THE industrialist who brought the Tall Ships to Merseyside has died aged 84.

John Gabriel Parkes was born in Staffordshire in 1917 and, after gaining a double first in aeronautical engineering at Cambridge, his first job was in management at the Lever's Soap Factory in Port Sunlight.

He was appointed as managing director of Lever Brothers in 1962, and during the next 15 years was also chairman of Liverpool Chamber Of Commerce for two years and chaired the Industrial Deve-lopment Board of the North West CBI and Merseyside Enterprise Forum.

In 1975 Mr Parkes was invited to join a Government committee looking into the future of broadcasting, and it was in the 1977 New Year's Honours List that he was awarded the CBE in recognition of his work with the Industrial Development Board.

Perhaps his most memorable achievement was his work organising the first ever Tall Ships visit to Merseyside in 1984.

John leaves his widow Ann, son Michael, daughter Veronica and four grandchildren.