7 days to go
In just 7 days we will be celebrating our 50th anniversary!
Before we start the celebrations let’s take a moment to remember where we have come from and take a trip down memory lane.
The story begins with entrepreneur, Brian Holmes, who founded the company and opened the first site on Chatsworth Road, Chesterfield. We still have close ties with the family and Mark Holmes, Brian’s son, not only does he have an office close to our head office but his business supplies us with the tools our technicians use. We caught up with Mark recently and asked him about his earliest memories of Auto Windscreens and here’s what he said:
It is amazing to me that my father, who came from a mining background, and who was a door to door Hoover salesman in his youth, had the determination and foresight to create a company that is still going from strength to strength after 50 years and is a leading power in the industry.
I remember going to the original Brampton Brewery site when I was a kid and being told stories by the fitters and warehouse men of the ghosts of the brewers that drowned in kegs of beer where windscreens were then stored. It was a small family back then and most of the people that are still with us today, I consider to be uncles and aunts rather than people who worked for my dad.
I remember going to the Bakewell show, where my friends and I got free snacks and annoyed the salesmen on the Auto Windscreens stand. I was so proud telling them it was my father’s company.
My most vivid memories were of the time that he was building the factory in Chesterfield and our house was always full of men from faraway Scandinavian countries who were being fed by my mother while they were over installing the machinery. Up until my mother’s passing I know she still sent Christmas cards to some of them. That was what Auto Windscreens was all about, and still is. One big family working together to make a difference.
Unfortunately my dad had sold Auto Windscreens by the time I had left school so I never officially worked for my father’s company in the UK. But I was proud to go to France in the early 90’s with him and set up Auto Windscreens over there. I can only imagine that what we did in France was similar to the early days in Chesterfield and I really got to see the magic happen. Although he could not speak a word of French he managed to communicate his passion and knowledge for the industry and we grew the company to be the biggest independent windscreen company in France.
Photos of the first Auto Windscreens site on Chatsworth Road, Chesterfield.
To this day when I drive to my office, which is just over the road from the Auto Windscreens head office, I look up at my dad’s old office window and remember the ‘good old days’. I am happy to say that with the current management team I still get the family feeling when I visit and that’s what makes Auto Windscreens so special.
Thanks to everyone one involved in the company’s history for making it so great.