Post-press innovator mourned

Jo Francis
Friday, October 22, 2021

UPDATED WITH CHANGE OF FUNERAL DATE. Former Watkiss Automation chairman and post-press innovator Chris Watkiss has died aged 89.

Chris Watkiss: infectious smile and positive attitude
Chris Watkiss: infectious smile and positive attitude

Watkiss died on 13 October after a short illness.

He co-founded the family-run finishing equipment manufacturer with his wife Barbara and son Michael.

Paul Attew, who was sales director at the business for 40 years, paid tribute: “With his artistic flare Chris designed some significant and unique products which were subsequently manufactured and distributed worldwide.”

Watkiss received design awards for the Watkiss Rotary Collator and the Vario Modular Collating System. 

“He also designed and developed the industry standard Square Back technology which revolutionised booklet production,” Attew said.

“He will be remembered for his infectious smile and positive attitude.”

Watkiss Automation was acquired by Plockmatic Group in 2018. 

Outside of work Attew said Watkiss was a staunch family man who adored his family and loved hearing about their various exploits.

He is survived by his wife Barbara, his son Michael, two daughters Susan and Julia, eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.


The funeral will be held on 18 November at 11.30am, at Northill Parish Church, Northill, Bedfordshire SG18 9AA.

Donations in his memory can be made to Diabetes UK via the donations tab at funeral director G&H Seamer. 



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