Customer Assistant & Driver
Bill was interviewed in February 2014
Having left the financial services industry a few years ago, Bill now drives
motorhomes all around the country and across Europe for Southdowns and its
Q How did you find yourself working for Southdowns?
A Having spent several years in the Royal Navy, I then worked for the Prudential for many years. I was made redundant in 2009, but didn't fancy going back into financial services. I am a Southdowns customer with my own motorhome so when I was asked if I might be willing to help out by driving a vehicle to show at the NEC in Birmingham, I said yes and three years later, I'm here most days of the week.
Q What does your job involve?
A I do any driving job that is needed - locally, across the country and in Europe when necessary. I collect and deliver motorhomes from customers and have been to pick up vehicles from the Concorde factory in Germany. I can drive any vehicle up to 7.5 tonnes but nothing larger as I don't have an HGV license. On a typical day I take vans booked in for servicing to the various dealers, help organise the motorhomes on the forecourt and in the showroom - which with so many vehicles can be quite a task - and I also help prepare motorhomes for test drives.
Q What is the best thing about working for the company?
My job at Southdowns suits me perfectly because it is so flexible - I am semi-retired and it is something I can carry on doing or give up when I feel I've had enough. My wife is still working but when she retires we are planning to take a few months off and do some travelling - hopefully Southdowns will take me back when we get home!
Q Do you have a personal interest in motorhomes?
A I used to sail yachts and then moved into motorhomes. I bought my second van from Southdowns seven years ago so I'm an old hand. One of the best things about my job is that its like being on holiday at work - I get to drive motorhomes I cant afford myself.
Q If you could take a motorhome anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A I have taken my own motorhomes to Germany, Belgium and, Holland as well as Yorkshire and Wales but I would really like to go to the parts of Europe that you cant get to on a two-week holiday. Scandinavia would be a great place to visit. I would also like to go to the Suez and Panama canals - but they are not easy to get to in a motorhome.
Q What is your claim to fame?
A. When I was in the Navy, Prince Charles was on a visit to HMS Dryad at Southwick House near Portsmouth, where I was stationed. As I came past him with arms full of files, he held the door open for me. That's not something that happens every day!
Bill lives in Cosham with his wife Carol. He has three grown up children and tries never to work on a Friday so he can spend time in his own motorhome.