Family's tribute after death of Graveleys fish and chips figurehead - Mr Robert Pilkington 1939-2021
The funeral will take place this week of a businessman who was the face of Harrogate's best loved fish and chip shop.
The family of Robert Pilkington, who battled illness with dignity and courage until slipped away peacefully on July 16 at the age of 81, said:
He had many friends and acquaintances.
He was the face of Graveleys.
He like Graveleys was an institution.
He was very proud of what the family achieved in Harrogate.
He will be remembered fondly by all who new him.
After joining his sons and daughter in law in the hospitality industry, Mr Robert Pilkington moved to Harrogate to help run Graveleys famous fish and chips and sea food restaurant and takeaway from 2008 until 2019.
Located on on Cheltenham Parade in Harrogate, Mr Pilkington absolutely loved Harrogate and Graveleys and found himself loving the later years of his life working.
He never missed a day, entertaining, enjoying the company of family, friends, colleagues and customers, meeting many kindred spirits which put a glow in his soul.
Mr Pilkington's family said he had enjoyed and excelled at a varied career on his journey through life via Liverpool, Lincoln, Hong Kong, Prestwich, Stoke on Trent and most of Yorkshire.
Educated at Lincoln Grammer school he was active in rugby union and cricket and kept himself very fit. On leaving education, He started working for his father in the asphalting business to electrical supplier then onto the financial services industry.
Building up contacts and naturally evolving into a very social, gregarious person. Robert eventually found his calling in the hospitality sector, where he excelled, in particular within the pub industry at that time or, rather, the right man in the right place at the right time.
He ran a tight ship where everything was run with an iron fist, good work ethic, respect and impeccable presentation and quality of product.
He was respected, courted for opinion, full of wisdom and kindness, always impeccably turned out. He was a gentleman full of wit and charm.
He always gave of his best and his mantra was quality, service, value.
After retiring in 2003, he spent his time between his property in Lincoln and southern Spain.
He lasted a few years then decided he would throw himself back into work by throwing himself into Graveleys,
Gone but not forgotten, Robert Pilkington leaves three children, five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
The funeral of Mr Robert Pilkington will take place this Wednesday, August 4.