Category Archives: Moores

Pension Trustee Retirement


For the record I have stepped down as a trustee of the Moores Furniture Group Pension Scheme, as from June 2022. This was my second stint of over five years having originally served five years when I was a company director. My term of office expired and I chose not to seek re-election.

The trustees did ask the current Scheme members, whether retired or deferred, if they wished to be considered for the vacancy. No one came forward and a vacancy exists. That is a disappointment as it is a rewarding position and you can make a difference. It was interesting to understand the corporate finance world (that manages the Scheme funds), the technical requirements of running the Scheme, which were all well explained to a layman, and also deal with the company from the point of view of the thousand or so members.

Should any eligible member ever wish to step forward for the job I’m sure the current directors would be happy to entertain their candidature.

Tony – June 22 2022

Local Boy Makes Good

News filtered out into the media this week about, former employee, Niall McTurk’s disposal of his successful student letting business – Sinclair Properties based in York. Linley & Simpson acquired the business for an undisclosed amount. However, I suggest if Niall owed you a fiver, from his time at Moores, he now will be in a good position to now pay you back without him being inconvenienced.

For those of us with a corporate background then taking a punt on your own talents and setting up a business from scratch is brave and unlikely. I can think of only one other former Moores person who’s done this (Jim Brady).

Niall was a remarkable Technical Manager who, like many of us, found himself surplus to requirements when the whole manufacturing organisation was restructured at Moores at the beginning of the century. I remember the then Managing Director intervening to ensure Niall departed with an appropriate settlement such was his surprise at his selection. However for Niall this was the beginning of something exceptional. I well remember travelling somewhere in the car and his mobile calls to some students he’s roped in to repaint a property, obviously one of his first, that he was restoring prior to letting. Student accommodation was in its infancy as a bespoke and dedicated market in York. This coincided with the expansion of higher education by the Blair governments.

A quick look at Sinclair Properties will show you what they do and their expertise. I know that Niall, with his demanding attention to detail, laid down many exact standards for how the properties were to be let, maintained and returned. This discipline has served tenants and landlords well.

This forensic detail was a tremendous asset for Moores. When we were successful selling over a £1m of cabinetry to Hong Kong I recollect the Chinese director, at our customer, purring at Niall’s visit where he collected all the staff together and with demanding instruction helped them on the installation of the product we’d made. This approach and an open mind was something that also earned Moores £millions when a ludicrous request was made by the London Housing Consortium to devise a repairable kitchen cabinet, after installation in situ.

As we all clutched our stomachs, including the competition, in mirth at this request Niall knuckled down and specified the Pioneer range. I don’t have the figures now to hand but sales, five years after it’s launch, of £8m comes to mind on this highly specified and high margin product alone.

A Moores legend.

Moores on the BBC – May 2020

As industries get back to work after the Covid-19 lockdown Moores find themselves on Yorkshire’s local BBC news programme – ‘Look North’. Through my pension trustee responsibilities I know Steve Parkin (and I knew Doug Gough when he used to be in short trousers!) Absolutely terrific to see them back in the public eye after all the lean years.

Moores – Improving Fortunes

December 21, 2019

I limit to my coverage of Moores Furniture Group to the people who either work there or used to. However we all know that it has been a bleak decade of annual losses and continued concerns about its future. It seems a good opportunity to share some good news. The company won Turnround of the Year at the annual Turnaround, Restructuring & Insolvency Awards. Their owner, Hilco, were so pleased they announced it on their website. You can read all the details by clicking the link. This is a tremendous achievement. However they are not yet back into profit but the progress is impressive.

The man holding the award is Steve Parkin, Managing Director.

Moores People Update 6

November 6, 2019

I haven’t written anything about Moores for a while and I suppose I’m looking for new stories but as always there’s a lot of interaction with many of the people I worked with and I have jotted a few notes for your information

  • The former directors got together in a Thorp Arch pub for some lunch in late October. Richard Bown, Peter Thorndyke and David Cook made up the party. I’m glad to report all are in good health. PET seems to spend a lot of time abroad holidaying. However a recent trip to Japan coincided with the typhoon that took so many lives. Peter and his wife were fine but left the country early. Richard is busy sorting out years of accumulated possessions in his house and taking photos. He took over 3,000 images at the recent UCI World Cycling Championships. I think it helps to have a house on the route for a couple of the events. David is still playing off an impressive golf handicap. Along the lines of the country we were split on Brexit but we didn’t subsequently resort to social media to vent our respective frustration. I shan’t forget the lunch quickly – I got a speeding ticket at 36 mph in Thorp Arch when I left!
  • On a cycle ride I was ambling through Selby and recognised a personalised number plate of Janet Lumb’s Citroën. After some frantic waving she came to a halt and we chatted for 20 minutes. She’s well and still holidaying with Rose (Wages). Who can blame anyone for grabbing some winter sun off the coast of Africa. She’s developed a penchant for line dancing: a great way to keep fit!
  • Joe Cannon (Sales Administration & Installation) looked well and had no ill affects after cycling the LEJOG in the summer with one of his three sons. The acronym stands for Lands End, Cornwall to John O’Groats, Scotland. It’s an epic ride of over 1,000 miles. I envied his ride but British weather can be awful and it is a lottery whether such a long ride is pleasant. He’s now working for Home Decor, a kitchen company out of Sheffield. This appears to be a respite for several ex Moores employees such as Richard Garstang, Neil Martin and Lloyd Jackson. (The photo below is about 13 feet’s worth of Cannons)

Continue reading Moores People Update 6

Wendy Looker

All my writing has been in some ways a journey. I always had the story but I lacked the grammar and structure. In 2014 I attended an evening course at York University to improve this. We were set weekly writing projects that had to be submitted to the course tutor, or even worse you had to read them out.

Separately, learning of Wendy’s illness I had contacted her to go around to see her in Sherburn-in-Elmet. Wendy had been one of my managers back in the day when I worked at Moores and was a director. It was a profound experience and I was truly amazed and inspired. Now in 2019 Wendy has just passed away after an eleven year struggle with breast cancer. This started as Stage 3 and ultimately became Stage 4 with secondary cancers.

Continue reading Wendy Looker

Moores People Update 5

February 22, 2018

It’s been a long time since I’ve updated the Moores page, I know. I need some new things to post! Don’t be shy in passing photos or information to me.

At a public meeting held by our local MP (about our not having Superfast broadband) then Bob Redwood (Export Sales Manager) appeared! As you can see he’s looking well and a lot younger than he actually is. (I won’t name his age and spoil our new found friendship). Still residing locally he is enjoying retirement and is the Honorary Secretary of the Acomb & District Conservative Club, which if I remember the story correctly doesn’t automatically pay anything into the Tory coffers! He’s knocking about on Facebook and so look him up.

I still meet up with Mark Sutcliffe (Financial Accountant) and Jim Brady (Sales Administration, PS Sales & Installation) and we’ve been to see some Canadian Americana and Colorado Bluegrass. The latter in the banjo capital of Western Europe – Selby. Mark knows everything about vinyl records and probably more. If there’s something that you want to replace or get hold of then he is the man, I can put you in touch. Steve Jessney (Group Design Manager) invited me to his radio station (Vixen 101) in Market Weighton where I got a request played and I saw inside the workings of a studio.

Continue reading Moores People Update 5

Moores People Update 4

June 4, 2017

Steve Jessney (Group Design Manager) reminded me that he was a former employee! He is somebody that I have had a lot do with since about 2009. Anyone who looks at the web site will know that I have a passion for music and in addition I love podcasts. So back in the day in a trawl of the internet I came across, by chance, a podacst for Blues music and I recognised the name of the presenter.

Steve designed, with a team, furniture for Geo A Moore & Co and Moores International before leaving for MFI in the late 1980’s. This was a weird time when George Moore lurked at the top of Queen Mary House and was only occasionally sighted as he swept in and out. Weird because the top corridor staff created an impression that George was a celestial being and if you went upstairs then the corridor had radios playing to mask any noise of important conversations (?) being held within the inner sanctums.

I was the Group Purchasing Manager at the time and the components Steve specified we bought. I never knew of his love of the Blues and if he left me with anything then it was his job when he left, as I became the Group Purchasing & Design Manager. Steve now works as the Head of Technical & Design at Omega PLC.

Steve produces a weekly radio show for Vixen 101, which comes out of Market Weighton. This then becomes a podcast and as we speak I have over 8 days of the show stored on my iMac hard drive! The Show plays mainly new release Blues records but he dips into older stuff and regales us with seeing Derek & The Dominoes live in Scarborough every quarter. I love it and it follows me on my cycling trips as well as innumerable hours at home. I owe my sketchy knowledge of the Blues to him. If you like this genre then there is absolutely no better place to be.

With Jim Brady (Sales Administration, PS Sales & Installation) we dined with Wendy Looker (Sales Administration) and Sharron Street (Customer Care) near Saxton to shoot the breeze. I did suggest that photos of Jim in consecutive issues of the blog was not a good idea but the ladies insisted! Sharron works for the City & Guilds organisation in Wakefield. She runs the part of the business that monitors that standards are maintained by the companies that run the courses. A story about a record by reggae legend Prince Buster (‘Wreck A Pum Pum’) in Jamaica and the subsequent need for a cleansing trip to church by the visiting City & Guilds representative after the use of supposed foul language did highlight the cultural gulf that they straddle even in countries where we have a common language. Wendy is flourishing and full of excellent advice on all things healthy.

I had cause to catch up with Martin Appleyard (Export & Installation) recently and life sounds good. He’s now the Group Operations Director of DBD, based in Hemel Hempstead. This company supplies and installs upmarket German kitchens and appliances. He’s responsible for the installation of all this: but into every life a little rain must pour… he’s also responsible for overseeing their Health & Safety programmes and policy! Down time includes lots of cycling.

Winner of photo competition – both Peter Lawson (Supplies & Purchasing) and Philip Turnpenny (HR Director) got that it was David Moore (IT or was it DP Manager). Peter had the inside track, as he was on that holiday and it was his bike that David was leant against!

So who’s this? An unhelpful clue is that both Martin Appleyard and myself attended her wedding reception!

Steve Johnson

May 26, 2017

I have some Moores items to post but tragically some other news has come to pass that I feel I should advise before the usual lighter stuff.

Steve Johnson (PS Sales) had died after a very short illness at his home in Sherston, Wiltshire, he was just 60 years old. From feeling unwell to his passing was only around a month. This has left everyone not only deeply saddened but utterly shocked at the sudden turn of events.

You may recollect from a recent post that Steve was holidaying in South America and not least indulging in one of his hobbies – photography. If you wanted to take some epic images then you couldn’t do better than Antartica.

Steve left Moores in about 2010 and went on to run an internet business. By this time it was the end of an era for so many Moores people and we were all well past looking at our former glories. However, Steve had driven the order intake in the ‘East’ of the country, by 2005, to £11.5 million.

At this point he was a Sales Manager after starting life at Moores selling the Single Living Accommodation solutions. Given that Public Sector prices were very competitive in the market then through his efforts and the importance of the LHC his profitability was exceptional. He never dwelt on this but I did raise with him these achievements. He saw it as a team effort. However in my opinion then someone rightly gets to stand on the top of the podium.

A point that always surprises former managers is how many younger people who worked in their teams learned and developed with them. I expect those associated with Steve will feel enormous respect, affection and gratitude for this part of their careers.

Ironically the future in front of Steve looked financially secure and leisure beckoned with his partner. A thoroughly splendid, generous and interesting man then this cruel turn of events makes you realise how precious life is.

Look after yourselves.

Moores People Update 3

April 22, 2017

Through my last web post then a few old friends came back into view. Clare Currer (Sales Administration) seems to have maintained contact with old colleagues but after a spell out of kitchens then the lure proved too great and she is back with Roundel albeit working from home, well done for swinging that one.

Similarly it was lovely to hear from Sharron Street (Customer Care) but no information on her life today or more importantly what colour her hair is at the moment (Shazza forgive me)!

John Asty (8E17 & Installation) subscribed to the blog and is now a runner and pounding the pavements no doubt to get fit for half marathons. Look after those knees mate!

Which brings me to Simon Barlow (PD Sales Administration & Installation) who has posted on Facebook that he was about to run his 10th London Marathon. I couldn’t but be impressed. (This event is part of the Ives family workload as my youngest daughter works for adidas and will be working in t’Smoke for the event to support their sponsorship).

I think he has been as lean as this for many years but it still comes as a shock to those who knew him at Moores.

I contacted Steve Thompson (Human Resources) who I’d not been in touch with since leaving Moores. He seems chipper although not pleased to be reminded about his football team, Norwich City. Apparently he’s left them now and looking for his next career – let’s hope that falls into place quickly.

Steve Johnson (PS Sales) is still on this amazing South America tour that has already taken him to Antartica, Chile, Bolivia and Ecuador. He’s now on the Galapagos Islands along with other scaly creatures… He’s a superb photographer, entertaining blogger and his images are excellent. It may be worth a look at his blog on Wine, Dynamite and Penguins

Curry night brought together Caron Reed (PS Sales), David Cook (PS Sales), Jim Brady (PS Sales Administration, PS Sales & Installation) and Andy Parker (PS & Retail Sales). Caron is the full time mother of two little girls – four and 11 years old, which sounds too much like hard work. David keeps getting younger and spends much of the week on the golf course. Jim, as reported, is flying along with his elderly care business (it was good to meet up with someone actually working!) and Andy is now thinking of retirement at the advanced age of 55 years (!) after running and owning an IT services company that worked in secondary education.

Please let people know about this page on my website and if you have a story to tell then write in below.

Lastly… competition time. Anyone name this former colleague?

Moores People Update 2

March 2, 2017

It is always a delight to come across old friends and unexpectedly as I was wandering around York District Hospital, at the end of January, I came across a familiar face pushing a trolley full of drugs – Steve Mansfield (Technical). I can confirm that he hadn’t become a Walter White figure (for those who’ve watched Breaking Bad) but that he was an employee distributing pharmaceuticals around the large site. He was very well and enjoying his job as he winds down to retirement in 18 months time.

Greg Smith (Credit Control & Installation), now of the Symphony Parish, has been reliving his youth and has invested in a new motor scooter. Needless to say he got quite a bit of stick on Facebook! He may have a career in photography as well after he took this superb image.

Jim Brady (Sales Administration, Commercial, PS Sales & Installation) is looking well and is a busy boy. With his wife, Julie, he is now providing home day care for older people in Acomb, York via their business – Wetherby Home Care. Business is booming and they are working for City of York Council and other folks who sign up privately. A lot of hard work but you’d only have to turn on the news to know he’s tapped into a growing market and enjoying it!

It was delightful to hear from Jon Thelwell (Marketing Manager) who has lived in the Midlands since leaving Moores with various jobs. He’s now landed the prestigious Sales Director job at Knauf. This is a move from being a management consultant. They are major suppliers into the building industry of plasterboard and plaster products.

A long telephone conversation in February with Brian East (Commercial, Export & Builder Centre) was a pleasure. As usual Brian is so kind and positive – qualities that I spent 20 years trying to drive out of him and fortunately failed! Brian looks after Jewson’s nationwide kitchen sales and still lives up in Studley Royal but the kids have truly flown the nest and it’s just Liz and himself.

I’m prepared to bet that Steve Johnson (PS Sales) is probably the Moores employee who has gone the furthest south out of us all. He spent his 60th birthday the other day on a ship in a bay in Antartica. This is a picture of his ship amongst icebergs. If you take a look at his fabulous trip blog then you can see some immense icy beauty…. and penguins

Moores People Update

January 19, 2017

I was thinking that I might post a few updates on people and Moores.

If you want to add anything then I am happy to receive information to later post. Get in touch! I know some people catch up via scouring Linkedin or Facebook. However this won’t be the distorted stuff you read on those sites. I’ve read some people’s summary of their career and felt that Winston Churchill, Mother Teresa. Bill Gates and Nelson Mandela needed to up their game to make a mark!

Also if you know anyone who would like post this then please forward the link or give me the email address.

Your intrepid explorer met with Janet Lumb in Wistow during the week. Janet who departed the Mothership sometime ago is enjoying her retirement and looks great. It seems she is ticking off the holiday islands off Africa as holiday destinations. In the garage is a beast… Barry, her husband, has invested in some heavy metal. This V8 MGB is a customised version of the British Leyland classic. Recently rebuilt and still being lovingly upgraded – it has more grunt than Jeremy Shaw.

Sad news from Acomb concerns Mark Granger’s dog. This lovely puppy was christened Memphis. Not after that ancient Egyptian town or the birth place of Aretha Franklin but the Dutch footballer acquired by Manchester United last season. This follows the history of Mark naming his  dogs after MUFC players. The other Memphis is shortly to ply his trade in France. Not all is lost as Mark reports that the dog responds to being called ‘Zlatan’.

Steve Johnson (of Public Sector Sales fame) continues his world travels with the plan to spend 3 months in Latin America. This entails taking in the culture, history and sights starting in Argentina. After touring extensively in the Far East and Turkey (in the bits nobody dares now visit).

Steve, now a resident of Wiltshire, advises that it is too late for him to learn Spanish and feels confident that his course in pointing and speaking loudly, in English, should see him through. Should you want to contribute to a fund to pay the pending ransom then I will provide details on line soon.

As I catch up with people then I discovered that leavers from Moores in 2016 were Stewart Swan, Anne Pattinson and Mark Sutcliffe. You may have known this. I understand that Anne has stopped working now. Mark was trying other things post Moores but is reflecting on Plan B. It has to be said when you end up redundant then it is often time to take time out before starting again.

Chris Morris still remains devoted to Leeds United. I think we can mention this now as the Mighty Whites appear to be exceeding all our expectations. Chris is out and about with his music and I loved the story from last year about him being in the USA when he and his pal decided to attend a Jake Bugg concert at the last minute. They bowled up without a ticket and blagged their way onto the guest list and got close to the stage tickets…. those trusting Yanks eh?

Lastly I’ll sign off with an admission. Richard Bywater, who I am sure is running the procurement activity at Moores, posts regularly photos of images of Railway Wagon labels for cargo throughout the late 20th century. (…..I thought I had problems). By way of sport I then submit song titles that align with these tickets.