Tributes to Garry Miles

Paul Eckersley, Managing Director at the time of Garry and Martin’s first visit to Valor Birmingham.

It seems like only yesterday that we started our journey with Garry and Martin when they came to Erdington to cajole us into building the first twelve Valorflames to their specifications.

Garry was a pioneer and a very honest man.

Fond and great times.

Graham Leeke, Managing Director

After all the intervening years I firmly remember Miles as being my favorite company to deal with.
Yes, there were many challenges at times.
Garry was insightful as to what the Canadian market wanted.
The late-night phone calls for us in the UK before all this internet stuff.
The warmth and integrity and willingness to share their sound business sense all made for a trusting and enjoyable relationship.
Despite the distance between us there were regular visits in both directions and this lead to several friendships being established. Garry’s welcome was always warm and generous.
So many memories of BC and gratitude that I met and worked with Garry.

Mike Perkins, Finance Director

Garry saw a market for gas fires in North America very early. So good to see the business continuing when many large companies have entered the market.

David Thompson, Export Director

I have many memories of Garry in particular his sense of fun and his kindness in inviting me to his home on several occasions.

Ian Kingscott, Export Development Engineer

I have fond memories of working with Garry and Martin in the lab on what was to become the first Valor Legend fire. They were a good team and knew exactly what they wanted.

It has been good to see them grow over the past 30 years since I left Valor and watch their range of appliances evolve over time into a market leading range.

Andrew Wilson, Manager North American Design Team

Such sad news.
I have fond memories of Garry. A real Gent and shrewd businessman. He has left an amazing legacy.

Martin Smith

Our friendship blossomed as we developed the first high efficiency insert gas fire which was capable of being retrofitted to homes in BC – the first Legend

I often stayed with Garry and Barbara and during the days we spent together found that we shared many common values – the  importance of family and heritage being one of them. It is testament to the unique blend of Barbara and Garry that they have raised three talented and successful sons who have inherited so many of their values.

Barbara was the only one who could control Garry when he was going off at a tangent or over stressing an issue.

Garry always had a story to tell and a talent for mimicking famous people to keep us entertained. I remember sitting on the deck of their house watching the Northern Lights which I had never seen before when without hesitation or fluffing a line he recited The Cremation Of Sam McGee.

Garry and Barbara were always especially generous in sharing their homes and time which made the long trips far from my home far pleasanter than they could have been.

How often the phone would ring at the end of a working day in the UK and Garry would say “How are you doing Smithy – l have been thinking” and you knew you were in for a long session whilst he let his enthusiasm for a topic or cause pour out.

Garry was a demanding customer but was equally energetic and supportive with his own input.

I shall be ever grateful for the care and friendship of Garry and Barbara which they extended to my wife Pauline and our children Jane and Andrew.

So many cherished memories.


  1. Peter Baker

    I first met Garry in 1986. He took me under his wing and tought me all about being a good responsible citizen. We spent many hours working on Standards and the ever evolving landscape that was the North American gas fire market in the early 90’s I will forever be greatful for having his knowledge and his insight to lean on. A true champion. God Speed Garry may the tides be kind and wind at your back

  2. Andy Cotnam

    Our thoughts and condolences to Martin , Paul and the Miles family


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