Tributes to Pilks boss who rose through the ranks

Former Pilkington employee Maurice Hilton MBE, who has died aged 81
Former Pilkington employee Maurice Hilton MBE, who has died aged 81
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An engineer who spent his entire career at Pilkington rising from a humble apprentice to senior management has been remembered.

Maurice Hilton joined the glass firm as a teenage apprentice electrician and progressed right through the firm to end up on the top leadership team.

His work took him around the world including trips for Pilkington to far-flung destinations including the Far East, Russia and South America.

Although he spent his entire working career at the St Helens company Maurice lived in Wigan, spending most of his life in Orrell before moving into an older people’s bungalow in Shevington.

Tributes to the great-grandad were paid by his family following his death at the age of 81 after suffering a stroke

Son Andy, 54, said: “He went right through the company, running bigger and bigger groups until he ended up as chief technical officer.

“I also remember he spent time in the research and development department.

“We are all very proud of his achievements, coming right through the ranks from a lowly working class background.

“He did a lot of business travelling and one of the things I remember is him not being there as he was going away on trips all over the place.

“He was a good dad who looked after us and brought us up well. He was always there with a counselling ear and he was absolutely devoted to my mum.”

After starting work at Pilkington as an electrician Maurice was sent by the company to Wigan Technical College for further higher-level qualifications.

He also did two years of national service, including spending time in Germany, and shortly after returning from the forces married Pat Silcock, who died in 2011.

He stayed with Pilkington until he retired at the age of 60. Outside of work he was a well-known figure as a lay preacher in the Methodist Church and for his work helping to run a Wigan youth club, for which he was awarded the MBE.

He is survived by his sister Marian, his three sons Ian, Andy and Philip, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.