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Christopher Richard Marsden

West, 1955-59

Christopher Richard Marsden, West 1955-59

My father was born on 30 December 1941. His family lived in Sandygate, Sheffield at what became (and remains) the head office of the Marsden businesses. When he was two the family moved to Bullhouse Hall near Penistone. Educated at Mattersey Hall Preparatory School in Bawtry, he then went on to The Leys School in Cambridge until he was 18.

After leaving Cambridge he went on to catering college in Huddersfield, all the while becoming an increasingly active member of the Young Conservatives. He moved to London to do his apprenticeship at Lyon’s Corner Houses. After a foray down south he moved back up north to work in the family business.

My father really loved the Young Conservatives, and it was here that he met Margaret; they married and went on to have three children, Victoria Beever née Marsden, Granta 198688, Matthew, West 198588, and Ben.

His love of politics saw him serve from 196774 on Penistone Urban District Council, and as Mayor from 197475. He also loved hill climbing and his beloved Mark 1 Mini Cooper, which he lovingly called ‘the Batmobile’ and raced at weekends.

He worked with his brother Michael, West 194751, and his father, and together they went from milk bars to outside catering, hotels and restaurants, finally buying into KFC in 1981. He grew the business into one of the leading KFC franchises in the UK, serving on the franchise council, advertising board and marketing board until selling the business in 2008. He was extremely highly regarded within KFC.

My father played hockey regularly for Huddersfield until his early 40s. However, after yet another injury he finally gave it up in favour of a more sedate game – golf! He could also sail and he learned to fly a plane.

He divorced in 1989 and a few years later met and married Claire Broadbent. They lived back in the stunning Yorkshire countryside with their menagerie of dogs and horses, until Claire went into a nursing home last year and sadly passed away a few weeks after my father.

My father had lived a full, busy and successful life when he passed away unexpectedly on 4 December 2022. He leaves his three children, and three grandchildren: Hamish Malcolm Beever, West 201117, Henrietta and Gabriella.

Words by Victoria Beever (née Marsden), Granta 198688