Obituary: John Smith, former JJ Smith Sales Director

John Smith, former Sales Director of JJ Smith, has sadly passed away

John Smith, former Sales Director of JJ Smith (Woodworking Machinery) Ltd, and a well-known figure in the industry, has sadly passed away following a short illness.

Along with his brother Colin, John was one of the second generation to enter JJ Smith, which was established by their late father, Bill, and his three brothers back in 1923.

Joining the business in 1962, John initially worked on Smith range sales of classical machinery manufactured in the Liverpool factory, and was also involved in the purchase and sale of used/reconditioned equipment. In the '70s, John was credited with pioneering the import and sale of new machinery manufactured in Europe from companies such as SCM, Maweg, Klockner and Balestrini, and this trend continues today with the company still importing a huge range from leading manufacturers in Italy, USA, Germany, etc.

John will be remembered across the industry as someone who always looked for the positives in any situation. He also had a phenomenal memory for people and faces, which was invaluable at exhibitions where he simply ‘knew everyone’.

Retiring from full-time work in 2002, John was appointed Chairman and still involved until 2017, having worked continuously for the company for 55 years. The business continues to be a leading player in the industry, and is still family-run by the third and fourth generations.

John will be sadly missed by all his colleagues at JJ Smith Ltd and the wider woodworking machinery community. He leaves behind wife, Val and daughters, Sarah and Kate.

For more information on JJ Smith Ltd, visit

JJ Smith & Co (Woodworking Machinery) Ltd
Moorgate Point, Moorgate Road
Knowsley Industrial Park
Kirkby, Liverpool, L33 7DR
0151 548 9000