Category: Great Colleagues

New Starter Of The Year 2019

Every year each of our Area Teams are asked to put forward their nominations for New Starter of the Year.

Our National and Regional Training Managers then visit each Area’s nominee to select their regional champions based on their skills, attitude, ambitions and personality. 

Head Judge Peter Harris then visits all 10 of the finalists before we announce the winners. This year Peter covered over 3000 miles in less than 2 weeks to visit everyone!

It was a tough call this year as everyone visited was fantastic in their own way, which made it very difficult for the judges to decide on each brand’s winner.

Our 1st Place Winners will receive:

  • £500 tax free prize
  • The legacy trophy to hold for 1 year
  • A replica Trophy to keep
  • Bottle of Champagne 
  • A place on our Honours Board

Our 2nd Place Runner ups will receive:

  • £250 tax free prize 
  • A Trophy to keep

Our 3rd Place Runner ups will receive:

  • £150 tax free prize
  • A Trophy to keep

The Winners Are!

Timpson Winner

Alec Chambers 

Alec  joined Timpson in at the deep end in December in Stevenage and hasn’t looked back. He has taken to watch repairs and hopes to be able to do the hot seat at our Wolverhampton excellence centre soon. He always acknowledges the queue and describes his passion for engaging with his customers as the ‘pageantry’ of Timpson.

Max Winner 

Jamie Beglin 

Jamie got the job with Max through helping a colleague use Photoshop even better, while he was a customer! The job came at a perfect for him and he’s moved south to run Aberdeen Tesco and you can tell all his customers enjoy the banter, joined now eloquently by his own trainee Sueb. 

MoJo Winner 

Karl Brennan 

Karl helped out a friend on a MoJo refit which led to a job offer he couldn’t turn down: I met him in Morrison, he is now part of the area team and busy installing the iSnaps across the area and about to run his first Simply Amazing Course. He talks with everyone and seems to brighten their day.

Congratulations to all of our winners and runners up!



Martine Wins Manchester PA of the Year ‘Above & Beyond’ Award

We are delighted that Martine Tempest-Mitchell, who provides PA support services to the Timpson Group’s Directors,  is the recipient of one of the North West region’s most prestigious business awards.

Martine, who looks after all the Timpson Group’s senior leadership, collected the Manchester PA Network’s hotly contested ‘Above & Beyond’ award after impressing the judging panel with her energy, commitment and boundless enthusiasm in fulfilling not one but two highly demanding roles.

As well as taking care of all the Directors in the Timpson Group, which brings out the very best in her supreme organisational skills, Martine works hard in her busy role at Christies, Manchester’s world famous cancer hospital.

Judge’s View
A Manchester PA Network spokesperson said: “Our judges gave this winner tens across the board. They were impressed with her ability to juggle two jobs and excel in both. They really did feel as though she went above and beyond.”

Martine and her family joined over 700 guests from across the region at a glittering awards ceremony held to recognise the special role hard-working support professionals demonstrate every day of their working and volunteering lives.

“I couldn’t believe it when they read my name out,” said Martine. “I still can’t quite believe it. It was a really good night, all the stops were pulled out by the Manchester PA Network’s event management team and there were loads of fun activities and fabulous entertainment.”

Martine and the 17 other category winners were among 150 shortlisted nominees carefully selected from some of the best companies and organisations in Manchester.

Our brilliant, bubbly colleague received a handful of great gifts and exclusive experiences as part of her prize winnings, including one of the most popular edition suitcases by KitKase and an invitation to a special winners dinner at Gato Nego Tapas in Manchester.

Martine’s Responsibilities
Martine has had many roles within the Timpson business over the 20 years she has been with the company, including acting as James Timpson’s PA in the past. These days she looks after all the administrative needs of the six members of the very busy senior leadership team.

The Timpson Group Chairman and CEO James Timpson, as well as many of the executive team, were quick to congratulate their loyal long-standing colleague as soon as the news broke. Sir John Timpson CBE, Chairman, said: “The award is fantastic and very well deserved. Martine plays a vital role in making Timpson a unique business.”


Gaz’s Kind Gesture Cheers Elderly Widower

Who says young people these days only think about themselves? Not us. We have brilliant young colleagues going out of their way every single day to do odd little jobs for free, or whose small acts of kindness bring a much-needed smile to those who may need it most that day.

Our smashing young colleague Gaz Shepherd in from the Timpson Boundary Road branch in St Helens is a prime example. A customer recently visited Gaz’s shop with a suit to be dry-cleaned. Whilst checking in the item, Gaz engaged him in conversation. Sadly, the elderly gentleman explained he had recently become a widower. He had worn the suit to his wife’s funeral and it needed freshening up.

It was at that moment Gaz realised one small gesture could make his customer’s day and perhaps ease a smidge of financial pressure at an expensive time. So, Gaz decided to offer  to clean the customer’s suit for free. The chap was extremely grateful and even came in to the shop a few days later to thank him again as Gaz had been enjoying a day off when he had collected the item.

Gaz said: “I may not have done anything out of the ordinary as far as Timpson customer service goes, but I had one very pleased customer who was touched by my small gesture.”

We give all our colleagues the freedom to do whatever they feel is appropriate to deliver outstanding customer service. Gaz’s small act of kindness is a perfect example of how employing great people with personality can help brighten someone’s day in a small way.

Gaz’s Regional Training Manager, Andy Willingham, was so impressed by our young colleague’s gesture he awarded him a scratch card and a £50 bonus.

Akeem’s Customer Service is a Cut Above

Congratulations to our wonderful colleague Akeem Dewar in our Timpson branch in Streatham Tesco. Akeem won himself a £50 award from his Regional Training Manager, Ray Toms, after Ray received this heartening compliment on a great example of customer service.

Akeem’s customer wrote: “I had some outstanding customer service from your colleague Akeem yesterday evening. On coming home, my key broke off in our Yale lock on the front door. In desperation, I rang your store in Streatham Tesco expecting that the most I would receive is some advice. I asked whether he could help get the broken piece of key from the lock. He told me to bring it down and he’d try his best. Off I trotted, not expecting much.

“When I arrived, he was polite and friendly. He took the lock and went to work and after only a short time he managed to get the broken piece out, even though it was very deep. The charge? No charge!

“Akeem had just saved me hundreds on a locksmith and new lock. He then went about cutting a couple of new keys for the lock, which he did quickly and with good humour. I’ve got to say, this is one of the best examples of customer service I’ve experienced in a long time and certainly one that blasted all expectations wide open. This man is a credit to your organisation and has won it a vocal advocate.”

Well done Akeem for proving once again that our customer service is indeed a cut above the rest.

Loyal Long-serving Colleagues Rewarded

Chairman Hosts Celebration Lunch
Timpson Chairman, Sir John Timpson CBE, congratulated and celebrated 24 of our most loyal, long-serving colleagues today by hosting a special celebratory lunch at his beautiful Cheshire home. The Chairman’s Long Service lunch is a key feature in the Timpson calendar each year, much anticipated by colleagues marking either 25 or 45 years’ service with the Timpson Group.

It is proof, if proof were needed, that looking after the great people who look after our customers is the best way to grow our business. Rewards are reaped in spades in terms of the amazing loyalty, exceptional knowledge and expertise of our great colleagues who pass on our unique culture to the new cohort of superstars joining the business.














With typical generosity, the Chairman also invited along the spouses or partners of all the long-serving colleagues, who were treated to a delicious lunch and a tour of Sir John’s delightful home and gardens.

KARL HAYLOR – Timpson Exeter
Karl started his career as Manager of 502 Crawley, one of the first shops to offer watch repairs. After a period of being an ADM and Mobile Manager, Karl has been Manager in both Ashford branches, Hempstead Valley and now looks after Exeter.


DAWN GOULBOURNE – Timpson at Morrisons, Carmarthen
Dawn has been working at Timpson in Morrisons Carmarthen, since being transferred. As well as dry cleaning, Dawn is now learning key cutting and watch repairs.



NIGEL SWINDELLS – Timpson, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne
Nigel originally joined Timpson from Automagic. He worked in the Metro Centre, Gateshead for 10 years before transferring to Fenwicks in Newcastle. After a spell as a driver for dry cleaning he returned to Fenwicks before becoming Manager of Young’s Traditional Cobbler in Grainger Market.

MARK TUTTLE – Mobile Manager, Timpson Area 10
Mark started his career in Hull after his dad told him the if he didn’t get a job, his motorbike would be going. He soon became Manager at Grimsby during which time he was the top seller of Zippo lighters. He was Manager of one of the first Pods at Humberston and has often been the top shop for phone repairs. He went on to become a phone project manager and is now a Mobile Manager on Kieran Faherty’s area.

WAYNE CLARKE – Timpson, Gloucester
Wayne originally joined Timpson in 1980 but three years later moved to competitor to Mister Minit, then Allied, Shoe Craft and Automagic. He is now back with Timpson working in Gloucester.


JASON KING – Area Development Manager, Timpson Area 15
Having been told by his gran that he “starts on Monday”, Jason had no idea what a cobbler did nor indeed had even hear of Timpson. After two years, Jason became a Relief Manager, covering Luton and Bedford shops. He was then made an Area Development Manager by Regional Director, Tony Sharpe, and is still enjoying that role on Ashley Garbett’s Area in the Midlands.

LYNN CLAYTON – Johnsons, Brough
Lynn started at Zerny’s as a Relief Manager looking after Hull to York, Grimsby to Lincoln. When Johnsons took over Zerny’s, Lynn managed their flagship store in Hull. When Zerny’s closed their last shop in Brough, she went to work in Johnsons in a new shopping complex and has been there ever since.

RUTH ROMAIN – Timpson, Chippenham
Ruth started working for Mister Minit in 1993. After having her daughters and Timpson buying Minit, Ruth became a Timpson Manager at Chippenham.



Rose started her career at Crockett Dry Cleaning, which was bought by Johnsons and then Timpson. Rose retired last month.



JOE SHEPHERD – Area Development Manager, Timpson Area 3
Although Joe joined Timpson in 1979, after seven years he went to work for Automagic, returning to Timpson in 1992. After working in Billingham, Joe went to Darlington as Manager. Joe is now an ADM for Andy Young’s Area 3.


KEVIN WILLIAMS – Timpson, Hartlepool
Kevin start working at Mister Minit in 1979 then had his own business for almost 10 years. He was back working at Timpson when acquiring Automagic. Kevin has been a Branch Manager at many shops, including Bishop Auckland, Durham, Darlington, Stockton, Middlesbrough and now at the new Tesco Pod in Hartlepool. Kevin has trained many colleagues including his son Adam, who is managing the Durham Dragonville branch.

KATE WHITE – Max Spielmann, Weston Favell
Kate originally worked at Anglia Supercolour Studios, a processing shop in Northampton. After the company changed its name to Supercolour, it went on to become Snappy Snaps. Kate was delighted in January 2014 when the news came that Timpson had bought Snappy Snaps. With her new skills, Kate became Manager at Max Spielmann in Weston Favell where she has achieved some record sales.

COLIN FOSTER – St. Helens Engraving Excellence Centre
Colin worked as an engraver under manager Colin Lea in 1992. He was promoted to workshop manager in 1993 and then went onto training colleagues around the country to use the IS200 engraver. He created the repairs department to repair, install and maintain over 500 IS200 and M20 machines. Colin still works one day a week at St. Helens maintaining the large engraving machines and assisting with development.

VALERIE CARLILE – Johnsons, Norfolk
Valerie began dry cleaning 30 years ago with Smith Cleaners and joined Johnsons in 1993, during which time she has seen many changes. Valerie is currently the Assistant Manager in in Johnsons Norfolk.


NEIL BURKE – Timpson, Barnsley
Neil started with Timpson as Manager of what was probably the first Timpson Pod at ASDA in Chapletown, Sheffield. He then moved on to become a Relief Manager, covering Lincolnshire, Yorkshire and the North East. Whilst manager at Boar Lane, Leeds he engraved five rings for a group called ‘The Spice Girls’. Geri visited Neil’s shop and the rings featured on the picture on the back of their first album. It was 22 years ago that Neil’s dream came true when he became Branch Manager at Barnsley, where he is to this day.

LEROY ADAMS – Timpson, Didsbury
Leroy is the Branch Manager at the Didsbury shop. He joined the company in February 1993. During that time, he has worked in many branches in Manchester and London, as well as spending some time in the specialist shoe repairs workshop in Manchester.


CLARE BROWN – Johnsons, Sheffield
Clare started her career with Smiths who saw her potential as a tailoress when the fashion was crushed velvet and shell suits. Smiths was bought by Johnsons and of course, most recently by Timpson. Clare always puts people first and feels lucky to have what she says is a really supportive work family and has enjoyed her 25 years’ service.

MARK CRAWLEY – Timpson Area Manager, Area 18
Mark started at the Timpson Bedford branch as a 16 year-old straight from school. He has managed several branches including Selfridges, Stevenage, Bedford and Luton. He was one of the first Watch ADMs and has been an Area Manager for almost six years. Mark’s proudest achievement is scoring 100% on last year’s Happy Index, our unique way of measuring the contentment of colleagues.

MARGARET DICKSON – Timpson at Morrisons, Edinburgh
Margaret started her career at Safeway, Glasgow Road, which was taken over by Morrisons where she worked at Fairy Road. After working in many stores over 12 years, she started dry cleaning in Edinburgh where she still is today.


BEVERLEY McCALLUM-BENT – Max Spielmann, Blackpool
Beverley joined Tesco in 1992 working in Bristol. She transferred to Blackpool in 1997 and worked in the photo lab when it opened in 1998. She is now working in Max with the same store.


Anthony joined Jeeves when coming to England from Africa in 1993. He spent his first year in the Pont Street store in London’s Mayfair district before transferring to Fleet Street where he has been ever since.


LEONARD HOARE – Timpson, Allerton Road, Liverpool (45 years)
At the age of 15, Leonard joined his father working at the Liscard, Wallasey branch. At 17, he was managing Timpson shops including Warrington, Chester and Liverpool Victoria Street, eventually managing Wallasey for over 10 years. For the last 20 years, he has managed Allerton Road, repairing many designer shoes and handbags. Lenny has repaired shoes for three film companies for movies including ‘71 about the troubles in Northern Ireland during the 1970s and Netflix’s award-winning drama The Crown.

GLENVILLE ROGERS – Timpson, Wellington (45 years)
Glen has worked in the same shop in Wellington for 45 years. He has seen very many changes in this time and says that Timpson has been the most generous company to for work for. Glen loves to fish and has a passion for BBQs.


SUSAN JAMES – Mobile Manager, Area 3 (45 years)
Susan started her long career in Grainger Street, Newcastle then became a Relief Manager for a number of years. Susan also worked in Billingham, Middlesbrough and Cleveland Centre. After several years on the road merchandising and stock taking, Susan became a Mobile Manager, which remains her role to this day.

Young Enterprise Students Supported by Finance Team

The ‘Make £5.00 Grow’ Scheme
The Virgin Money business has a scheme that helps students start a business with just £5. For five weeks the Year 5 pupils at St Anthony’s catholic Primary School in Wythenshawe, close to our Manchester base, became entrepreneurs as they took up the challenge to develop their own business ventures. They were all determined to make as much money as they could from an initial loan of £5 each.

The children formed teams, came up with some brilliant group names, began to understand the importance of effective teamwork and spent the last half-term designing, marketing and selling products in a bid to make profit.

The children developed their skills in school selling cakes, sweets and drinks as well as hosting events such as a lunchtime disco and movie night. Their scheme culminated in a fantastic opportunity to run stalls on Wythenshawe Market.

Michelle and Jo were delighted to accompany the children at the market and delighted in watching them sell their hand-made Christmas cards and decorations.

The Mayor of Wythenshawe came along too, and everyone was particularly pleased to welcome a very special guest who popped in to say hello at what is an exceptionally busy time of year for him!

The Timpson Group’s Director of Finance, Helen Oakley, who sits on the school’s Governing Board, was delighted to see the children’s enthusiasm for the task as well as her colleagues from the Finance Department taking such a close interest in their venture.