Tributes paid to well-known Banbury business leader

Roy Charles Payne, former MD of Hella made Banbury his home since 1974. He died on February 17 aged 84 NNL-180603-162741001
Roy Charles Payne, former MD of Hella made Banbury his home since 1974. He died on February 17 aged 84 NNL-180603-162741001

One of Banbury’s most eminent business leaders has passed away days before his 85th birthday.

Roy Charles Payne came to Banbury 44 years ago in 1974 as both managing director and chairman of Hella UK LTD and Hella Manufacturing.

Roy Charles Payne who passed away aged 84 NNL-180703-093011001

Roy Charles Payne who passed away aged 84 NNL-180703-093011001

Mr Payne had been with the German company since they launched in the UK in the late 1950s first locating to a site outside London before relocating to the Banbury area in 1974.

Mr Payne along with wife Margaret first settled in Wroxton Heath but in 1984 moved to Balscote. He retired from Hella in 1994 but maintained a close working relationship with the company for the next 20 years.

Away from work Mr Payne and Margaret had four daughters, Dawn, Karen, Ava and Roma. He had many interests including animal welfare advocacy and water craft.

Ava said: “He started his life off in the Navy and always had a passion for boats and the sea. That was more before we moved here as there were less places to have a boat here.

“He loved wildlife, had a lovely garden and was a member of the RSPB and he’s left money to BARKS.”

After the death of his wife in 2001, Mr Payne spent his latter years with companion Gail O’Dell whom he co-authored a book with about his unusual passion for brass corkscrews. Entitled History, Culture and Legends in British Brass Corkscrews the book was published in 2016.

He leaves behind eight grandchildren and eight great grand children.

He passed suddenly but peacefully on February 17 and his funeral was on Friday, March 9, at Banbury crematorium.