THE woman who dreamed up the name Silentnight, Britain's largest bed manufcaturer has died.

Joan Clarke, was co-founder of the Silentnight Group, and her husband Tom, (who passed away in 1993),were the dominant figures in the post-war furniture industry.

They started up refurbishing mattresses as Clarke's Mattresses, based in Coach Street in Skipton, using Tom's Navy gratuity. The business became Silentnight when Joan thought of the name, a contribution that Tom always credited afterwards as a brainwave worth millions'. The business grew to be one of the largest in Europe.

Joan was born in 1922, the second daughter of Mark and Mary Hayes.

She was born after the austerity of the First World War into the Roaring Twenties'. However, Joan was born into a hard working family where from a very early age she learned to make do and mend' and not to spend a penny where a ha'penny would do'! She carried those philosophies throughout her life, and was the archetypal hard-working Northern woman, proud of her roots and proud of her family.

Joan was the beloved mother of three children - Peter was born in 1949 and followed three years later by twins John and Joan. Ahead of her time, she was a working mother taking a very active role supporting Tom in the family business yet devoted to her family. They enjoyed holidays in Anglesey, eschewing overseas trips for tradi-tional family sea-side fun. She also loved to spend time tending her beautiful garden, and creating exquisitely worked tapestries.

In 2003 the Silentnight Group returned to family control with Peter and John sitting on the main board, and together with sister Joan Adamson on the family company board known as Famco Holdings. Joan continued to take an active interest in the Silentnight Group right up to the end. The fam-ily business have been pleased to back many local and national charities and Joan took a particular interest in previous years, in their commitment to the Duke of Edinburgh's Gold award Scheme.

Supported by family and friends, Joan has battled ill health for the past few years until she passed away peacefully.

She leaves behind, her three children and ten grandchildren, Rebecca, Andrew, Stephanie, Eliza-beth, Helen, Fiona, Sarah, Natalie, Edward, and Peter, and three great-grandchildren.