Tributes to Goyals co-founder who 'made everyone laugh'

A hard-working businessman who helped set up a family-run school uniform store in Maidenhead has died at the age of 85.

Baldev Goyal, known as BK, moved to the town from Punjab, India, with his wife Vinod in 1962 and soon launched the Goyals store in Bridge Street.

The company started its journey selling baby clothes but in 1972 switched to providing school uniforms.

It has since kitted out several generations of families and continues to supply pupils across the Royal Borough from its original shop in the town centre.

Daughter-in-law Seema Goyal, who now runs the town centre business with husband Dr Rajan Goyal, described BK as a man who made everyone laugh and taught her some of the key principles of running a business.

She said: “I came into the family when I was 19 and since then we were more like best friends.

“He was a person who was so happy and more like a comedian. He made us laugh so much and was an amazing husband, father-in-law and great grandfather. “

She added: “He always believed that you should stretch within your means. He always taught us that when you’re running a business your capacity should be what you’re able to do.

“He was very hard-working and at that time they could not afford many staff and only had two to four people at the store.

“Now it’s grown to 16 to 20.”

BK balanced his work at Goyals with a job at the Post Office in Maidenhead, which he worked at until 1992.

His retirement from the world of work in the noughties gave him the chance to spend more time watching his loved ones play cricket, one of BK’s big passions.

BK has been living with dementia for the past two years and died on Tuesday, July 19 from pneumonia.

Seema said the company is looking to carry out further charity work in BK’s name, building on the success of its school uniform sponsorship initiative.

“When the shop turned 50 I decided to sponsor 500 families and he loved it and he supported me and we will continue with that,” she said.

“He comes from a background where they made everything from scratch and it was nice of him that he never objected to those things.”

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