John Farrow BSc (Hons) MRICS -1956 to 2020

It is with great sadness that we announce the untimely passing of John Farrow, Managing Partner of Playle & Partners LLP, who sadly passed away following a stroke on 22 April 2020 aged 63 years old.

John originally joined the Practice in 1977 as a young year out student, re-joining us after finishing his degree in Liverpool as a full time Trainee Quantity Surveyor. Over the years, he became a valuable member of the team and was firstly promoted to Associate and then to Partner.

A little known fact about John was his cheeky humour. He was a prankster in his early years, playing tricks on colleagues and on more than one occasion finding a Partner walking into a carefully laid trap for someone else.

An avid Liverpool and Gillingham fan, John in his early years also played for the Playle football, cricket and squash teams. His passion for sport continued in the office and he took great pleasure surprising members of staff with random football trivia questions. In recent years John had taken up cycling (and rode 2 or 3 times a week). John was also an avid stamp collector and is known amongst his colleagues for his famous signatures on first day covers.

John exemplified the core values of professionalism and leadership. As Partner, John’s commitment and dedication to driving high levels of competence, expertise and client care epitomised his approach to the ‘Partner Led, Client Committed’ values of our company.

John was involved in the RICS junior branch and served for many years on the Kent Branch Committee. Most recently, John was appointed to the Expert Witness Institute.

He always instilled into our Clients great confidence in our services, many Clients, fellow consultants and those within the Playle family greatly benefited from his mentoring, wisdom and knowledge.

John was an ambassador to the industry and was highly respected by colleagues and Clients. His absence will leave a considerable void as we continue without him.

John always spoke enthusiastically about his family and of the immense pride he had in his daughters’ achievements, often joking he was the least qualified member of his household.

John will be greatly missed and is a great loss to the Company, Clients and Colleagues alike.

Our thoughts are with his wife Janet and his two daughters Emily and Sophie at this sad time.

Book of Condolence

We understand that John’s passing has touched many. A huge number of his friends and colleagues have already sent us heart-felt wishes. Should you wish to express your condolences, please add your thoughts below.

John Farrow’s book of condolence is now closed.


  1. John Ruler, Cognita

    It was truly a pleasure to have known John and I will miss him, particularly our conversation about football.

  2. Yazdi Shroff, Willmott Dixon

    He really was such a lovely man. I had a huge respect for him as both a friend and professional. I know how dedicated he was to his work, but it seems so unfair that he will not go on to enjoy retirement with his family. I really do feel that we have lost one of the best and I have lost a friend.

  3. Sam Alderson, Willmott Dixon

    I am shocked and saddened by the tragic news that John has passed away. Over the years I built a strong working relationship with John, and respected John in his role, but also as a man. John was one of life’s gentlemen! John always asked after my family and was a person I enjoyed talking too and doing business with.

  4. Wendy Mason, Rivington Street Studio

    So sorry for you all – I met John only briefly but David knew him well and really enjoyed working with him. Such sad news in already challenging times.

  5. Steve Bell

    I’ve known John for over 20 years from when he used to undertake consultancy work at KCC. We continued to work together over the years and keep in touch on a personal level where we had many coffees and curries. I will always remember the lighthearted football banter we had as we supported opposing teams.
    This truly is a very sad day. He will be deeply and sorely missed. He was a true gentleman, family man and highly regarded professional.

  6. Rodney Kilbee

    Having done quite a lot of QS work for P&P over the last ten years or so, all through my contact with John and having got to know Ian well during that time – I was so shocked to hear about John – as I feel sure you all were.

  7. John Playle

    I was extremely sorry to learn that John had passed away and would like to give my commiserations to your partnership in the loss of your Managing Partner who had led your firm so ably the last few years.
    I renewed my long ago friendship with John when he joined our team of RICS Judges this year and we inspected several projects together. His expertise in many fields was very evident and we were all looking forward to working with him for many years. He enjoyed talking with me about his friendship with my cousin Ray and the many ways our paths had crossed over the years and we both looked forward to future meetings.

  8. Dan Margetson, Pinnacle ESP

    On behalf of myself and all at PinnacleESP, we are very sorry to learn about the loss of John Farrow. We enjoyed working with john over the years and we send our deepest condolences at this very sad time.

  9. Peter Smith, Raymond Smith Partnership

    We are all completely shocked and saddened and would just like to pass on all our condolences to you and everyone at Playle & Partners during this difficult time.
    Although over the 25 years we have worked together our involvement was primarily with Paul, John was always happy to give up time to chat and I have many fond memories of being in your office after most others had left just chatting with Paul and John.
    Our involvement in the 3 Peaks Challenge also showed us another side to John both in terms of his determination and inner strength but also his compassion and concern for everyone involved.
    He will be greatly missed and please pass on all our sympathies to his wife and family.

  10. Lucy Heathfield, Ash Contracting Ltd

    I am totally shocked, John was such a lovely guy.
    I send my regards to all of Johns family, he use to tell me so much about his girls.

  11. Steve Smithson, BeFirst

    I was shocked and extremely saddened to hear of John’s tragic passing.

    I worked with John on numerous projects over the years and apart from his utter professionalism, honesty and integrity in business, John was a lovely man who always spoke of his pride in his family, his love of Football and it was always a pleasure to sit and chat over a coffee after meetings about life outside work.

    I am honoured to have known him and I will miss him deeply.

  12. Roger Morris, Playle & Partners LLP

    I was extremely shocked and saddened to the news about John Farrow. John was a colleague and friend, a true professional, who will be sorely missed by the wider world than just those at Playle & Partners.

  13. Brian Gue

    I was shocked and deeply saddened to hear the news of John’s passing. I still think of him as young John despite the fact that he was no doubt close to retirement. It is so sad that he has been taken before his time. I have always had immense respect for John. Most certainly there are not many work colleagues that I have known and kept contact with for 45 years. I last saw him back in the summer when I introduced him to Roger Zog’s development company. I remember telling him how impressed I was with his handling of the interview. He was a consummate professional and I know that he will be sorely missed at Playle and Partners.

  14. Deanne Jupp, Savills

    I worked with John back in Barking and Dagenham many years ago and was shocked at the very sad news. John was a pleasure to work with, he brought so much practical experience and knowledge in a very calm manner.

  15. Mark O'Neill, Edge

    I had a long and enjoyable working relationship with John for over twenty years and his loss will be felt deeply. In fact his skill and knowledge was why I was contacting the office, and I feel sure that John’s legacy is the consistency and expertise of support and advice he always gave to me and my clients on project, and which I’m sure Playle and partners will Continue to deliver.

  16. David Tucker, Rivington Street Studio

    I’m desperately sorry to hear of John’s passing. I always enjoyed my time with him.
    John was incredibly engaging, warm with a great sense of humour and occasion. I remember him bringing his own cream birthday cake to a client engagement meeting at Barking Abbey School a couple of years ago. We all helped him eat it despite the mess it made on my material samples and drawings! He was always generous with his time and gave me great tips for upcoming work and new clients.
    Please pass on my deepest condolences to his family and I do hope that things are not too turbulent at P&P as a result.

  17. Bill Attwell, William Attwell + Associates

    I was so shocked and desperately sorry to read this e-mail and the news of John’s passing – I had no idea! My memories go as far back as around 1983/4 when I was at Bowden Sillett + Partners, and to darts matches at some hostelry in Smithfield, with John/Paul and the Mount Pleasant Post Office boys. We have worked together many times over the years since that time, and I consider John to be a friend, not just a sound and knowledgeable work colleague.
    My heartfelt condolences to everyone at Playle and Partners and, of course, especially to his wife and daughters. He was such a proud family man!

  18. Jacie-Louise Riley, Croydon Council

    I was so sad to hear of John’s passing, and send my deepest condolences to his family.

    It was always a pleasure to work with John on the occasions I did, he was a kind man and always made me feel welcome.

  19. Fiona Dear

    I was so sad to hear of John’s passing. On behalf of the Playle Partnership he oversaw the refurbishment and rebuild at Longlands Primary School in Sidcup. He was a great support to me (Head Teacher) during the whole process. My thoughts and condolences go to his family.
    Fiona Dear

  20. Ernest Raw, RBKC

    I have known and worked with John on a number of occasions since 2012 whilst at RBKC. This is indeed a shock, I will miss his trusted and professional approach to his work.

  21. John and Sue Diamond

    It’s with great sadness that I have only just learned (in July) of John’s passing.
    I also regarded John as a dedicated professional, who will be greatly missed.
    I first met and worked with John in 1977 during his year out from university and worked with him during the period to March 1982, when I emigrated with my family to Australia.
    I have great memories of the fun had by all whilst playing twilight Playle cricket with John.
    We have remained in contact since that time via Christmas cards and letters.

  22. Richard Barwick, RJ Barwick

    John’s passing came as a complete surprise, and very sad news. Our company worked with John over several decades, mostly on school projects. Despite the usual pressures, we were always able to have a laugh, and he will be missed by many. My condolences to his family and partners at the firm.

  23. Iain McAlister, Acutus

    In the short time I worked with John, it quickly became apparent to me that he was a true professional and a true gentlemen in every sense of that word. My thoughts are with his family and friends.

  24. Greg Taylor, Griffiths & Armour

    John was a kind and charming man whose company I very much looked forward to. His passing is so sad. I will always remember our trips to Anfield together. My heart goes out to his wife and daughters who I never met, but we talked of much and who meant everything to him.

  25. Steve Carden, United Living

    I am extremely saddened to hear that John has left us. We first worked together over 30 years ago when I was at Osborne’s. A real professional and a thoroughly likeable person who I had a lot of respect for. My heart goes out to his family. A true gentleman.

  26. Allen Broad, Armour Hart Group

    We are very sad to hear of John’s passing and all of us at Armour Hart send our condolences to his family and friends

  27. Graham Mitchell, Caxtons

    I was shocked and saddened to hear of John’s untimely death. Having lost my own wife suddenly and unexpectedly at the end of March, I appreciate the emotional rollercoaster that his family must be going through and I would like to offer them my sincere condolences.

    John and I were in the RICS Junior Organisation together in the late 1970s/early 1980s, and whilst our paths did not cross regularly in recent years, we did keep in touch from time to time and indeed had lunch together just a few months ago. A true professional that will be sorely missed.

  28. Sue Formolli, London Borough of Bexley

    I was so shocked to hear about John, he was so fit and active; I remember him talking about cycling for miles (think to Brighton) with his work colleagues for charity. He was so very proud of his girls and his wife. He was cheeky, we had many laughs and he was a real gentleman. He will be missed and I send love to his family x

  29. Steve Moores, Turner & Townsend

    I worked with John on some of the Lewisham primary school schemes and he immediately struck me as a person of great knowledge and of high moral standing, an ambassador and talented professional for our industry. His genuine and sincere approach gave faith to clients and end users alike – a trusted friend. His untimely passing came as a complete shock and remains greatly saddening to me and colleagues who’ve worked with him. Deepest condolences.

  30. James Hodgson, LBBD

    John was a very decent man, highly professional and good company: he will be sorely missed.

  31. Stephen Taylor, Taylor Associates

    It was a real shock to hear through your news letter that John had passed. I sat on the RICS Junior Branch Kent Committee with him many years ago and our paths crossed again last year on the Corbridge Crescent project for Aitch Construction and it was really good to see him again and catch up. 63 is much too early for someone to pass and our thoughts go to his family in this difficult time.

  32. Ann Lakshmanan

    Very sorry to hear that John has died. He was a great person to work with, and a really lovely person. Please pass on my best wishes to his family.

  33. Bryan Laxton

    John was an outstanding QS, an excellent advisor to many clients as well as a great friend to many people.
    He started work for my father, John Laxton and he soon showed everyone how capable he was and how much potential he had, even in his formative years.
    It would be fair to say that my father was a hard task-master, but John stood out as being a very capable person and he earned every step in his promotion to eventually become the managing partner in the firm he loved.
    I remember playing with John in a number of the Playle cricket teams and as we were of a similar age our careers developed in a similar fashion. We always kept in touch over the 40 years we knew each other and as recently as a couple of years ago, John was advising us on some work to our house and was our saviour when the contractor went bust halfway through the project!
    My father retired 30 years ago, but they always kept in touch and John was kind enough to say a few words at my father’s funeral last year and I am so sorry that the pandemic has stopped so many of us that would have wished to pay our last respects to such a wonderful man.

  34. Dennis Wright, BeFirst

    John was a bottomless source of knowledge few others had, the kind of stuff that comes from experience and an enviable attention to detail. I knew I could rely on his formidable grasp of the facts where others would be found wanting. He had a steady and reassuring presence in all situations. He will be remembered fondly by many. Thank you John for what you gave and what you have left.

  35. Ian Webb

    John is a lovely chap who I will miss. He was very helpful to me when trying to pass the TPC 32 years ago and I remember going to his house when he lived in Coxheath for words of wisdom and support. Our careers crossed paths several times but not as many times as I bumped into him in London or on the train. Thanks John I really enjoyed your wisdom and company.

  36. Daren Moseley, United Living

    Very sad to have learnt of John’s passing and extend my condolences and sympathies to his family, friends and work colleagues at such a difficult time.

  37. Luke Turner, Playle & Partners LLP

    A true Gent and an exceptional role model. I’m very glad to have known John and to have been able to work under him. His knowledge was outstanding and he was always happy to provide advice and guidance when required. I will miss his presence and personality in the office, I will even miss the probing questions as I walked past his office door on either work or current affairs to see if I was paying attention.

    My thoughts are with his family. It feels very cruel that John has left us now when the next phase of his life would have held so much for him to look forward to. He was very proud of his family and of his two daughters of whom he spoke of often and fondly. We would often get updates on their progress somewhere around the World and he was very proud that he was the least qualified in the family.

    John helped me to become a better, more round individual and Quantity Surveyor and I will always be grateful to him for that.

  38. Dominic Barrett, Playle & Partners

    John will be greatly missed at Playle & Partners LLP, it was deeply saddening to hear of his passing. Please pass on my heartfelt condolences and sympathies to his family and friends.

  39. Lorna Dixon, Mott MacDonald

    John was such a pleasure to work with, and I was so shocked and saddened to hear of his passing. We worked on the same projects in Croydon over the past couple of years and he was always a learned, calm and funny presence. I hope his family know how great a person he was to work with, and that he will be sorely missed.

  40. Richard Hallgate-Hills, London Borough of Barking & Dagenham

    So sorry to hear that John has left us prematurely. I agree with all of the sentiments expressed here, John was a thoroughly decent man whose opinion could always be relied on even if sometimes it wasn’t what I wanted to hear! A genial and enjoyable fellow. My sympathies go to his family and friends, he will be sorely missed.

  41. Graham Brown

    I am so shocked and saddened to learn of John’s passing. A true gentleman and a consummate professional who was such a pleasure to work with over many, many years. Please pass on my condolences to his family and let them know of the enormous respect and regard that he was held in.

  42. Clive West, CWC

    So sorry to hear the news regarding John.
    I had the pleasure of working with John some 10 years ago and was looking forward to meeting up with joy once this dreadful situation we find ourselves in.
    Best regards to the family

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