On 6 July 2020, Lambert Chapman LLP will enter its 50th year – and for 22 years of those years, Lloyd Chapman was a Partner in the Firm. Having learned of his death last week (see our announcement), Senior Partner Nigel Whittle and Managing Partner Nick Forsyth remember Lloyd fondly.
Message from Nick Forsyth:
It was with a mixture of shock and sadness that I read Nigel’s email of last Friday yesterday morning advising the Partners of Lloyd’s death. It was certainly something we hadn’t expected and we offer our condolences to his family. Being a hoarder, I looked out the speech I made at their retirement function back in 2003. It said;
“I first met Lloyd at an early morning interview in Chelmsford. My immediate impression was that he said “Yeah” a lot. I went to work in Chelmsford 2 days a week primarily for Lloyd and broke the biggest rule in the book – entering his office when he was eating his sandwiches. I never had any respect from Janet Clayden thereafter for breaking the 12.30 to 1.30 rule that I did not know existed. It took Lloyd back a bit too as he slammed shut the draw. I never did know if it was smoked salmon or cheese.”
Lloyd was fun to work with; we seemed to enjoy irreverence in most circumstances but he could also be firm – particularly if administration was late which was every month in those days! He had the reputation as the “hatchet man” so if you got called in for a meeting you were expecting bad news.
I had no idea what the Lambert Chapman people were like when I joined in 1990 and so in making sure my company car was available for my first morning I did a bit of running about which probably unsettled him more than a little as he was used to being in control of the purse strings. We had different aspirations when it came to detail (which is probably not much of a surprise to people who know me) but we got along well and enjoyed more than a few laughs along the way.
He once asked me “why do you make management like football team tactics?” “Because”, I replied, “at least half – if not more – of the staff will understand what I’m on about and if they do it’ll lead us home.” Unfortunately it wasn’t that straight forward and our greatest challenge came in Maldon when Bill was retiring as he was such a difficult man to replace.
As Administration Partner, Lloyd was the man who held it all together while Mike was out delivering his magic. A Dave Mackay type character to keep in check Mike’s Charlie George. It’s an important role to fulfil, particularly when the firm was in its early stages of development and cash needed strong management. I heard Mike tell people that Lloyd ordered the toilet rolls and pencils. Someone has to do this to maintain productivity and to be truthful it wouldn’t have been Mike’s forte!
That’s what made them such a successful Partnership, utilising a different basis of running the firm to what we have today. Nigel and I often look back on those days, reminiscing fondly at things that happened and laughing out loud at some of the funny moments. We will both be sad that neither Lloyd nor Mike will be there for our 50th anniversary but rest assured they will not be left out or forgotten as we keep a detailed archive of things that have happened.
He was also an excellent public speaker, the result he said of a one day course he had attended, and he delivered an excellent eulogy at Mike’s funeral. My most overriding memory of Lloyd was that of a family man, extremely proud of his children and devoted to Pauline with whom he went on many exciting and exotic holidays.
Lloyd certainly played a part in getting to me to where I am today and for his role in that I will be eternally grateful.
Message from Nigel Whittle:
I first met Lloyd in 1978 straight from school for my first proper job. I wanted to be a Chartered Accountant but knew little about what was required.
Lloyd was already qualified and with the assistance of others, helped me with training in the old fashioned way with analysis books, extended trial balances and hand written double entry accounts.
Lloyd was technically very competent and patient with me in improving my accounting skills giving me the experience I needed to qualify myself. His dependable nature made him the man to see if you had a problem. His clarity in seeing how to deal with a difficult situation became an important constituent of his various skills when Lloyd later became a magistrate.
Over the years, we worked together, we had many good times and a lot of fun (quite unexpected in an accountants office). Lloyd had lived in Great Totham since 1968 and me at the bottom of the hill in Witham then later in Tiptree. I didn’t always have a car, being a motorcyclist in my early years and Lloyd offered to take me to work, which we did together for many years. It was a time to talk and I eventually got to know Lloyd and his family well, always enjoying his company and sense of humour.
I could set my watch by Lloyd, he would collect me at 9.00am (we started work in Chelmsford at 9.15am in the days when the A12 was free flowing) and we left the office straight after 5.15pm – how lovely!
I have many good memories of my times with Lloyd at work and play and am only beginning to realise, as I myself become aged, how important those times were.