Tributes as radio's 'Slanny on the Tranny' dies at 72
TRIBUTES have been paid to a successful businessman who became a star in the region after participating in a long-running series of radio adverts.
Grandfather-of-three Barry Slann, of Werrington, lost his spirited battle with cancer at the age of 72 last week.
Known for his furniture and decorating stores the father-of-two also became a household name following his frequent appearances on adverts with the catchphrase 'Slanny on the tranny'.
Now his sons Lyndon and Hartley have paid tribute to their dad.
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Lyndon, aged 48, who runs Cliff Vale-based Easycorp UK Ltd with his brother, said: "Everyone I have told about dad passing away have all commented what a character he was. Although he was heavily involved with running a business, family was always his first priority."
On leaving Moorside High School Barry was employed as an apprentice at Byatt's car dealership in Fenton.
After completing his apprenticeship he advanced to commercial sales manager before realising his entrepreneurial ambitions. He became a familiar face in the region's markets where he sold spares for vacuum cleaners before turning carpet pieces into car mats.
Barry then became more interested in selling carpets and opened a retail warehouse in Milton, with another shop in Bucknall.
And that spelt the beginning of his empire. At the peak of his success he ran additional shops in Tunstall, Newcastle and Hanley where he sold homeware, furniture and carpets.
Father-of-two Lyndon, who lives in Brassington with wife Michelle, aged 39, said: "I started working on the markets with him when I was about eight and eventually became managing director of the business. We used to call him the 'Duracell Bunny' because he was always active."
Father-of-one Hartley, aged 51, of Yarnfield, said: "We had a joke about me working with dad as I'd quit or he'd sack me and I would go back before I went to work as a commercial production.
"He was always very determined and his phrase was 'everything is up for negotiation'."
Barry retired in 2005 when he closed the doors on the Clough Street-based Slann's Homestore.
But the legacy of his adverts which appeared on Signal Radio lived on.
Lyndon, who also starred in the adverts, said: "People would shout to us in shops and pubs. On one occasion dad was in the supermarket, someone overheard his voice and asked, 'Are you Slanny on the tranny?'."
Hartley, who lives with wife Laura, aged 37, added: "He had a really fun personality and you always knew where you stood with him."
Away from business Barry, who also leaves wife Norma, was a fan of horses and was a member of the Moorlands Harness Driving Club.
On Saturday his coffin will be drawn by a horse. The ceremony will take place at Carmountside Crematorium from 10.30am.
Donations should be made to the Douglas Macmillan Hospice. Cash can also be given online at www.justgiving.com/barry-slann.