxes.

In addition to Heather, David Wilcox leaves a daughter who lives in Australia, two granddaughters and now one great-grandson.

InterGame’s David Snook said: “David Wilcox will be a very familiar figure to any of those with longer experience in the UK and European coin machine industry. He was always of immense help to myself when I began covering the industry’s events as a somewhat gauche young journalist. I remember him as someone who very calmly and with considerable expertise dampen down some of my youthful journalistic excesses with cold reason.

 

“He was always a gentleman, but a keen negotiator who played a very significant role in the successes of what was to become the UK’s – and Europe’s – largest machine operation. His depth of knowledge was immense; his courtesy and generosity of spirit unparalleled. The passing of David Wilcox is equally the passing of someone who would immediately qualify for a coin machine industry’s Who’s Who.”

by David Snook

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