Tom Karen, a legendary designer from Letchworth, has died at the age of 96.

He passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, on New Year's Eve 2022.

Tom was managing director of Letchworth’s OGLE Design from 1962 until 1999.

During that time, he oversaw some of the UK's most iconic designs including the Raleigh Chopper bicycle, Bond Bug car and the Marble Run children's game.

Tom was born in Vienna in 1926, before settling in England in 1942, during the Second World War. He was appointed OBE in the 2019 New Year Honours.

A retrospective of Tom’s career – Tom Karen Creations – is currently open at the Museum at One Garden City in Letchworth.

The exhibition was curated by town historian, Josh Tidy, who said: “Tom was a true great. I had the pleasure of meeting him several times over the last year or so, putting together the exhibition which celebrates his life and work, and runs until March 10th - we will have a condolence book in situ, which we’ll pass on to his family.

"I’m very pleased in retrospect that we were able to do the exhibition last year - timely as it turned out, and as we feared. I know Tom was thrilled with it which makes me happy, at this sad time.”

Philip Martin, director at Ogle Models and Prototypes, said: “The Ogle family is deeply saddened to learn of Tom’s death. He was an exceptionally talented designer and a very special man.

“He was such an integral part of the Ogle success story. He pioneered so much of the work that we continue to do today, overseeing our progress from automotive designs, through the thrill  of Star Wars and into aerospace.

“The company owes him a great debt of gratitude.”