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Q&A QUESTIONS & ANSWERS


Celebrating 45 years in the bathroom industry! Trojan founder Maurice Mosley picks up prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award


Each year the BKU Awards recognises one incredible individual that boasts an astounding career in the kitchen and bathroom sector. In 2019, the judging panel elected Maurice Mosley as this year’s recipient and in the wake of the win, we had a chat with the Trojan founder about his roots, the highs and lows of his experience as a bath manufacturer and what the future holds.


What does winning this award mean to you? I am thrilled to win the Lifetime Achievement Award as I am heading toward my 90th birthday and the bathroom industry has been my life for the past 45 years! To be recognised by others in the industry is a great personal achievement but also shows that the Trojan brand is well respected and will continue long after I’m gone.


How did you start your career in the industry? I started work in 1943, aged 14, as an apprentice pattern maker and joiner. Wages were 10 shilling per week working from 0800 to 1700 Monday to Friday and on Saturday mornings between 0800 and 1200. After a few years I changed job and started working at a Plumbers Merchants in Huddersfield. It was here I learned the business of supplying the needs of plumbers within the district.


Sometime later, I started working at a local


Plumbers Merchants – which later became a part of the Graham Group of Builders & Plumbers Merchants. After a period of three years as a Sales Representative I was appointed Sales Manager, increasing turnover for the group quite dramatically throughout the UK Soon after and with “itchy feet” I left Grahams


and became a partner in a Builders Merchant. This was an ill founded move and I suggested that for the business to survive, either myself, or the other partner should resign. I was asked if I minded being the one to go rather than draw ‘straws’. I resigned in order to help the business survive which it did. It is now part of the Naylor-Myers builder’s merchants. So, my next step was to rent a railway arch in


Huddersfield and start my own Builders and Plumbers Merchant, supplying wholly to the contract trade of National Plumbing Contractors, throughout the UK. I was well known and respected so obtaining business was not a problem. However, a bath manufacturer who promised me their ‘best price’ reneged on our agreement and all of the products I’d bought from them had to be sold at a loss and I only managed to recover around 80% of my costs. A disaster, once again, through showing too much trust; however, I was ‘living and learning’ at a tremendous cost to myself and borrowings from the bank, which I was unable to pay back. The bank made me sell my house to repay the monies owed. With the words of the bank manager ringing in my ears, “you are most unlikely


What would you say is your key to success and what advice would you give to others looking to start up their own bathroom business? Don’t do it! Obviously I am joking but it is a very tough market and you have to take the rough with the smooth. I have gotten through my career and grown the business through pure commitment, endeavour and determination. It has all been possible because of three


reasons: One, I always believed in what I was doing. Two, I have been fortunate to have had some of the most loyal workers, office staff and a steadfast team of management to whom I am grateful. Of course the third reason is because we have customers who believe in us and our products. To this extent I say a sincere, “thank you”.


to ever make a profit. I want repayment of the banks loan to you.” Undeterred and through a burning desire to


succeed, the belt was tightened a few extra notches and I began working on all kinds of jobs ranging from “A-Z” working all hours and more beside. Slightly resentful an established bath manufacturer had not been entirely straight with me I started thinking… “Why not make my own acrylic baths?” Nothing is impossible and so devised a plan of action. I recruited some shop floor staff and trained


them in bath manufacturing. A former textile factory in Huddersfield was again producing a commodity – not cloth for suits but acrylic baths for use in the domestic UK market. Producing a steady 80 units a week in 1975


Trojan was up and running. Contracts had to be tendered for and I began supplying Birmingham Corporation through some of the builder’s merchants (Trojan’s first large customer). My ability to meet people and discuss ‘new products’ coupled with my insistence that the baths were made to the very highest specification at the most competitive price ensured a reasonable start. After a daunting start things were looking up in March 1977 but a huge fire in 1979 took its toll, as I didn’t have insurance or the savings to replace all machinery. We clawed our way back and the 80s saw us continue to grow but our debts in 1991 were crippling and without the support of the bank, we wouldn’t be here. It was only in the late 90s that I can honestly say we had a stable business, but we’ve grown year on year since then so all of the experience has got us to where we are today!


6 BKU AUGUST 2019 AWARDS SUPPLEMENT


What would you say is your greatest achievement? It has been a roller coaster of emotions over the last 45 years. Trojan has experienced good times and also had to navigate some very worrying times however my greatest achievement is that we are a recognised brand in the industry that is known for integrity, quality and most of all for being consistent in all we do, both our price and the advice we give.


What does the future hold for Trojan? I sincerely hope there’s another 45 years of making quality baths for some of the UK’s leading bathroom distributors and plumbers merchants! However, having handed the reins to my youngest son, David, in 2012, it is now his time to drive the company forward and create his own legacy. He’s made a great start with the introduction of a range of additional brands in specialist areas, such as Bathe Easy and Ramsden & Mosley. For me personally, I will continue coming into the Trojan office every day for as long as I’m able and have the added incentive of our new showroom opening this year, which has been a long time in the planning! I cannot wait to show people around the showroom as it truly captures the best of Trojan and demonstrates why we have outlasted a lot of our competitors - even when things looked bleak, we pulled together, pulled through and I’m confident we always will!


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