A Tribute to Peter
It is with great sadness that the Osborne family share the untimely passing of Peter Osborne, Executive Chairman of Special EFX & Bon Viveur husband to Melanie, loving father to Holly, William, Amber and Tara (& beloved Pops to Ben, Liv & Jasper).
His great wit, charm, gift of judging situations and getting people on side will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by all who knew him.
For over four decades, Peter steered the business he started in his twenties to global success, initially as a personalised gift & promotional merchandise firm, Troika and for the past twenty years as award design and manufacturer, Special EFX (named after his favourite jazz band!).
Troika re-located from the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter to become one of the first companies to take up residence in the new Avenue Farm Industrial Estate in Stratford upon Avon. Employing over 40 staff, Troika supplied blue chip companies including British Airways (they regularly supplied bespoke gifts for Concorde passengers) and won design awards throughout Europe for their unique ‘Ergo Flask’ winning The British Design Award in 1988 presented by the late HRH Duke of Edinburgh.
Later re-locating to Ettington Park and rebranding as Special EFX, Peter oversaw investment in cutting edge manufacturing technology that kept Special EFX at the forefront of award manufacture, and their products could be seen everywhere from the music and entertainment industry to motor sports. In addition, recognising early the need for alternative and sustainable energy sources, he pioneered work in the renewable energy field with FuturEnergy from 2005.
A skilled and creative engineer, Peter Osborne was born in Nuneaton in 1947 and attended King Edward’s School, Birmingham. Soon after graduating from Aston University with a degree in Psychology, Peter created his first winning design – a silver monogrammed gear knob for discerning motorists and, taking advantage of burgeoning national mail order catalogues, the product was a hit. Building on those foundations, Peter’s business was soon producing up to 10,000 personalised items per day.
He was a people person who saw potential in everybody & delighted in supporting those who needed an extra chance in life, always knowing the right thing to say to put people at ease & to make them laugh with his relentless mischievous sense of humour. With a risqué joke or two.
Music was his first love & he had perfected Bossa Nova, Jazz & Reggae numbers played on guitar that would woo the audiences he played for, from the age of 17 where he could be seen busking on the streets of Paris!
Peter was a true polymath. A brilliant engineer, an excellent sportsman, a fine shot, a talented entrepreneur, a musician, a brilliant raconteur and one of the funniest people you would be likely to meet. He was cultured, intelligent and always great company. Most of all he was kind. To say he lit up a room would be an understatement (as well as a cliché!), he wasn’t brash or loud but you simply knew he was there and he had a warmth that is hard to put into words but his humanity was infectious.
Peter’s inimitable personality meant that he inspired enormous loyalty from his employees, many of whom worked with him for decades.
He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, the team at EFX & all who knew him.