Remembering our Co-Founder and Former Chairman


6th February 2023

Co-founder and former chairman of The Think Tank, Bernard Bateman MBE, passed away peacefully on 26th January 2023 at the age of 78. He will be remembered by all who knew him for his larger-than-life personality, his relentless energy, his selflessness, his myriad achievements and, of course, his signature shock of white hair.

Bernard was instrumental in the formation of The Think Tank founding the company with his son Liam and Shaun Madle way back in 1993. Besides providing investment to help get the agency off the ground, Bernard played an active role behind the scenes, serving as chairman of the board for close to 29 years.
To the end, he was an invaluable source of advice, drawing on the accumulated wisdom of a life lived to its fullest to help steer the company in the right direction. Without his input, The Think Tank would not be where it is today.

Remarkably, The Think Tank represents just a small fraction of Bernard’s accomplishments. At just 22 years old, he became Cardiff City Council’s youngest ever councillor, before becoming one of the youngest directors of plumbing giant, Plumb Center: a post he held for 15 years. Bernard went on to hold a number of leadership roles in the plumbing and heating industry, including posts at Harcross and Geberit.

A champion of professionalism, he was an Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE), and twice held the post of National President at the industry body. He was a member of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers, Freeman of the City of London and Honorary Secretary and founder of the World Plumbing Council, an international organisation which aims to achieve the best possible plumbing for people everywhere through the development of the world’s plumbing industries.

Bernard was also appointed to the Water Regulations Advisory Committee by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (DETR) in 1999 where he played an important part in the introduction of dual-flushing in the UK, saving millions of litres of water every year.

In recognition of Bernard’s services to the plumbing industry, he was awarded an MBE in 1988.
Somehow, Bernard also found time to run a travel company, which took him and his clients to the farthest corners of the earth. In his later years, he resumed his career in politics serving as Mayor of Ripon, Mayor of Harrogate District and Chair of North Yorkshire County Council.

During his lifetime, Bernard helped raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for charities such as the YMCA, where he sat on the National Council, and the ABF – The Soldier’s Charity.

But above all else, what helped take Bernard so far in life was his dedication to his family, his friends and the communities and strangers that he served.

Bernard is survived by his beloved wife, Linda, their two sons, Liam and Nicholas, and four granddaughters.
Bernard Bateman MBE was born in Bristol on 21st March 1944. He died on 26th January, aged 78.

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