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Celebrating 30 Years of Service

29 February 2024

Celebrating 30 Years of Service


We caught up with our long-serving technician Adam Roberts to present him with his very well-deserved celebration cake.

Here’s what he had to tell us about his 30 years here at Duckworth Motor Group…

“Well, first of all… my Mum and Dad, who were originally from the West Midlands, moved over to Lincolnshire in the '60s when dad had accepted a job in the motor industry in Grimsby, I arrived in 1976, car and truck mad apparently!

I left De Aston School here in Market Rasen in 1993 and went on to study at Lincoln College. I’ve always had a keen interest in cars and of course, I learned a lot from my dad too. I studied for my National Diploma in Mechanical Engineering, and then put in a call to Roy Tasker, who was the Aftersales Manager here at Duckworth Motor Group about coming to work for him – I got the job and started my working life here on 21st February 1994. I continued my studies and gained more qualifications such as a BTEC National Certificate in Motor Vehicle Engineering, RTITB National Craft Certificate in Motor Vehicle Mechanics & Systems, a BTEC HNC in Motor Vehicle Management, and a City and Guilds NVQ Level 3 in Motor Vehicle Engineering.  This is back when they started the National Apprenticeship Scheme which I gained in January 1998. I was also awarded North Lincolnshire College's "Student of the Year" for my efforts. So I worked here alongside my college courses and was at college for a total of 5 years.

I continued to learn my trade on the job and got involved with all sorts of other projects. One I remember clearly was my first Land Rover training on the Freelander 1 Launch Course down at Gaydon, which I did with colleague Kev Bates who is actually still here at Duckworth too. There was also the Gas Conversion Course which was run by McClaren Automotive and in 2004 I passed The I.M.I Level 4 Master Technician course where you have a skills test and paper-based questions, I passed the first time which was very rare – or so I’m told! In 1995 I entered a Land Rover "Autocourse" training program and became regional runner-up. I also reached the UK finals of Technician Of The Year, once as a Jaguar Technician for our Boston Dealership in 2017 and 3 other times for Market Rasen as Dual-Branded Technician coming 3rd twice.

Another part of my job included a Coaching Skills course which was part of the NVQ Level 3. This leads on nicely to my proudest achievements, my "legacy", my apprentices. My first apprentice James Bennett, who still works at Market Rasen and is also a Level 4 Master Technician now, through to my last apprentice Joe Stephenson who is JLR level 3, but it won't be long before he gets to Level 4. It was a privilege to show Joe "the ropes" and I really enjoyed teaching him, fun times. He is still in the JLR family working up at the Ripon dealer and we are still in touch and see each other regularly all these years later.

I think the reason I’ve stayed loyal to Duckworth Motor Group is that it really does feel like a family business, even still as we have become bigger. I must say thank you to Martin and Ben for all their support over the years. There really is that sense of family here. There have been good and bad times, but we have stuck together. I remember a particular period in the early 2000s before the recession where money was tight there were just 5 technicians, "The A Team", in the workshop. We worked every Saturday to keep things going. My favourite times must be when I was an apprentice and we had a great laugh playing pranks on one another, I still remember the Key cupboard game with the two Kevin's, Bates & North! There was also a fantastic treasure hunt / adventure day set-up for the team as a bit of team-building event one Sunday, "The Duckworth Difference". It was set up by Ben Duckworth along with Tim Dray and it included orienteering, map reading, quad biking and even rowing across a lake at Fillingham Christmas Trees to retrieve something. It was so well planned and a lot of fun!

Thinking of the opportunities I’ve had personally from Duckworth, it has been great to get involved with the owner's racing hobbies. I’ve been to Scotland, Wales, and the likes of The Silverstone Classic and The Goodwood Festival of Speed with the racing team. This led to me to go for my HGV Class 1 and 2 license, so that I could help with transporting the race vehicles. I’ve also restored a Land Rover Series 1 and converted a classic Range Rover which was a project I did with my Dad. When Duckworth opened their new store down in Boston I was invited over to work there for 4 or 5 weeks to help get them up and running after the move into the new building, so it has been great to be involved in that. I have many friends at Boston, Ali, Guy, Martin & Linda to mention just a few! My worst moment, my fault I'm afraid, I lost a battle with a fan belt and very nearly lost a finger in 1999, but I was back before long changing dashboards with a semi-functional left hand which was fully repaired later in '99. I've not had a day off sick since! I've always been getting my hands dirty, either in the garage with "The Legend" that is my dad, or stock car racing in my teens with my best friend Wayne Frankish, he did the driving, I swung the spanners with his dad. My latest activities are now supporting a friend’s nephew with their racing in a BMW Mini in British Rally Cross.

I’ve made so many friends along the way who I am still in touch with… Kev North the workshop Foreman when I started, Wayne Wells who I was best man for and is still here alongside me at Duckworth today, Dave Green a former Valet and Keith Justice our old Warranty Administrator to name a few!

My claim to fame is also related to the motor industry, in that I’ve had Michael Schumacher in the back of my car. Me and Dad used to help out my dad's former boss at the British Grand Prix in the late 90s and one Friday practice in 1995, we were checking tickets off the helipad and noticed Michael was walking back to the paddock, they usually sent a Benneton bus to collect him, but on this particular day it hadn’t turned up. I offered Micheal and his PA a lift, just as we were about to set off it turned up and he got out, but he was a really nice guy.

I must take a moment to thank all my colleagues who have been a part of my journey. A special shout out to Andrea Mortimer, my manager, who has been so supportive from the start, which continued when she moved to Boston and on her return back to Rasen. And I can't forget my work mum Lynn, who holds the Fort on Market Rasen's main reception. It’s great being here for so long and still seeing customers coming in asking for you from back in the day. Long may it continue… “

To end what has been a lovely interview we asked Adam who his 5 dream dinner guests would be. He told us… “Michael Schumacher, Murray Walker, Lee McKenzie, Burt Reynolds and Ayrton Senna”.

We’d love to wish Adam all the very best, and here’s to many more years.