Richard spent the first 28 years of his career as an apprentice at Thomas Bolton, manufacturing copper products. He then spent 5 years as a CNC lathe operator at another local engineering company, before joining us in 2004. As the Fitting Team Leader, Richard is an accomplished miller and toolmaker, skilled in almost any job on the shop floor. He’s also a keen caravanner, having previously restored and displayed his pride and joy, a 1952 Green Goddess.
Mick spent 2 years working for a fabrication and welding business, before moving to Charles Leek in 1984. From gaining his City and Guilds in Mechanical Engineering, Mick’s unwavering enthusiasm saw him become a Director in 2005. Now, he oversees the shop floor, Health and Safety and our gear cutting team. In his spare time, Mick loves walking his two chocolate labs, good food and wine, painting watercolours and practicing his photography skills.
Before joining us, Brian developed his skills on the job, working in a range of engineering businesses, even running his own company. We welcomed him on board in 1985, just after he got married. Now, he’s one of our elder statesmen and an accomplished centre-lathe turner. When not plying his craft, Brian tends to his two gardens and two allotments, nurturing his entrepreneurial skills by selling some of the flowers he grows.
Jack, the latest addition to our team, joined as an apprentice in July 2015. Jack comes from an engineering family and is following in his grandfather’s footsteps (he was our Storeman for 16 years). Jack has a BTEC level 3 in Engineering and AS level ICT and has also spent a year at the JCB Academy, putting his learning into practice in their purpose-built, state-of-the-art, facilities. We are training Jack to be a gear cutter. Outside of work, Jack is a keen sportsman and regularly plays football, cricket and rugby as well as enjoying athletics and fishing.
Coming fresh out of school, Clive spent a few months in a motorbike shop before bringing his talents to Charles Leek in 1970. An incredible 43 years later, Clive is our longest standing team member. Having perfected the art of turning over 28 years, Clive now oversees final inspection and our tool, cutter and cylindrical grinding. Once a keen car and bike restorer, Clive loves tinkering in the kitchen, on anything from a hot curry to a classic Sunday roast.
Les joined as an apprentice turner in 1972. Moving up through the business as an inspector and Workshop Manager, he was finally appointed Director in 1994. With 41 years’ experience in gear cutting, Les is now General Manager, making sure our customers enjoy the highest quality products and best levels of service. On top of keeping the business running smoothly, Les likes sport, photography and eating out. Grandchildren and a dog make sure he’s always kept busy.
Before joining in April 2012, Matt spent 5 years welding and 2 years programming welding robots, before deciding on having a change of scenery and spending 4 years as a fencing contractor. He then became our Storeman, also going on to develop his machine skills. On top of keeping the factory spotless and well organised, Matt makes sure we work safely and efficiently. He’s also a regular player in Leek Cricket Clubs first XI and an occasional spectator at Stoke City.
Paul originally spent 20 years working for Royal Doulton as an industrial engineer. But as the local pottery industry declined, he moved into an accounting role with a large clothing manufacturer. In May 2011, he brought his financial wizardry over to the Charles Leek team. From placing orders to credit control, Paul is responsible for all financial and administration. Outside the office, he’s also a keen walker who’s successfully restored a number of classic cars.
Dave started as a toolmaker at Rolls Royce, twice winning their Apprentice of the Year award. Following long spells at Goodwin International and ACB Hydraulics, Dave joined the team in January 2010. While spending most of his time milling, Dave is a master toolmaker who can turn his hand to anything on the shop floor. When not working, Dave is a passionate football coach, with his very own UEFA Pro-B coaching licence.
Kris joined Charles Leek coming straight from school in June 2011. Two years in and now an apprentice gear cutter, he’s progressing very well within the business. When he’s not learning the fine traditions we're proud to continue to pass on to our next generation of engineers, Kris can be heard playing bass guitar in his rock band, call Rise The Fall. Other times he can also be seen piling into a scrum as part of Leek Rugby Club.
There are few CVs more interesting than Paul’s. After spells as a pine furniture maker, a pig farmer and a groundsman for the County Council, Paul joined in February 2009 as a Driver. As the face of Charles Leek, Paul’s also a vital source of intelligence on new customers and the marketplace. When not behind the wheel, Paul is outdoors, enjoying shooting, fishing and beating for local shoots. He’s also a budding winemaker and Stoke City fan.
Dave started out as a general engineering apprentice at local company, Bode & Sons. After fine-tuning his engineering skills for over 20 years, Dave stepped into the world of IT. Joining Charles Leek in October 2001, he’s gone on to become our head CNC Programmer, also looking after our day-to-day IT set-up. Away from motherboards and microchips, Dave likes to combine landscape photography with walking in the Peak District and the Lakes.
Roger began his career as an apprentice Marine Engineer with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. His expertise lies in milling and turning but since joining Leeks he is also being trained as a gear cutter. He joined the Charles Leek family in February 2014 and we hope he stays part of the team for many years to keep our gear cutting expertise going for the next generation. Roger’s professional skills are also utilised in his hobby, which is restoring steam traction engines. He shows them all over the country, covering many miles at a leisurely pace.