Tributes paid to BFS co-founder John Hope

Jo Francis
Monday, August 2, 2021

John Hope, the co-founder and former managing director of BFS Pressroom Solutions, has died aged 85.

John Hope with his wife Carol
John Hope with his wife Carol

Hope’s lifelong career in print began at 16 when he took up an apprenticeship at Osco in Reading, with subsequent roles at The Eastern Press and Hazells Offset in Slough. 

In the 1970s he made what would turn out to be a hugely significant move, and joined WR Grace in London to introduce Rollin blankets to the UK heatset web offset market, with high-profile customers including Hunterprint, Cooper Clegg, Chase Web Offset and Varnicoat. 

Together with his wife, Carol, he subsequently took up the opportunity to take over the WR Grace blanket distribution business, and Business Forms Services was established in 1986. 

Their son Robin then joined the family firm, which became the sole distributor for Rollin blankets in 1995 and went on to set up its own blanket converting facility in Theale. 

Their daughter Sarah and her husband, Paul, both also joined BFS in the 1990s, and his daughter-in-law Nicky joined the business a few years later.

The business was rebranded as BFS Pressroom Solutions in 1999, to better reflect its position as a one-stop source of pressroom consumables. BFS marked 35 years in business last year. 

Hope died peacefully at home on 9 July with Carol, his wife of 60 years, by his side. 

In a tribute, BFS said: “John retired in 1998 but lived his life to the max, travelling around the world, playing golf, and any spare time left over was taken up enjoying time with friends, family and his five grandchildren.

“BFS continued to grow once John had retired from the business but he was always on hand to support Robin as the business adapted over the years.”

Robin Hope said his father’s ethos had made a lasting impact on the business: “Having been a printer himself, my dad always believed in Rollin because he knew that if you cut corners by choosing to print with an inferior printing blanket you compromise on print quality, longevity of product and have more press downtime – and we continue to have that mindset across all the products we sell at BFS.”

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