By TurfPro's sister magazine

Following on from last Thursday's Service Dealer Conference, the winners of this year's very special Service Dealer Awards were revealed at a glittering awards ceremony held at the Double Tree by Hilton Oxford Belfry.

Hosted once again by comedian and actor Charlie Baker, the Awards, organised by the team behind Service Dealer magazine were in their 17th edition and recognise the achievements of independent dealers in the garden machinery, professional turfcare machinery, farm machinery, forestry equipment and ATV/quad industry.

The winners were:


Sponsored by AGCO. Presenting Award: Jason Webb, Parts Sales Manager 

Winner - Ernest Doe & SonsDoe Show With A Difference, 19 branches across south-east England

Initiative DOY 21 sml
The Ernest Doe team Neal Heather, Joe Matthews, Graham Parker, Hayley Hill, Andy Turbin and Ken Smyth with Jason Webb plus Service Dealer owner Duncan Murray-Clarke (r) and comedian host, Charlie Baker (l)

Ernest Doe were forced to change up a long-established in-person event to fit in with the circumstances at the start of 2021. A brand-new online home for the 61st Doe Show With A Difference had to be designed, built and populated in just ten weeks. 

Quantifiably successful in terms of sales, the dealership’s whole team became part of the endeavour with each business sector - ag, groundcare, construction & parts - all presenting their own introductions and product videos. 

Finalists: Lister Wilder; Barrow Valley Spares; Hayes Machinery


Sponsored by Toro UKPresenting Award: Craig Hoare, Sales and Marketing Manager 

Winner - Sam Turner & Sons, Northallerton, North Yorkshire

Extra Mile DOY 21

Keith Norman and Charlie Turner with Craig Hoare plus Service Dealer owner Duncan Murray-Clarke (r) and comedian host, Charlie Baker (l) 

During lockdown Sam Turner & Sons took the difficult decision to close their store to regular customers to focus purely on keeping their farming and professional customers going - ensuring these essential workers were supported. They massively increased their local deliveries, with staff even using their own transport to serve locals they knew couldn’t leave their homes. 

For the entire team this meant taking on extra duties and longer hours. On top of this they also ran a PPE campaign for a local maternity unit. .

Finalists: Buxtons; Alton Garden Machineryy


Sponsored by Kubota UK. Presenting Award: David Hart, Managing Director 

Winner - Chris Gibson, GGM Groundscare, Colne, Lancashire 

Leadership DOY 21

Chris Gibson with David Hart plus Service Dealer owner Duncan Murray-Clarke (r) and comedian host, Charlie Baker (l) 

When the pandemic hit, Chris’s priority was ensuring the safety of his staff. He acknowledged that normal working methods needed to quickly adapt, and he never shied away from making difficult decisions in everyone’s best interest. Not only have there been no jobs lost, GGM are now a bigger team than before and have achieved business growth during the past two years. 

On top of this Chris has found time to spearhead environmental policies at the dealership, maintain charity fundraising and share his knowledge with the wider industry, contributing to the Dealer Digital Toolkit, writing Service Dealer’s Diary of A Season, joining industry panel calls and speaking on sector podcasts.

Finalists: Jonathan Ireland, Ireland’s Farm Machinery; Chris Wood, Mowpower / Mowtastic


Sponsored by Husqvarna UK. Presenting Award: Jonathan Snowball, UK Business Development Manager 

Winner - Hayes Machinery, South Moulton, Devon

Creative Communications 21
James Hayes with Jonathan Snowball plus Service Dealer owner Duncan Murray-Clarke (l) and comedian host, Charlie Baker (r) 

Hayes Machinery have embraced the use of YouTube as a primary dealership marketing tool like no one else. They have the views and the stats to prove that their creativity has found mass audience appeal. 

Their videos are varied, full of personality and have a uniqueness that keeps viewers and customers coming back for more. Their investment of time, money and effort in their channel is paying off.

Finalists: Peacock & Binnington; B&B Tractors


Sponsored by Ibcos / Catalyst. Presenting Award: James Buchanan, Sales Director  

Winner - Kelly Burgess - Buxtons, Teddesley, Staffordshire

Star Dealership 21 DOY

Kelly Burgess with James Buchanan plus Service Dealer owner Duncan Murray-Clarke (r) and comedian host, Charlie Baker (l) 

Kelly Burgess has not only excelled in her existing role as key accounts manager, but also helped others inside and outside Buxtons. Trying her hand at shopfitting, project management, and graphic design to help take stress off other members of staff, she has also personally volunteered to help mistreated animals, assist people self-isolating with Covid-19, created and donated 100s of care packages for the homeless as well as supporting countless other charities. 

Kelly’s employers say she has always shown selflessness and drive, but during the pandemic she's truly shown how far she will go to help others, no matter the cost.

Finalists: Diane Cowell, GGM Groundscare; Hannah Kelsey, R W Crawfords


Sponsored by Kramp UK. Presenting Award: Neil Benbow, UK Field Sales Manager 

Winner - Iwan Ellis – Hughes Bros, Oswestry

Apprentice DOY 21
Iwan Ellis with Neil Benbow plus Service Dealer owner Duncan Murray-Clarke (r) and comedian host, Charlie Baker (l) 

Iwan Ellis received a ringing endorsement from the team at Hughes Bros, who are thoroughly impressed with the speed of his improvement, now describing him as an integral member of their service team. Currently in his third year of the Kubota UK Apprentice scheme, he is well on his way to becoming a qualified agricultural engineer.

Iwan embraces the ever-evolving future of agricultural technologies and has gained a good understanding of the telematics systems seen in new machinery.

Finalists: Robbie Gray, Hamilton Ross Group; Harry Peck, RW Crawfords


Sponsored by Kramp UK. Presenting Award: Neil Benbow, UK Field Sales Manager 

Winner - Hayes Machinery, South Moulton, Devon

Overall DOY 21
James Hayes with Service Dealer owner Duncan Murray-Clarke (l) and comedian host, Charlie Baker (r) 

Hayes Machinery have got themselves noticed these past two years. Following the bold step of closing one branch to fully concentrate on their South Moulton HQ, the company has gone from strength to strength. Raising their profile via countless well-viewed YouTube videos, live launches, Dealer Toolkit appearances and magazine covers, Hayes have evolved the dealership to meet the changing needs and habits of their consumers. 

Driven by James Hayes' dynamic leadership, the team has embraced new products and technologies – recently diversifying into new machinery sectors.


Sponsored by Service Dealer. Presenting Award: Duncan Murray-Clarke, Service Dealer owner & Pete McArthur, Stathbogie Forest & Garden (via video link) 

Winner - Kevin Ashmore, retired Husqvarna UK

Lifetime Ashmore DOY 21

Kevin Ashmore was unable to attend so Jonathan Snowball accepted the award on his behalf 

Kevin Ashmore can claim 38 years working in our industry. After school he studied at Nottingham College of Agriculture and Rycotewood College of Engineering, before moving into the dealer sector. He worked at Beeley Grass Machinery in Mansfield for several years before joining Husqvarna as an Area Business manager in 1995. 

Staying with the Newton Aycliffe-based manufacturer for a total of 26 years, he was first promoted to Regional Sales Manager for the North before becoming UK Sales Manager in 2009 - managing the whole UK sales organisation.

In 2013 Kevin moved across to take on the challenge of UK Commercial Landscape & Groundcare Manager until his retirement. During Kevin’s time in this role, he was involved with the launch of many new ventures for Husqvarna including Automower robotics, Autotune chainsaws, Battery products and Fleet Services.

A popular member of the team and held in real affection by all his dealers, Service Dealer thanks Kevin for his contribution to the industry.


Sponsored by Service Dealer. Presenting Award: Duncan Murray-Clarke, Service Dealer owner

Winner - Robin Lennie, retired STIHL UK

Lifetime Lennie DOY21
Robin Lennie with Service Dealer owner Duncan Murray-Clarke 

Robin Lennie joined STIHL GB in 1990 as finance director and company secretary, being promoted to managing director in 2008. Having studied accountancy, law & economics at The University of Glasgow, Robin qualified as a chartered accountant in 1978 and as an IOD chartered director in 2006. 

Robin left the company at the start of 2021 in rude financial health. During his tenure as managing director, the company increased turnover from £57m in 2008 to over £109m in 2019. 

Very much a people person, Robin attributes this success to the teamwork he enjoyed with his Camberley colleagues - and of course to the STIHL Approved Dealers who he holds dear to his heart. 

Memorable moments for Robin include in 2016, ten years after taking over the reigns as MD, sales hitting the magic £100M for the first time on the last working day of the year. And in October 2018 the celebrations around STIHL Great Britain’s 40th anniversary in Liverpool. A special event where Robin was delighted to welcome most of their dealers, the STIHL Board and also Dr Nikolas STIHL to a conference, dinner and awards ceremony.

Recent circumstances dictated that Robin’s retirement didn’t go exactly as planned. He had intended to spend his last year travelling the country, visiting many of his loyal, experienced dealers with whom he has developed a strong, trusting relationship over the years. Service Dealer hopes this award goes some way to expressing the high regard the industry holds him in.

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