In Memory: Custom Heat Co-Founder, Robin Smith

24th May 2023 3 minute read

I am very sad to announce that my father, Robin Smith, passed away earlier this month. His death, although incredibly sad, is a timely reminder of just how much we have accomplished since he co-founded Custom Heat over 40 years ago.

My family have been incredibly touched by the letters of condolence that we have received, and I wanted to put together just a few words in tribute.

A local lad with plumbing in the blood

Born 1956 in Birmingham, Dad moved to Rugby as a child, a place that he made his home for over 60 years.

Inspired by his own father – himself a plumber – Dad set up Custom Heat in 1980 with my mum, Hilary, who remains a Director to this day. 

Together, they grew Custom Heat from home, working every spare moment to expand the business to offer not only plumbing but heating services too.

The company grows – 1980s

It was a milestone moment when Mum and Dad bought the Rugby office in 1998, and expanded a small team.

Despite having employees to share the load, Dad was never one to shy away from getting stuck into the day-to-day, from quoting and answering the phone, to site visits in Rugby and further afield.

His warm sense of humour – not to mention the inability to tell you a joke just the once – made Dad a much-loved figure, leading to countless word-of-mouth referrals.

What Dad lacked in comedy finesse he made up for on the job. He was a stickler for standards, with a reputation for quality workmanship that preceded him.

Leaving a legacy

The family have been touched by some of the lovely tributes that have come through the post since news spread locally about his death.

One customer said that she “remembers Robin coming to quote for a job in the 80s, and has used the company ever since.”

Dad’s passion for what he did inspired me to join him at the family firm. I initially enrolled as an electrician at Rugby college, but one day, Dad asked me to help on a job and I never left. And that’s how it worked, until he semi-retired in 2009.

Of all the things he said, there’s one thing that’s always stuck in my head.

“Whether the customer has a caravan or a palace, you treat them the same.”

It’s that commitment to customer service, attention to detail and true passion for the job that made Dad a very special man. 

Rest in peace.

Lincoln Smith – Son

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