About the R W Mann Trust
The R W Mann Trust was founded by Dr. R. W. Mann OBE, DCL and his wife Margery in 1957 by a gift of shares from Victor Products (Wallsend) Ltd.
Mann, Reginald, Engineer
Dr Reginald W Mann (1898 - 1991) was born in Birmingham. He then served in the Navy in the Great War as an electrical artificer and, on demobilisation, was transferred to Metro-Vickers in Manchester. He subsequently moved to Tyneside in 1920 with his wife, Margery.
In 1929, along with Harold Crofton, he established Victor Products which developed electrical equipment for use in coal mines. As a result of the excellent design work, research and development the business was able to apply for a number of new patents and gradually they became an established player in the growing market for efficient and up to date mining equipment.
In the post-war period, under his leadership, the business established a strong international reputation in its field.
Mann served the company as managing director and chairman between 1944 (the retirement of Crofton) and 1972, thereafter becoming the company's first president. After 1972 he slowly withdrew from the day to day affairs of the business.
The RW Mann Trust
In 1955 Victor Products was floated on the London Stock Exchange and, two years later, Mann gifted a proportion of his and Margery's shares to form the RW Mann Trust.
One of the most prominent donations made was to the St Mary's Lighthouse Appeal in 1986. Mann had always been a steadfast servant of the community in North Tyneside. He was chairman of the Tyneside productivity committee and chairman of the Whitley Bay Council of Social Service, where he had been the driving force behind efforts to build a new community hall in Whitley Bay.
In 1990, Mann stepped down as chairman of trustees and was replace by his niece, Judy Hamilton, who is the incumbent chairman of the charity today.
Mann fervently believed in the multiplier effect; that, with a little bit of money, small local charities could have a disproportionately positive effect on their community. He also believed that he had a duty to give back to the region which had helped him achieve the success he enjoyed in business. Those who knew him personally say that he was a warm and generous person who genuinely enjoyed helping those less well off than himself.
Mann was awarded an OBE in the 1958 Queen's Birthday Honours for services to industry and the North East. In 1972 the Freedom of Wallsend was conferred upon him and in 1983 he was awarded an honorary doctorate in Civil Law by Newcastle University.
He passed away on Boxing Day in 1991, aged 92.