"In 1975, I started as a trainee mechanic in the motorcycle trade working on Yamaha, Suzuki, Garelli, MZ and Casal. The job consisted of preparing an endless stream of FSIEs and RD250s for the road, although since that time, service work has changed a lot - then it was all points and condensers and decoking two-strokes. My own first big bike was a 1963 T120 Triumph Bonneville costing £250, with an original 6-figure plate, KSH 605 - yes, I wish I still had it now. Later, in 1978, I bought a brand new GS750 Suzuki for £1,378, registration number BYC 981S - some things you just don't forget.
After moving to Bristol, I joined Fowlers on 10th December 1979. On my first morning, Lionel Fowler, my boss both then and now, directed me to a large pile of miscellaneous parts, which I promptly identified, part-numbered and put back on the shelf, while realizing what a great asset my technical training had been upon moving to a parts department. Also, having worked in small dealers had given an insight into their world, which is very different to a large wholesale distributor.
In those days, parts distribution involved writing down telephoned orders from dealers, part numbering the orders from books, picking the parts and then handing over the paperwork for hand-written invoices to be produced. Since then, computerization and mechanization have taken over most of these tasks.
On 10th September 1984, I was appointed as Yamaha Parts & Warehouse Manager. Nowadays, I am still Parts Manager, purchasing stock for seven franchises, and I also manage the Contact Centre. This is the busy 'hub' of Fowlers' parts, clothing and accessories business, where we keep in touch with both wholesale and retail customers throughout the UK via the phone, email and fax, as well as our online system.
After 37 years, I commute daily by motorcycle, which makes a breeze of the local traffic. I still enjoy coming to work every day, and always have, apart from the rare occasions when we've changed to a new computer software system, although such changes seem to plague many businesses.
My three children are now grown up and standing on their own two feet, with the eldest having also joined the company. I now have time to dream of doing exotic and irresponsible things, such as being crouched over a motorcycle with the throttle pinned right back and seeing ten miles of Bonneville salt flats stretching ahead through the windscreen! Who knows? Maybe one day…..."
"Having joined the company in June 2001, initially as a summer job, I had no thoughts on what the future would bring. A decade and a half later, I am very much enjoying the challenges of working for a medium-sized family-run business, having worked in various departments during my time here and learnt many aspects of the motorcycle trade. The training I've been given over the years has provided me with a wealth of knowledge, which is now being put to great use in my current role as Supply Chain Administrator. One of the most enjoyable aspects of working at Fowlers is that everyone is 'included' and made to feel special, which really helps staff relationships – this, as well as the many social events that take place throughout the year! Although I have worked in the motorcycle industry for many years, owning a motorcycle is one thing I have not yet achieved, although it is very much on my list of goals."
"I joined Fowlers on the 5th of April 2000 as switchboard operator. Although a single mother, I wanted to work full time, to be independent and to provide for my children and Fowlers gave me that opportunity.
My role has evolved a little over the years within the Contact Centre and I am lucky enough to work in an office with some lovely guys, who have become firm friends. I have seen some of the staff come and go…and then come back again! We have quite a few that have been with Fowlers for over 30 or even 40 years.
I've had the pleasure in seeing Fowlers grow and friendships endure, whilst my children are now also independent and flourishing with families of their own."
"I joined Fowlers in August 2014 after 5½ years working at a large Honda dealer, first as Clothing/Accessories Manager and then as Service Manager.
I was looking for a new challenge, when the opportunity to join the Fowlers' team as Off Road Accessories Manager presented itself. Having a passion for, and competing in, off road riding, this was an chance I couldn't miss.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Fowlers and the people who work here make it a pleasure to come in each morning. It's not a chore - everybody works together to get the job done. There's plenty of in-house and manufacturer training offered and, of course, the best bit…..testing the new models when they get released.
My current role is KTM Brand Manager and I honestly cannot think of a job I would rather be doing at this moment in time."
"My background was working for a small family and solus dealership specialising in Triumph motorcycles since 2001. The prospect of working at a well known and respected company like Fowlers seemed a bit daunting at first. In actual fact it's great, I am enjoying the challenge and still working for a family business, but with the feel and support of a larger family.
My position within the company since joining in November 2007 is Triumph Brand Manager and I feel I have embarked on a career rather than just filling a job. The company provides ongoing in house training and support not only for the Triumph brand, but also the other motorcycle brands that we sell.
The showroom is always busy and I enjoy seeing so many interesting people, it really makes the day go quickly. A great many of the customers we see have been dealing with Fowlers for a long time, but it's always good to see friendly faces from my previous dealership and to meet new customers who have come to Fowlers for the first time."