"It is amazing to see where the journey began"
A leading businessman from Blackburn has died just two months after a relative was killed in a gas blast in Pakistan.
Akbar Hussain passed away on November 6, 2020, at the age of 75 after a two-year battle with his second period with cancer.
It came just two months after the family lost Qasar Akbar, popularly known as ‘Ketcho’, who died in a gas explosion while in Pakistan.
Mr Akbar was one of Lancashire’s most well-known personalities. He established H&S Interiors, which is on Montague Street.
The businessman came to the UK in 1965 and worked at the cotton mills for a decade. In 1978, he set up a small furniture-making business in a shed at the back of his house. It proved to be a smart move as the business quickly grew.
His son Faisal, who runs the business with his brothers, said:
“It was a very small business at first and then he moved on to shops on Whalley Range, Victoria Street and Cardwell Place.
“Eventually he found larger premises on Montague Street in 1994 and we have been based here ever since.
“It is amazing to see how something from such a humble beginning can turn into something of more significance for the family and the town of Blackburn.”
H&S Interiors later became H&S Living and the renovated showroom opened in 2017.
Faisal said: “It is amazing to see where the journey began and how large we became.
“In the Seventies, he was well known for producing bed settees and across the UK, Blackburn became famous for producing these sofas which proved popular in many houses and got the name ‘Akbar Settee walahey’.
“You could say he was a founder of the bed settee in the UK. People would order these from as far afield as London.
“Despite changing tastes people do still buy them from us as well as the more modern furniture.”
The businessman retired in 2005 after overcoming bowel cancer for the first time.
Faisal explained: “He always wanted to spend more time in Pakistan and loved ox racing which is popular in the Jhelum area off the country.
“He became very good at that too. It was good he got to spend his later years doing what he loved.”
“He was one of those people who gained a great deal of respect from people both here and in Pakistan and hence acquired the name ‘Akbar Badshah’ (Akbar the King) in Pakistan among his peers in the ox racing community.
“He was straight-talking and to the point. At the same time he never turned anyone away and would always make time to speak to people no matter who they were.
“It was a quality that most people will remember him for.”
Mr Akbar had five sons, one daughter, 23 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Faisal added: “We would like to thank everyone for their good wishes over the past week, especially during this difficult time.”