Millennium Bug to global pandemic marks the start and 20th anniversary of AW Repair Group’s longest serving team member who received a commemorative watch this week.
Niel Harmston joined AW in December 2000 after working in the parts department of a Vauxhall dealership.
Upon presenting Niel’s long service gift, Founder & CEO Andrew Walsh commented: “I remember we had a red stolen recovered Astra and you offered to come to site and physically look at the vehicle. You went away with a long list of parts…..many of the part numbers you already knew by heart! I remember thinking at the time that you would make a great estimator.”
Niel joined AW’s first bodyshop, a 5,000sq ft unit in Sleaford, which at the time employed 12 people. Niel has seen the Sleaford site move three times, now residing in a purpose built prestige manufacturer approval AW TecKnowlogy™ Centre and head office function to the group’s 11 sites.
“We took Niel’s knowledge in parts and taught him the ‘old-fashioned’ way of estimating using the Thatcham green and white books. He’s such a great estimator – now of course, in today’s world, an ATA Vehicle Damage Assessor – and has taken on all the new, modern methods of assessing vehicles in his stride ever since,” added Andrew.
Niel joked: “It was millennium when I joined and the bug back then we were all worried about was the Millennium Bug. Twenty years on and we’re talking about a different bug! We’ve been through a lot, a lot of stories along the way and some really good times. AW is really good place to work, a great team of both colleagues and friends, otherwise I wouldn’t still be here after 20 years. Thank you.”
AW Repair Group is now a network of ten bodyshops across the East Midlands, Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire and Derbyshire, with their 11th site due to open February 2021.