Suffolk businessman Robin Chesterman has died, following a long illness, at the age of 83.

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Mr Chesterman was managing director of the former Delta (Manganese Bronze) business based in Hadleigh Road, Ipswich, for 28 years, until his retirement in 1995.

He was also involved in a number of business and charitable organisations, both before and after his retirement, and in in 1987 was awarded an OBE for services to industry and charity.

Robin Charles Chesterman was born in 1930 and was educated at the Latymer School in Edmonton, north London. Following National Service, during which he served in Berlin, Germany, during the Berlin Airlift, he trained as a metallurgist.

His career brought him to Ipswich in the mid-1960s when he joined Manganese Bronze and he was promoted to the role of managing director in 1967, at the age of 37. Two years later, part of the business was sold to the Delta Metal Company and Mr Chesterman continued as managing director under the new ownership.

Among the business organisations in which he was involved locally were Investors in People and the Manpower Services Commission. He was also heavily involved in the Ipswich & District Electrical Association and served on the Suffolk Training and Enterprise Council (TEC).

Mr Chesterman was also instrumental in raising funds from within the business sector towards the building of the Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich. When it closed, early in his retirement, he was asked to reprise this role, managing the work and fund-raising which let to its reopening as the New Wolsey.

Other organisations in which he was involved included the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme, the Prince’s Trust, Age Concern UK, Probus and the Ipswich & Suffolk Credit Union.

Mr Chesterman died peacefully at home on January 21. The funeral service is to be held at Seven Hills Crematorium, Ipswich, on Wednesday, February 5, at noon.

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