In this edition of Memory Lane, we speak to Stephen Bradford, Group Parts Manager here at Peacock and Binnington. He tells us all about what he was like when he was younger and what has changed during his 28 years here.
How long have you worked at P&B?
I started work for P&B nearly 28yrs ago in the Brigg parts department, previously working for a local Ford (now New Holland) dealer in the workshop as an Agricultural Engineer.
Where was the photo of you when you were younger taken and what memories do you have from this time?
This photo was from the Italian combine factory visit a few years ago, when I started with P&B we were selling 30-40 series with a cutting width of between 12-18ft. Now we’re selling combines with a cut of 40ft… If only the roads were bigger!
What were you like in school?
Crikey I can’t think that far back but as a young’un I lived for playing football. I remember writing a letter to Brian Clough to ask if I could play football for him at Nottingham Forest and he wrote back and included all the signatures of the team! I guess I remember my college days more where I attended Riseholme and Caythorpe. There were lads from nearly every town of Lincolnshire doing the same engineering course, we used to run the lecturers ragged. I suppose one of the most vivid memories would be when we would start the static
engines there and have a “rev it roadshow” where we would dare one another to rev the engine for longest and hardest! So I suppose the answer would be a bit of a rebel!!
What has changed over time at P&B?
The first thing that comes to mind is the size and technology of the machines. I can remember when the average horsepower for a tractor broke the 100hp barrier and now we are looking at 240hp plus. They never had telemetry or guidance either but both these have become essential to the efficiency of farming. I guess one of the other things that you would notice now is the size of the service vans – they are literally mobile workshops. The other thing to mention may be the change in the cropping – in our trading area there used to be a huge amount of potatoes grown. With P&B being the holders of key franchises, it has certainly changed, it’s made harvest and cultivations busier and late autumn quieter for us.
What do you enjoy most about working here?
The company is focused on where it needs to be and what customers want. That in itself creates and drives a professional culture. The connection with suppliers and the day-to-day contact with them makes it easy to raise any issues we may encounter so there is always someone’s ear to bend when I need to!
Working for Peacock & Binnington has really given me the opportunity to work with some great “Captains of the Industry”. I remember visiting a customer once and he ask me
how long I’d worked for P&B. I think I said 15 years and he said oh so you’ve just finished your apprenticeship! I took that as a compliment that I was working for a company with a huge amount of experience.
Have you any life lessons or tips that you would share with your younger self if you could?
Oh god yes! Work hard and play hard and listen to advice but remember youth and talent is no match for age and treachery!
Do you have a motto or maxim?
Our Chairman, Michael Peacock, has a maxim for most situations which, when applied, makes 80% of your decisions for you! But I do live by the motto of Winston Churchill of
“never give up, never, never, never give up!” Followed close by another from Churchill which is “if you’re going through hell, keep going!”