In this episode Angus Russell, General Manager of Britannia Lanes of Somerset & Bristol discusses how he began his career within the industry some 34 years ago after responding to an advert in The Times for a Trainee Manager at Hoults.
Although Angus wasn’t born into the industry, he does believe he was born to be in this industry having spent most of his youth as an expat, relocating from country to country. In his 34 year career Angus has only worked for 3 companies, Hoults (2 years), Bishops Move (15 years) & Britannia Lanes (17 years currently).
Earlier than usual in the podcast, Angus tells us that his greatest point of being in the industry was convincing his bosses at the time (Bishops Move) that they should be represented at the BAR conference, which Angus then attended. And it was at the BAR conference at The Belfry that Angus met fellow conference attendee Ms Maria Lane, who in 2006 became Mrs Maria Russell, hence Angus’s move from Bishops Move to Britannia Lanes of Somerset & Bristol.
Britannia Lanes started back in 1974 by Sylvia and Mike Lane after they were left some warehouses. Today they operate from 3 locations, Chacewater, Exeter & Bridgwater, with an unmanned Self Store due to open in Falmouth very soon. Britannia Lanes offer containerised storage, self storage, van hire, international, european, commercial & domestic relocation, shredding, and records management.
Angus talks in depth about training and the training services he provides to the industry, and we discuss the general question of what is the return on investment? From this came one of my favourite sentences, “we move dreams and aspirations”.
Angus has faced the challenges of a recession, but he finds the constant changes in legislation one of his biggest challenges, especially when the small businesses (the mum and dad business) have to upgrade on a corporate scale.
Angus wouldn’t change anything from his moving past, stating what you go through builds the character for who you are.
Apart from the obvious highpoint (see above) another of Angus’s highpoint was being made a Directly Elected Director of the BAR, which he really enjoyed.
The one thing Angus would like to change within the industry is the pay and value of the operational staff, but we can only do this by making the public recognise just how highly skilled moving actually is.
Angus’s advice to just starting out in the industry is listen, understand, and then make your viewpoint.
In the next 5 years Angus would like to continue his focus on training, maybe semi-retire (but that’s too hopeful) but without leaving the industry. In the next 10 years (rather than the usual 5), Angus sees the industry becoming more eco-friendly, with hydrogen vehicles being the way to go. And that the millennials will affect the industry as they collect less, resulting in smaller moves.
Outside of the industry Angus enjoys cooking, loves travelling, is into his pyrotechnics and of course spending time with his wife.
And as always we end Moving Matters with 2 funny moving stories, the first involving “milk!” and the second involving a chap looking for employment.
Links to Britannia Lanes: