(April 21, 2015)Savilles were a chain of music shops in London. I’m not sure when they opened a shop in Ilford but they were there until the early 1970’s as far as I can recall. The Ilford shop was quite large and had racks for browsing but even more interesting was they had proper listening booths. These had folding glass doors and you could sit on benches and listen to your request. I have distinct recollection of being with a friend of mine having asked the assistant to play us The Doors “Strange Days”. This was a shop that also sold some instruments and sheet music. Comment: David Lawson.
For those friends and industry colleagues who may not be aware, former HMV employee Mike Donaghue sadly passed away recently following a short illness. Mike died peacefully at his home in the early hours of 27th March 2017.
To say that Mike was a loyal company man would be a gross understatement. Mike joined the small London-based chain of Saville Pianos in 1954, as a Service Engineer. The chain was taken over by EMI in the mid-60s to be absorbed into the label’s HMV retail group, by which time Mike was managing its Ilford branch. HMV at this time consisted of 12 stores, and Mike was subsequently promoted to the senior role of Area Manager in operational charge of all the outlets with the exception of the London flagship at 363 Oxford Street. As the chain grew, Mike was given the responsibility of establishing and running the Central Warehouse operation in Banner Street, East London.
Mike went on to become one of HMV’s longest-serving employees, racking up an amazing 43 years before finally retiring in June 1997. He was much-loved and respected, and colleagues will attest to his genial and gentle nature and to the integrity and decency for which he was so highly regarded.
A caring, considerate and kind-hearted person who always had time for everyone, and who was always one of life’s true gentlemen. He loved HMV and the values and heritage it stood for, making an outstanding contribution to the company in its golden years and, through it, to the wider recorded music sector. Mike will be greatly missed by his many friends and former colleagues, and we offer our sincere condolences to his family on their loss, in particular his wife Margaret, his son Clive and step-daughters Samantha and Sharon.
Brian McLaughlin, Former HMV Group COO, said: “If truth be told, Mike was the unsung hero of HMV, very much responsible for setting high standards and leading by example. He was a great listener and mentor to many of us. Tolerant, kind and diligent, an outstanding individual who will be sadly missed.”
The Funeral Service for Mike will take place at 1:30pm on Wednesday 19th April at St Mary’s Church, Church Street, Bocking. CM7 5SR (https://goo.gl/maps/ux4qDSsQR1R2), followed by interment at Bocking Cemetery.
The Funeral Directors are the Halstead office of Daniel Robinson & Sons and should anyone wish to send flowers or make a donation to our chosen charity (RSPCA Danaher Home) please do so via the office or at http://drobinson.co.uk/in-memory-pages.