Photo of Nick Ross

Nick at the CTBA’s 2019 Manchester Dinner

The Trustees and Directors of the Association are sad to record the passing of the CTBA’s former National Secretary and National Chairman, Nick Ross, who passed away on 7th November 2023.

Nicholas Maxwell Ross was born on the 5th August 1946 at the Fairfield Nursing Home in Doncaster. His father Bill was a Marketing Manager at the National Coal Board and his mother worked as an overlooker at a munitions factory during the war but on the birth of her first child she never went back to work.

Nick attended Tapton Hall School in Sheffield and upon leaving joined the police force as cadet. He very soon realised that this was not a career that he wished to pursue and got a job as clerk at one of the South Nottinghamshire collieries. He successfully applied for a Clerical Officer position at the newly formed NCB Midlands Marketing Department at Eastwood Hall in Nottinghamshire and shortly after, moved house to Eastwood rather than travelling from South Yorkshire every day.

He was a very ambitious and hard-working young man quickly rising to the ranks of management at various NCB locations and in 1982 was appointed Sales District Manager for Merseyside, Cheshire & the Isle of Man moving house to Rainford. In 1985 he joined Coalite Fuels & Chemicals Ltd as General Manager and in 1989 was promoted to Commercial Director, a position he held until 2002 when ill health resulted in early retirement.

His links with the coal industry continued with the appointment in 2005 as National Secretary of the Coal Trade Benevolent Association, a position he kept until 2016 when he was made Honorary Life Member. During his time as National Secretary Nick worked successfully with the Trustees to improve efficiency and the smooth running of the Association including changes to the beneficiary payments system and the introduction of new grants including winter fuel grants. He was extremely proud to have met HRH Duke of Edinburgh at the Association’s 125th Annual dinner which he was heavily involved in planning.

Nick’s association with the CTBA spanned over 40 years having joined as a member in 1976, Secretary of the Merseyside Branch from 1981 to 1984, Branch Chairman in 1982, and CTBA Director from 1994 to 2023. He was appointed National Chairman in 2003 raising over £261,000 during his year as Chairman. He continued his involvement as a member of the Vice Presidents Committee from it’s inception until 2023 when failing health forced his resignation.

Throughout his long career in the coal industry Nick played a pivotal role in many other industry linked organisations. He was a Board Member of the Approved Coal Merchant’s Scheme and a Director of the Solid Fuel Association from 1994 to 2002, from 1995 to 2002 Chairman of the National Solid Fuel Promotion Group and Chairman of the Approved Coal Merchants Scheme from 2003 to 2023.

Nick was also a prominent and important exponent of the Coal Industry Society. He was Secretary of the North Midland branch from 1970 to 1979, Chairman in 1980 and was made Honorary Life Member of the Branch in 1981. He was a committee member of the National Branch of the CIS from 1990 to 1995 and was National Chairman in 1994.

Nick was well known, liked and respected throughout his long career in the coal industry. He had “coal dust in his veins” and worked hard to support the trade. He enjoyed the social side of the industry and over the years he was a keen photographer, an accomplished wood worker, enjoyed playing sports – latterly playing golf but, according to his brother Martin, not very well.

Nick will be sadly missed by the many, many friends & colleagues that he made and worked with over the years and there is no doubt that the coal industry greatly benefited from his hard work and dedication.

He died peacefully at home in Ashover, leaving behind son James, brother Martin and partner Frances.