HRH PRINCESS Anne presented three members of staff from Wyevale Nurseries in Hereford recently (June, 2016) with medals to honour their long service to the company.
Commercial Director, Simon Williams, IT and Stock Control Manager, James Mattock and Maintenance Engineer, Graham Slade all received bronze medals from the Three Counties Agricultural Society in recognition of 30 years’ continuous service at Wyevale Nurseries.
Andy Johnson, Managing Director at Wyevale Nurseries, said: “We’re delighted to be able to celebrate with our colleagues and share our appreciation of them.
“Simon, James and Graham have contributed so much to the success of Wyevale Nurseries in their very different but vital roles across accounts, IT and infrastructure. They are each key members of our team and their dedication goes above and beyond.”
Simon originally came from a farming background and after graduating from Reading University embarked on a career in accountancy within the horticultural industry. He joined Wyevale Nurseries as a Trainee Accountant in 1985 and went on to complete his accountancy training and gain his professional qualification.
During the 30 years at Wyevale Nurseries, Simon has undertaken several roles within the company including overseeing and leading the accounts department, transport, goods inwards/outwards, nursery workshop and IT. In his current role as Commercial Director, he oversees finance and the various support activities to the core production and sales operations.
Coming from a long standing rose growing family, after graduating from Bath University with a Horticulture degree, James started as an Assistant in the propagation department, progressing to Manager and setting up a plant micro-propagation lab. After a brief time in despatch, during which he gained a familiarisation with the computer system, he took over the stock control, training and health and safety systems.
While gaining an open university computing qualification, he developed the PC network and IT infrastructure. James currently manages the IT system, oversees stock control and co-ordinates the company’s health and safety.
Graham started as a Junior with Wyevale Nurseries straight from leaving school in 1954, when the company only had eight employees. He progressed through the business and worked as part of Wyevale Landscapes. In 1959, Graham had to leave the company for National Service.
Following this he set up his own landscaping business, before returning to Wyevale Nurseries in 1968. Graham then had to leave the company due to family commitments but in 1986 he re-joined Wyevale Nurseries and has been employed ever since as a Maintenance Engineer. Graham’s roles have covered polytunnel building and repair, ground works, site development projects and exhibition stand constructions
Wyevale Nurseries is a member of The Three Counties Agricultural Society, which issues medals to people who have completed 30 years’ continuous service to horticulture or agriculture with the same employer or holding company.
Ken Nottage, CEO of the Three Counties Agricultural Society, said: “Here at the Three Counties Agricultural Society, we are delighted to recognise the loyal commitment of Simon, James and Graham from Wyevale Nurseries with our 2016 awards.
“The Three Counties Awards seek to champion the long standing contributions made by horticulture and agricultural businesses such as Wyevale Nurseries to the communities of the Three Counties. Simon, James and Graham should be extremely proud of their achievements.”
The society is a registered charity working for rural industry, the environment and countryside life. It is committed to supporting farmers, growers and horticulturists in the region and developing understanding between urban and rural communities.
Wyevale Nurseries is one of the largest family-run wholesale nurseries in the UK. It was established in 1930 by Harry Williamson, a horticulturist and entrepreneur. It became the company it is today under the leadership of his son, Peter.
The Williamsons’ saw the opportunity to sell their product to an undeveloped retail market, creating one of the first garden centres, followed by a chain. In 1987, the retail side needed to expand and the 19 garden centres were sold as a PLC.
The family then turned its focus to Wyevale Nurseries Ltd. It continues to be a family-run business with ownership and joint chairmanship currently being held by the third generation, Heather and Simeon Williamson, with plans for the fourth generation to takeover in the future.
Wyevale Nurseries has a significant product range and is regularly introducing new plants. It offers a large variety of trees, shrubs, hedging, herbaceous and specimen plants to garden centres, landscape contractors, local authorities, foresters and landowners.
For further details about Wyevale Nurseries, which is based in Hereford, please call 01432 845 200, visit www.wyevalenurseries.co.uk, follow the company on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WyevaleNurs or log on to www.facebook.com/WyevaleNurs.