Royal honour for Looe businessman

Tuesday 8th May 2018 5:00 am
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A BUSINESS that began after a South East Cornwall man fitted a softener to his family home in Surrey to improve the taste of the water has received a royal honour.

Harvey Water Softeners has been awarded the Queen’s Award for Industry for innovation.  

Harvey Bowden left Looe County Secondary in 1964 to work in Woking, Surrey, as a tyre fitter and then a plumber. 

One day his wife Ann, having moved from Cornwall, bought a water softener as she disliked the hard water in Surrey.

Harvey plumbed it in to their home and because he liked the results, he set about selling water softeners. 

Decades later, he has his own state-of-the-art factory making water softeners, more than 250 staff and a turnover of £26.5m. 

Harvey  said: ‘When Ann bought a water softener 43 years ago, we never expected to end up with an award from the Queen. It’s wonderful.’

Harvey is also chairman of the family business, Cornish Tea and Cornish Coffee, based in Looe.

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