In February 2021, one of Jack Barclay Bentley’s longest serving employees retired after almost half a century of service. In fact, workshop manager Jay Bhatia, had been working with the team at Jack Barclay for so long that current H.R. Owen CEO, Ken Choo, hadn’t even been born yet when Jay started.
Jay left school in the Summer of 1972 & started with Jack Barclay in York Road, SW11. There was an in-house training centre where he started with the other apprentices for five years before being let loose in the workshop itself.
Following a decade as a technician he became a Tester & QC before becoming Workshop Controller for the next 15 years, latterly being promoted the Workshop Manager following the move to Nine Elms, SW8. During this period, 14 years ago, he recruited Jake Owen as an apprentice – in perfect symmetry, Jake will now take over responsibility from Jay.
Jay remained in workshop manager role when Jack Barclay moved to the current facility in Wandsworth, SW18 where there are currently seven senior technicians who completed their apprenticeship with the company, in addition to the Bentley Service manager who is also a time served technician with over 40 years-service to the company.
Ken Choo, H.R. Owen CEO, said: “We’re so grateful for Jay’s 48 years of service with us at Jack Barclay Bentley, but we’re equally sad to see him retire. Jay started here 48 years ago as an apprentice – even before I was born – earning 19.5p per hour, and he’s been a key member of our team ever since. Everyone around Jay has learned a huge amount from him, including a young apprentice that Jay employed years ago – Jake Owen – who will now be taking on Jay’s responsibilities. When we’re able to properly celebrate, I know that the whole H.R. Owen family will get together in wishing Jay a very happy retirement, just as literally thousands of people from all over the world have done in response to our announcement on LinkedIn.”
“The passion that the Jack Bentley Aftersales team share is clear in their loyalty to the brand; Jay is joined by a number of long-standing employees, including George Williams who retired recently after 45 years, our Parts Manager, Terry Lupton, who remains with us after 44 years and our Bentley Service Manager, Shahz, who has been here for 40 years. In fact, 16 of our technicians remain home-grown, which is extremely rare.”
During his farewell Jay reflected on his time with the business: “Jack Barclay has always been about the people, quality people. I’ve always said if you’re surrounded by good quality people working hard, why would you want to work anywhere else? When I became workshop manager I kept the philosophy that quality people was the most important factor and that’s probably why we have so many with long-service.” We wish Jay all the best for his well earned retirement.
Should you require any assistance form our Jack Barclay Bentley Aftersales team, or any of our other Aftersales sites across the H.R. Owen group, then please do get in touch. We continue to operate in-line with COVID guidelines, to help keep our customers safe on the road.