Bob Williams leaves Belle
30 June 2020
Today Bob Williams, Altrad Belle’s UK & Eire Sales Manager, is leaving the company after 37 years’ dedicated service to the business and to the hire industry.
Bob, a well-liked and highly respected figure, started his career with Errut Products in July 1984 as a technical sales representative, selling its surface preparation and compaction equipment. For many years his MD at Errut was another industry stalwart, Ray Caulfield (now CEO of Trime), giving him an excellent grounding in hire.
Opportunities within Errut saw Bob representing the company across the Middle East and Far East regions before becoming UK National Sales Manager.
Errut, which was acquired by Belle Engineering in 1990, held in-depth concreting and compaction training courses at its HQ in Staveley, near Chesterfield. (I was able to attend one of these back in 2000, just after I entered the hire industry, and it lived up to the legendary reputation the events had for combining hard work and Bob’s dry humour, along with great hospitality - and even sampling something of the Chesterfield nightlife.)
Bob eventually became UK & Eire Sales Manager, a position that brought increased responsibility following Belle’s acquisition by the Altrad Group in 2009. This grew further with the subsequent introduction of more products complementing its famous mixers, from barrows and pressure washers, to generators and dumpers.
Ray Neilson, MD of Altrad Belle, told me, “Bob has been an absolute star from start to finish. We would often joke about the number of hats he wore, involving himself with sales, marketing, exhibition planning, writing press releases and building an exceptional sales team. He had a hunger and passion for creating new sales channels, which has been ably fuelled by Altrad Belle’s R&D ability to continually develop and launch new products.”
With Bob now entering what he describes as semi-retirement, he is looking forward to being able to do more fly fishing, and warns rainbow trout to be on the lookout. He’ll also be able to spend more time with family and friends.
“After 37 years, I am extremely grateful for all parts of my journey,” said Bob. “However, I feel that the greatest gift I have been given is to work for a company and in an industry that has provided me with so much enjoyment and so many great memories.”
Bob is certainly an able, highly regarded and hugely likeable personality. It has always been a pleasure to meet him at industry events and exhibitions, and I wish him every success for the future.