Tag: timpson

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.”


Charity Fundraising…What Would You Do For Charity?

Charity fundraising cheque presented to James and Roisin Timpson

Emma proudly presents her cheque to James and Roisin

Charity events come in all shapes and sizes. We’ve all been there. We’ve got together with a group of  friends and said ‘Let’s raise money for charity ’ and before you know it you’re doing a sponsored run, selling raffle tickets or organising a cake sale …But what would you do for charity ?

Charity fundraiser Emma Ashmore, shows us her new haircut

Emma Ashmore

One of our colleagues, Emma Ashmore, was so passionate about the Alex Timpson Trust and the work we do to raise awareness of attachment in schools, that she took it one step further and made the brave decision to shave her head for charity!… The day Emma rang the office to tell me , my reaction was  ‘ARE YOU SURE!’

Emma assured me she was definitely up for the challenge and as a result raised an amazing £2121 , which she presented to James and Roisin Timpson at a recent colleague event in London.

James accepted the cheque on behalf of the Alex Timpson Trust saying ‘ Thank you to Emma, our colleagues and customers, who continually  fundraise and donate to the trust through the ‘small jobs’ scheme. As a result we are able to continue our work to raise awareness of attachment , through the funding of vital research, whilst offering FREE books and holidays for foster families.’

Charity Fundraising…Do It Your Way!

If you would like to support, but having your head shaved or running a marathon fills your with dread, then why not raise funds from the comfort of your own home by using The Giving Machine, a UK charity that lets you give for free. When you shop via The Giving Machine, you generate cashback which can then convert into free charity donations for the Alex Timpson Trust.

Whatever you choose to do, remember to have fun. – Janet, Alex Timpson Support

To keep up to date follow us on twitter @TimpsonTrust






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.

Timpson Group Opens First Barbershop

The very first Barbershop by Timpson opened today, Thursday 12th April, right outside our Timpson House base in Wythenshawe, Manchester. Snipping the ribbon on our new ‘cutting edge’ concept store was Bede Timpson, eldest son of Timpson Group CEO, James Timpson, who was amongst the first to climb into the barber’s chair for a trim. Bede was joined by the Timpson Group’s Business Development Manager, Liz Jardine, and our fantastic team of skilled barbers.

























The Barbershop team of Stevie, James, Gary, Byron and barber’s apprentice, Ellis, are all looking forward to trailblazing this exciting new venture for the Group.

Grooming Growth
Barbershop by Timpson Area Manager, Stevie Badrock, said: “It’s been an incredible journey launching this debut service for the Timpson Group. With the explosive growth in men’s grooming, we know there is a market there and we plan to launch more Barbershop by Timpson concept stores in the months ahead. Meanwhile, I’m delighted to report we’ve had a steady stream of customers since we threw open the doors of our cool new Barbershop.”



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.

Is the new apprenticeship levy good or bad for business?

Q: We’ve had a week to digest the Autumn Statement and Comprehensive Spending Review. Now that the dust has settled, do you think it was broadly good or bad for business?

A: After every budget statement (and we seem to get plenty of them these days), it is natural to look at the proposals from a personal point of view.

In his attempt to balance the country’s budget the Chancellor has made it almost impossible for us and other retailers to balance our budgets. No wonder Dave Lewis of Tesco is unhappy.

With sales pegged by zero price inflation, it will be tough to pay for the living wage, auto enrolment and the proposed apprentice levy and still have enough money left for planned future investment.

Perhaps shopkeepers are getting paranoid but facing a further delay before putting some sense back into business rates suggests that either George Osborne is in no hurry to readjust the tax burden between on-line and high street retailers, or his civil servants simply can’t find another way to raise the £27.3bn.

hoped this statement would show signs of turning my dream of “upside down government” into a reality. Optimistically I looked for less red tape and the cutting of central costs by a government that recognised that most wealth is created by private enterprise.

In my dream, ministers recognised that their role is to support business, not by telling executives how to do their job but by clearing obstacles that get in the way of success.

The apprenticeship levy has turned my dream into a nightmare.

At a stroke, this thinly designed payroll tax has introduced a new bundle of red tape designed to dictate, in detail, how we run our business.

Every new Timpson colleague joins our apprentice scheme, a comprehensive programme that covers all our services including cobbling, key cutting and watch repairs. We have developed a full set of illustrated training guides and a rigorous skill testing system.

Colleagues are required to be fully qualified in all our services by the end of their 12 month apprenticeship. It’s an expensive exercise but money well spent. It is the only way to make sure we provide a quality service in every shop.

In addition we will now contribute 0.5pc of payroll as an apprentice levy, without getting any of it back to pay for our own apprenticeships.

So what happens to the extra £750,000 we put into the apprenticeship pot if it doesn’t help to pay for our gold star training scheme?

First, there is a new standards body to fund, an extra arm of government which will set the rules and decide what boxes have to be ticked. Although its membership will be drawn from industry this new agency will be guided by back room staff who will be keen to develop a process and run apprenticeships by their rule book.

The rules will call for national training standards. Good news for the massive structure of training agencies and independent training providers, who are already sharpening their pencils ready to tick all the right boxes on industry’s behalf.

It’s ok for the engineers, they have a nationally approved training structure. But there isn’t a national apprentice scheme for cobblers and key cutters, we have had to develop our own.

Over the next few months we will be pestered by training providers keen to tweak our training scheme so that we can qualify for some modest training grants while they earn a substantial slice of the levy for themselves.

We prefer to stick to our own scheme even if we pay the levy and get nothing back, but it’s a pity that so much of our money looks likely to be used to fund more bureaucracy and increase red tape.

Q: Black Friday retail sales were far below expectations. Should we just forget it next year?

A: I get the impression that retailers have had a pretty poor November. The terrorist attack in Paris reduced footfall in big shopping centres and Black Friday doesn’t seem to have made things any better.

When I was a lad, working alongside old fashioned retailers, we had a simpler approach to special offers. We sold everything at full margin up to Christmas and sold off the surplus stock in a January sale.

Apart from the furniture and carpet stores that have always promoted price reductions throughout the year, the only shops that put on offers before Christmas were multiple tailors including John Collier and Hepworths who mainly sold made to measure suits with a 10-day delivery.

Understandably, they started their sale as soon as a new suit couldn’t be delivered by Christmas.

Gerald Ratner was one of the first retailers to provocatively cut prices in early December. He enjoyed two years of spectacular success before finding it was impossible to bring out even bigger bargains year after year.

Despite lower margins his jewellery sales were on the slide before his unfortunate speech to the IoD made matters much worse.

More recently some of the department stores along with M&S have lost their nerve and held short and sharp pre-Christmas sales to boost flagging sales, but Black Friday has spread the discount disease right across the high street and it is now in danger of becoming a permanent feature of the on-line shopping calendar.

As a trainee shoe buyer I was taught that anyone can increase turnover if they give the goods away, but it takes a clever merchant to make enough margin to make real money. I wonder whether some of the Black Friday backers are buying record turnovers at a record level of loss.

After a few years, special bargain events aren’t that special any more, but once you start taking the price promotion pill it is difficult to break the habit.

This year’s disappointing sales may reduce retail enthusiasm for Black Friday in 2016, but it will be a very long time before retailers realise the benefits of a full-price Christmas followed by a genuine January sale.