In Remembrance of John Brown

18 Oct 2018

John Brown, BPF Past President (1986/7), passed away last week at the age of 88. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this sad time.

John was managing director of Peachey Property Corporation during his Presidential year – and, in his memory, we have re-published the words he wrote for the BPF’s 50-year anniversary Estates Gazette special supplement.

Originally published in 23 October 2013, the supplement celebrated 50 years since The Property Council (aka the BPF) was founded in 1963. John reflected on the BPF’s first ever conference and, although much has changed, there are themes from back then that still hold true for our sector today. Property is still an attractive investment and ensuring our sector is forward-thinking is still at the heart of what we do.

John Brown, BPF Past President 1986/7, when he was managing director of Peachey Property Corporation:

In my year of office, the federation held its first conference, in Brighton. The two-day event was on the theme of ‘Property after the Big Bang’ and it attracted a capacity audience of 200 delegates.

Among the speakers was Sir Nicholas Goodison, chairman of the Stock Exchange, and John Patten, minister for housing, urban affairs and construction. Goodison noted in a speech to the conference: “The general index of property shares has not been bright, but if all companies that have been takeover targets are omitted from the calculations, there are still investments in the property company sector which have beaten almost all comers.”

Honor Chapman spoke of new concepts in property development. Kenneth Posner told delegates that the most fundamental changes were likely to be seen in the area of securitisation. Ian Northern predicted much greater competition between shopping centres.

Housing minister John Patten urged private investors and developers to take full advantage of the new opportunities that were going to be opened up by the Building Societies Act and the Housing and Planning Act.

In general terms, the property industry had a good rapport with the Thatcher government and ministers.

Other speakers were Sir Kenneth Berrill, chairman of the Securities and Investment Board, Norman St John Stevas of the Fine Art Commission, journalist John Plender and Wyndham Thomas. In his address, Thomas speculated on the chances of our decayed inner cities ever being successfully renewed.

Thank you to John for your commitment to the BPF and our industry’s success.

Melanie Leech, Chief Executive, British Property Federation comments:

"The role of BPF President is taken only by the industry’s most respected leaders and John exemplified this tradition. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."

Trevor Osborne, BPF Past President (1991/2) comments: 

“John was a real estate champion and warrior.  His experience through recessions and better times made him a wise and respected leader, not only as Chairman of Peachey Property Corporation, but also as President of the British Property Federation (1986-87). 

"He was a man of conspicuous authority and bluntly expressed determination, of whom it is no exaggeration to say he was revered and held in the greatest respect by his peer group, and by the industry in which he was a prominent player throughout his career.  He really deserves recognition but his modesty meant he never sought it personally.

"I am privileged to have known him as a dear friend.”