People news, June 201808 June 2018

The founder of Wrights Group, Sir William Wright, has been made a Knight Bachelor of the British Empire by HRH the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace. Sir William’s knighthood was announced in the 2018 new year’s honours list in recognition of his services to the bus industry and the UK economy. The honour is in recognition of a business career that has spanned more than seven decades. In 2001 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to industry and the community and he was later promoted to Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2011 for services to the bus industry.

West Midlands-based Wheely Safe, a driver alert system for wheel loss, tyre pressure and brake overheating, has announced two senior appointments. Steve Jackson, 53, has appointed managing director, bringing a wealth of expertise gained through 12 years at Wrightbus, most recently as head of UK Sales. The company has also promoted Andy Congrave, 56, to the new role of sales director, after nearly two years with the business. He joined the firm in September 2016 as sales manager and was initially focused on the firm’s retail product, Fit2Go, which has seen the company become an official global licensee of Michelin. His previous employers include four years at Volant Commercials, MCV Bus and Coach, and Wrightbus.

The new owners of Mercedes-Benz dealer Bell Truck and Van have strengthened their management team by making a series of appointments to key positions. Underlining the company’s commitment to staff development, most are internal promotions. An exception is Carl Belch, who has joined the manufacturer’s representative in the north east as its new truck sales director. Before his last role with truck rental specialist Close Brothers Vehicle Hire, he had spent more than 20 years with another Mercedes-Benz Trucks and FUSO Canter dealer. Meanwhile, after seven years with the business, former group financial controller Martin Johnson has been appointed financial director. Also promoted from their previous sales positions are Emma Griffiths and Andrew Scott, who are now Van Sales Managers for Bell’s Stockton and Longbenton branches, respectively. On the customer service side, former Bell employee Paul Howie returns to Longbenton as aftersales manager, following a stint with another brand. Meanwhile, Graham Taylor becomes parts manager at Spennymoor, having previously served as parts advisor. The changes come less than six months after Bell Truck and Van, a founder member in 1974 of the Mercedes-Benz Dealer Network, was acquired by environmental, renewable energy and recycling company Leo Group. Bell Truck and Van is also investing in its branch network, including development of a van sales and service centre on the dealer’s site in Stockton-on-Tees, where staff have been working from temporary facilities. Completion of this scheme will relieve pressure on Bell’s workshop in nearby Billingham, which can then be used solely to repair and maintain trucks. Bell has also completed a deal to acquire a seven-acre site on the Team Valley Trading Estate in Gateshead.

Waste management company O’Donovan Waste Disposal has been awarded a certificate of recognition for the Outstanding Employee Engagement Award from employee engagement organisation Centralus. It recognises the achievements of employers who reach high performance through real employee engagement. Russell Foster, the Sales Director of O’Donovan Waste Disposal, attended The Business Show 2018 in London and was presented with the award by Allen Panter, the Senior Sales Executive of Centralus.

Whale Tankers has announced that Robert Frew is the new regional sales manager for Scotland. He is replacing Alan Steel who retired in April. A well-known figure in the industry, Frew joins Whale having spent nine years with Johnston Sweepers, where he was regional sales manager. Frew said: “My remit is to maintain and increase the level of sales with the Scottish local authorities, while expanding our presence with private and industrial operators.”


For the fifth year running, and to celebrate TIP’s 50th anniversary year, TIP Trailer Services is supporting a 50-strong cycling team from the UK and Irish transport industries to raise monies for the Stoke based charity Donna Louise Trust. Having previously raised almost £150,000 from previous events, this year’s target is a further £50,000.

Van dealership Anchor Vans’ managing director Simon Joyce will be participating in Ironman UK in Bolton being held on 15th July 2018, his fourth triathlon. Joyce commented: "I've raised almost £6,000 for charity through my races so far, and hope that Ironman UK in Bolton will encourage even more gifting to good causes. I do encourage my team at Anchor Vans to participate in a variety of sporting events and in May we'll be fielding a team at Tough Mudder in support of the Rosemary Appeal. This is the second year Anchor Vans have participated in Tough Mudder and it promotes employee team building whilst encouraging health and fitness amongst employees".

A Burnley business is going the extra mile for a community foodbank by donating a refrigerated van conversion. CoolKit has converted the Mercedes Vito panel van into a refrigerated vehicle with the help of its supplier GAH. The project, called Burnley Community Kitchen, has been set up by Burnley FC in the Community. It will be based at the former J3 former clothing shop in Market Square and will feature a supermarket-style foodbank, community café, discount sportswear shop and library. It will also provide cookery classes and staff will be on hand to help assess people’s needs. CoolKit’s van will be used to deliver food to school breakfast clubs, refuges and other causes. It will also collect donations of surplus stock and food nearing its best before date from shops and transport them to the warehouse.

Will Dalrymple

Related Companies
Bell Truck Sales Ltd
O'Donovan Waste Disposal Ltd
TIP Trailer Services UK Ltd
Whale Tankers Ltd

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