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Farewell to a Fairline legend

As the dust settles on the September Boat Shows we have received the news that Bill Buxton, an industry legend and Fairline’s very first sales director, passed away at the ripe old age of 95.

Bill was born in Northampton in 1928 growing up in the heart of the boot and shoe industry.

After a brief spell in Northampton’s renowned trade Bill joined the RAF specialising in communications and later married his beloved wife, Betty.

His next move was to Brooklands Aviation Ltd where he remained until 1973. It was whilst at Brooklands that Bill entered the world of production boat building with the company building over 700 plywood and later GRP ‘Dolphin Cruisers’.

With boat ownership increasing BiIl moved to Fairline dealer Kitchener Marine in Bedford where he sold many of the 1970’s John Bennet designed models.

Sales director

Bill joined Fairline in Oundle as sales director in 1981, where he worked hand in glove with Sam Newington to establish an international network of dealers which took this iconic brand to a world-wide customer base placing the new Bernard Olesinski designed Targa, Phantom and Squadron ranges in marinas across the globe.

Amusingly Bill was more at home on dry land enjoying cricket more than being on the water, he preferred English food and was extremely loyal to the English language with none of these traits holding him back at many an international boat show or meeting.

Bill Buxton joined Fairline in 1981
Bill Buxton joined Fairline in 1981

Bill’s retirement party in 1993 saw colleagues from across the globe attend an amusing and very secret ‘This is Your Life’ stunt delivered by his Fairline understudy Guy Norrish with his colleagues pushing guests through the secret door, a fitting celebration and a night never to be forgotten.

Bill passed away peacefully on 10th September 2023, leaving his four children Dennis, Marion, Paul and Rose with a host of happy memories.

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