Over 40 staff and guests joined John Walker and Steve Warner to offer their congratulations as “time” was called on their working careers held at the Plough at Shenstone.
Steve joined by his partner Sandra and John with his wife Carole where they unveiled Ausa Forklifts dedicated to each of them along with parting gifts from the Company.
John Walker joined Makers back in July 2012 having started his working career some 47 years earlier back in 1974. In that time John has worked for a host of concrete repair companies sadly no longer with us, but John brought the experience gained over that time into Makers where he quickly adopted and improved our working practices. Initially joining as a Contracts Manager Johns experience proved invaluable rapidly rising through the ranks and eventually becoming Makers Compliance Manager, a role that not only ensured our safety throughout all national operations but had a direct involvement of Makers Apprenticeship Scheme becoming both guardian and custodian of the apprentice’s welfare.
“Over the past 9 years John’s contribution has been invaluable, in developing our apprentices, looking after their welfare, operating and maintaining our systems and accreditations. John’s contribution has not gone unnoticed, being recognised on a national level both by the CIOB and BPA which he should be righty proud”
Simon Lamb, MD.
Andy Stubbs; lecturer in the Built Environment at Walsall Academy commented, “John can be very proud of his contribution and legacy he has made to the apprentices. All of the students we have had from Makers have been first class and are a credit to both John and the company, when we have had issues, John has always been there for them and together we have managed to ensure they have all reached their potential. Well done John, enjoy your retirement.”
During the presentation many of Johns key traits and interests were discussed and being from Yorkshire, known to be a bit thrifty with his cash, one slight mistake was that of his football team, but John was still happy to pose with the plaque depicting the other famous team in Sheffield.
As a keen golfer, John was presented with Motocaddy’s latest MP3 GPS golf trolley together with a pair of heated gloves and Makers golfing body warmer. We now firmly believe John’s handicap should now come down with all the new kit and time he can now devote to his hobby!
As well as saying bon-voyage to John we also said goodbye to a stalwart in the logistics department Steve Warner.
Steve joined the company back in 2006 before the MBO and joined as an operative and forklift truck driver. Steve’s past working career started way back in 1972 when he became an apprentice golf professional at Oxley Park in Wolverhampton, within 18 months he moved to Whipsnade Golf Club in Hertfordshire to take up the position of Assistant Golf Professional before moving to Branston Golf Club in 1975 where he became Head Golf Professional and would stay there for 20 years servicing the needs of the club membership.
Steve changed careers in 1995 entering the world of logistics spending time with both United Parcel Services and Wincanton covering some 11 years. Following redundancy at the end of 2005 Steve requalifies as a rough terrain forklift driver and joins Makers in the February of 2006 where he is soon to take up a position in the newly created logistics department.
During his tenure with Makers, Steve maintained his interests in golf returning as playing member at Branston Golf and Country Club and indeed to mark his 60th Birthday had the distinction of being the Clubs Captain which although put a lot of pressure on his role within the company, performed admirably as well as raising £24,000 for Alzheimer charities during that year. As well as Club Captain Steve also holds the title of ‘Club Champion’ at Branston at the age of 53 and still retains the accolade of the club’s oldest champion.
Steve’s 15 years has not been without its trials and tribulations with many a perplexed look of “how did that happen?” and imortal cries of “it wasn’t me!”, but Steve’s character is a generous one, a willingness to please often resulting in situations beyond comprehension, some that truly entertained the celebrating guests and some new tales that have yet to be fully understood!
Over that time Steve has covered thousands of miles delivering key equipment and no more so than the Ausa CE11M which for those who run our sites will recognise as a key component and workhorse of the site.
In 2019 Ausa decided to retire the model having been introduced and produced in the Manresa factory near Barcelona since 1996. Originally developed from a dumper chassis these fantastic machines have proved invaluable to the Makers business and so after being approached to buy the last 2 production models, these were presented and dedicated to both Steve and John where their legacy and influence will continue within the business as they enjoy their retirement.
“John ‘How much’ Walker” was unveiled to John where both he and Carole inspected the latest addition to Makers Fleet. Whilst checking over the latest model John’s retirement gifts were loaded on the forks.
“Steve ‘it wasn’t me’ Warner” was also unveiled together with the modifications required to both forklifts to ensure road worthy compliance, our thanks to Approved Forktrucks for assisting and making the event possible.
Steve and John closed the presentation with words of thanks to the expectant gathering and for the generosity of the gifts before enjoying a full buffet provided by Pete and Kate at the Plough at Shenstone.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute, at 60 Makers didn’t have to take me on, but I am really appreciative that they did. It’s been marvellous and to allow me to continue until now has been a credit to them. For sure I will miss everyone, it’s been a lovely day which I and my wife Carole have truly enjoyed… a fabulous send off, and I just love “how much!”
John Walker, Compliance Manager Retired.
“I was surprised to see so many people, it was great to see some old faces, some of which became great friends as well as colleagues to me. The gifts the company gave far exceed both mine and John’s expectations and will be used to their fullest extent and to be honoured with having two of your newest forklifts named after us both, who would have thought we would achieve such accolades.
I express my heartfelt gratitude to the Directors and colleagues at Makers and wish you all the very best for the future as I am sure it will be successful as it has always been going forward.
Now on a personal note, Simon, with me out of your hair you don’t need to worry what I’m going to cost you next, and your life might be a little quieter, even so, as I have said many times, I really appreciate what you have done for me over the years and genuinely hope I wasn’t the only cause for your hair loss, I’m sure “it wasn’t me”.
My very kindest wishes and once again many thanks”
Steve ‘It wasn’t me’ Warner Retired.
In their own way both Steve and John’s contributions have moved us forward as a business. Both will be sorely missed as they have become part of the fabric so to say, however we wish them well in their respective retirements and no doubt look forward to seeing them on the golf course, their memories will live on as we introduce “How Much” and “It Wasn’t Me” into the fleet and hopefully those two forklift trucks will bring a smile to those who use them and who know Steve and John”
Simon Lamb, MD.