Episode 14

Moving Matters with Robert Bartup of GB Liners


January 28th, 2021

45 mins 47 secs

Your Host
Special Guest

About this Episode

In this episode, Robert Bartup, Managing Director of GB Liners, discusses how he is now in his 46th year in the industry after completing a Business Studies Degree at Leicester in 1975, and that he’s only ever worked for the illustrious GB Liners.

We discover that Robert is the progeny of another man who was in the removal industry, who’s father was also in the removal industry, making him not a 3rd generation removal man but a 3rd generation removal director.

We discover that GB Liners was formed by Robert’s Grandfather in Brighton back in 1923, and today GB Liners consists of 11 branches using the GB Liners brand and has approximately 100 vehicles and employs 250-300 staff across the group, which also includes 2 Self Storage businesses, Clark & Rose with 3 branches in Scotland, and surprisingly Unique Van Bodies, who build trucks for the removal industry. We also discover that Robert concentrates on doing the job right and being the most expensive mover in town, rather than doing it wrong and being the cheapest mover in town!

We discuss challenges, where Robert explains no money was the challenge in the early days, and that a fire nearly destroyed the business in 1990!

We discover that one thing Robert would change from his past was not working outside of the family business for a period, as he has always been an employer and never an employee.

We discuss some of Robert’s high points of being in the industry, consisting of some of the buildings and trucks he’s built, the Moving Up project that he did in the late 1990’s, his BAR Presidency and more recently being awarded BAR Honorary Life Membership. We also discuss how ‘Rebel’ Robert became involved in the BAR APG Scheme.

We discover that one thing Robert would change within the industry is for the industry to be proud of the service it provides and prouder of the price it charges for it, as the industry has a great tendency to underestimate its own value, skill, effort, and risk that it undertakes.

We discuss that the advice Robert would give to a young Robert, or Roberta, would be to find themselves a mentor or a series of mentors, and tap into their knowledge and experience, and not to be afraid to ask questions.

We discover that Robert is immortal, but in 5 years’ time he doesn’t want to be involved in the nitty gritty day to day stuff that comes along and will nudge other people into taking over those roles, however, he has a challenge to find people to take over the non operational type of issues. Robert does believe that the process of consolidation will continue and that customers will be stolen and sold back by the lead generation type people.

We discover that outside of the business Robert is a keen Hereford Football Club fan being a season ticket holder and club sponsor, he likes his holidays, and would also like to spend more time in the South of France, maybe purchase a second home there.

And as always we end Moving Matters with a couple of funny moving stories, both concerning victorious County Court appearances!


Links to GB Liners: