Keith Bartlett, Managing Director of Yeovil’s oldest family-run removals and storage business, E & K Bartlett Ltd, died suddenly on Good Friday, 14 April, aged 87. His wife Irene and son Alistair will continue to run the business, which is now in its 85th year.
Keith joined the business - which was started by his father Ernest in the 1930s - back in 1947 when he was 17. He remained with the company all his working life and was still visiting customers' homes to give removal quotes until the end of 2016. Keith was a well-respected member of BAR and he and Irene regularly attended social events organised by BAR, as well as the Western Area Meetings at Brent Knoll.
He was one of the last surviving members of the Institute of Furniture Warehousing and Removals Industry (IFWRI) which became the British Association of Removers in 1972. Keith was also a former member of the now disbanded Southern Area TMI (The Movers Institute).
Dancing was a major part of Keith’s social life, which started with his brother-in-law playing a piano accordion in a band. He and Irene followed Peter around to weekly dances in local villages, particularly Rampisham, Glanvilles Wooten & Evershot in the Dorset area and more recently in Somerset.
As a child, Keith kept rabbits and exhibited them at local shows. He was also interested in cars and commercial vehicles and there were not many on the road that he could not recognise.
His knowledge of the country was on par with any satnav and he rarely needed to check a location on the map.
Keith’s funeral took place at St Johns Church in Yeovil on Tuesday, 2 May 2017.
Photo: Keith & Irene celebrating their Golden Wedding Anniversary in September 2006