A FAMILY is mourning the loss of a leading businessman just two months after they lost a brother.

Akbar Hussain died, aged 75, after a two-year battle with his second period with cancer. It came barely two months after the family lost Qasar Akbar, 42, known to many as ‘Ketcho’, who died in a gas blast in Pakistan.

Mr Akbar was one of Lancashire’s most well-known personalities who established H and S Interiors, which is based on Montague Street. He also helped to establish the Raza Mosque on Randal Street.

Mr Akbar came to the country in 1965 and went on to work in the cotton mills for a decade. Then in 1978 he set up a small furniture-making business in an old shed at the back of his house. It would prove to be masterstroke on his part and he soon saw the business grow.

His son Faisal, who is helping run the business with his brothers at H & S Interiors, 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 was later re-branded as H & S Living and the renovated showroom opened in 2017.

Asian Image:

Akbar Hussain died with Qasar Akbar who died within months of one another

Faisel 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.”
Mr Akbar retired from the business allowing his three sons to take over in 2005 after winning his first battle with bowel cancer.

Faisal said: “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.
Faisel said: “We would like to thank everyone for their good wishes over the past week, especially during this difficult time.”

Mr Akbar died on Friday, November 6, at his home, surrounded by his family.