The brains behind the 'eight-day week' remembered for his achievements at St Katherine's Dock and love of theatre

Former Taylor Woodrow chairman Peter Drew OBE has died aged 79.

Drew was at Taylor Woodrow for 26 years, taking the role of chairman from 1989-93. His greatest achievement at the firm was probably the redevelopment during the 1970s of St Katherine’s Dock in London, to the east of Tower Bridge.

Under Drew’s leadership, the Dock was transformed from a derelict wasteland to a modern development of hotels, public housing and office space. In order to complete the first stage of the redevelopment in ten weeks, Drew famously invented an “eight-day week”, persuading the team to work overnight each Thursday.

The scheme was a success, becoming the home of the UK’s World Trade Centre and inspiring the wider redevelopment of Tower Hamlets and the docklands area later fostered by the Docklands Development Corporation. He received the OBE in 1979.

A lover of culture, Drew spent many of his later years privately helping out on theatre projects both in London and elsewhere. He was the catalyst for the redevelopment of Sadler’s Wells theatre in Islington, and was a leading figure behind the refurbishment of the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds.