In this episode Mark Chudley, Director of Chudley Moving & Shipping discusses how he started in the industry some 44 years ago (1977), when he met a girl at 17 whose father was Derek Blatchford of Blatchpack of Exeter.
We discover that after 18 months full time in Exeter, Mark was sent to Stockport for 4 weeks to manage John Bradshaw, which was jointly owned by Derek Blatchford and Burt Waddington. However, 4 weeks turned into 4 years and Mark returned to the Exeter depot after John Bradshaw was sold to Malcolm Halley, before moving to the Bristol depot for a couple of years.
We discuss that in Mark’s latter years of his time at Blatchpack Bristol, he got quite heavily involved in antique shipping to the States. Upon leaving Blatchpack in 1988, Mark started antique shipping for Mike Bell (based in Chicago), which he did for 6 years. In 1994 he expanded into antique shipping for others, and although Mark did not want to do removals, however a change in the antique marketplace (with 911, the advent of the Internet, and the aids virus), meant that in 2003 Mark ordered his first removal truck!
We discover that having had experience of the BAR during his early days at Blatchpack, Mark joined the BAR in 2003, and on his second BAR area meeting became National Councillor for the Western Area, which was the start of Mark’s interest in BAR matters.
We discuss that approximately 12 years ago Mark met the Morton family in Cyprus, and started a working relationship offering imports and exports, which now accounts for a third of Mark’s business.
We discover that Mark has had a few challenges, in the early days it was financial, in 2008/9 it was the recession, but the most difficult was an accident that involved a fatality. Mark’s current challenge is trying to find drivers!
We discuss the change Mark would make from his past, especially the early days, was to take a few more chances rather than being too conservative.
We discover Mark’s succession plan was going to be his son Adam taking over the business. However, due to a very serious accident to a family member Adam switched industries to ensure continuation of that family business. Due to this Mark decided to look into selling the business and was in discussion with one of the larger groups, and then Covid hit which scuppered everything, but coincidently at the time an approach was made by Paul Fox, and today Chudley Moving & Shipping is now part of The Fox Group.
We discuss Mark’s high point, and it is that he succeeded in business, the respect earned, and working with his family.
We discover that Mark is BAR President Elect (BAR President from June 2021), and hopes to continue the theme of BAR being there for its members, supporting the Director General (Ian Studd) and to be active on committees.
We discuss what Mark would like to change within the industry and it is regulation and 3.5 tonne vans having an affect on the professionalism of the industry.
We discover that Mark’s advice to a younger self would be to have more confidence, but on the whole he is pretty happy with what he has achieved.
We discuss that over the next 5 years Mark has his 2 years of BAR Presidency, he is not ready for full retirement and is looking forward to opportunities within The Fox Group. Industry wise, Mark does not see any change in regulation and therefore smaller movers will continue to dominate the industry, and he also sees more consolidation.
We discover that outside of the industry Mark never switches off, but does find time to visit his caravan in Cornwall in the Summer, enjoys cooking and restoration, which he learnt from his early days working with Mike Bell.
And as always we end Moving Matters with 3 funny moving stories including a European trip via Switzerland, and another involving radiator covers!
Links to Chudley Moving & Shipping: