HAD life taken a different course, Geoff Clarke may have become a rock legend. Instead, the Stafford businessman is celebrating 50 years in the grinding and abrasives industry.
“Back in the sixties I was a semi-professional guitarist in a band. But it was a pretty undistinguished career,” says Geoff, who wisely took a job, aged 17, at Universal Grinding Wheel in 1964.
Educated at King Edwards in Stafford, and later in Stoke and Birmingham, Geoff has lived in Stafford for most of his life.
He has worked across the industry, achieving senior management, culminating with his appointment as technical manager for Unicorn International.
The French acquisition of Unicorn in 1997 and the eventual demise of the Stafford factory led Geoff to set up his own company, TASSIA - Training and Safety Specialists in Abrasives in 2000, based in Stafford, which now has international recognition in abrasives safety.
Geoff (pictured) has been involved in the production and implementation of safety standards for the grinding industry since 1990.
He is the chairman of both the ISO standards committee and BSI standards policy committee for abrasives.
His career has taken him all over the world and, at the age of 67, he has no plans to retire. He lives in Stafford with his wife of over 40 years, Christina, and has a son, Steven and daughter, Joanne, and two grandchildren, Spencer and Eden.
He continues to play and record music and is a keen Stoke City supporter.
“I still get a kick out of playing music, but I doubt I’ll take to the stage again,” he says.