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Lichfield & Tamworth Lichfield & Tamworth Chamber Patrons

Contact: Marilyn Castree T: 0845 603 6650

Ex-milkman has a real flair for business

Staffordshire businessman Jeff Longley was once ‘the world’s worst milkman’ by his own admission – and now runs a thriving £1 million plus turnover electrical firm after nearly 50 years in the workplace. Jeff has delivered telegrams to Downing

‘It is all about building relationships, gaining trust and respect and providing a good service’

Street and Buckingham Palace, crashed a number of milk floats over 10 years as a milkman and was made redundant from an engineering factory before turning a series of franchises into £1million sales operations. Today, at the age of 62, he owns, along with sons Luke and Dominic, Tamworth-based Mr Electric,

a flourishing electrical franchise boasting a wide range of clients. His Tamworth-based Mr Electric business recently moved to bigger 2,400 sq ft premises on the

town’s Lichfield Road Industrial Estate due to increasing demand, and picked up an award for Best Medium Established Business at regional Business Networking Awards held at Drayton Manor Park. But the success of Mr Electric is a far cry from the days when Jeff had to drag himself out of bed

for his milk round in Northampton. Jeff said: “I built the milk round up but I was starting at 4am and I was either sleeping or working –

it was good money but no life. One day I had had enough and went into engineering.” But father of five Jeff had always harboured ambitions to be his own boss and, after being laid off

at the engineering factory, used a £20,000 family inheritance to buy Highway Glass, a glazing firm in Tamworth. After 10 years, he sold the firm back to its parent franchise company for £450,000 and then bought another Tamworth operation, restoration specialists Rainbow International, cleaning up after fire and floods. Relentless downpours in the summer of 2007 saw the firm ‘make a fortune’ in Jeff’s own words, enabling him to buy Mr Electric outright for £30,000. “We moved into these bigger premises and we have had eight years of continuous growth but

it has not always been nice, easy growth. These days I want to concentrate on marketing and leadership and making sure that the company is run along the lines that I have built. “I have shares in racehorses, drive a BMW and have paid my mortgage off but money is not

my biggest motivator. It is all about building relationships, gaining trust and respect and providing a good service – we are building a good name and reputation.”

From delivering pints to owning shares in racecourses: Jeff Longley

Junior board welcomed to theme park

Drayton Manor Park has unveiled a new board of directors – with the accent firmly on youth. After launching a nationwide search, the

Staffordshire theme park held its first board meeting for its new directors – and they’re all aged between five and nine years old! The final seven have successfully talked their

way to the top, winning the public and the existing board of director members over with their witty personalities and brilliant ideas for the future of the park. Dressed in their best formal attire, ready for a

day at the office, the new recruits headed down to the park for their first ever board meeting. Joining the board from Birmingham is Haydar

Aslanturk aged six, George Hayward, six, Jesse Douglas, nine and Reeyahs Daania, six. Isabelle Lillie Grimes aged seven, joins from Lichfield. Zane Taylor, five, and Jayden Lorenzo Neal, also five, join from Tamworth. Company Director George Bryan said: “We’re

really proud to welcome our new members of the board; they’re a great asset to the team and their knowledge of what kids want is invaluable.”

28 CHAMBERLINK July/August 2016 Talking their way to the top: George Bryan with the new youthful board of directors

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