Richard Branson once said, "Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't have to." Here at Colin Appleyard, we pride ourselves on staff retention - and this shows when you look at how long many of our staff have worked for us. Would you be happy working for the same company for 40+ years? Well, 3 of our staff have. What about 20 years? We have 14 members of staff who've dedicated over two decades to the company. Does 10 years sound a better number? Well out of our 135 total staff, 38 have been with us for over 10 years.

So who are some of these members of staff, and what's their story?


Barry - 40 years of service

"One Saturday morning in August 1976, I called in to our motorcycle showroom on Worth Way to pick up some 2-stroke oil for my RD. Whilst there I got chatting to Stuart Feeny and within a few minutes Colin joined us and asked if I would be interested in working for Colin Appleyard in the parts and clothing department. That brief chat was my job interview! I started a week later and that was 40 years ago.

Doesn’t time fly when you're enjoying yourself?"


Jeanette - 30 years of service

"I only came in for a spark plug! I started at the bike shop in August 1985, a young and naive 17 year old and was interviewed and trained by Peggy to do hand written paper invoicing. There were no computers back then, just a typewriter - oh how things have changed! I actually wanted to be a veterinary nurse, but the pay wasn’t too good at that time so applying to Colin Appleyards as a receptionist/admin seemed like a pretty good alternative.

I’ve seen staff come and go with many coming back for a second or even a third time, so on the whole I think Colin Appleyards is a good company to work for."


Malcolm - 38 years of service

"After serving as an apprentice in the building trade and getting hooked on motorcycles (all purchased from Colin Appleyard), I was one day leaning on the parts counter when Stuart Feeny told me they needed a delivery driver. I jumped at the chance and started my career on March 30th 1978. I was employed as the driver/used bike preparer until a mishap on August 11th of that year, saw myself and our parts person Jarno spend a lengthy spell in Bradford Royal Infirmary.

On my release from hospital I was collected by my parents who drove me straight to work where I started work in our parts department. After what seemed like an eternity (15yrs), I moved to run the service department where I have worked ever since."


Lee - 27 years of service

"I came to Colin Appleyard for work experience in February 1989, and was offered a job in March of that year. I finished school on Friday 2nd June and started work on Monday 5th June. I began as an apprentice technician at the bike branch, going to all the other garages to do valeting, car servicing and repairs etc. in quiet spells.

In 1993 I worked as Robin Appleyards technician in the race team and we won the British Championship that year. From 1995-2004 I rode for the race team in the British Championship on Supersport 600 and 1000. Then in 1997 I went to oversee the workshop at our new bike shop in Leeds.11 years later, I was promoted to Aftersales Manager for the group. I've never written a C.V.!"

Want to know a little more? Why not take a look at our infographic.

Long serving staff infographic