Decades of Dedication: Nick Barnes’ 35 Years with Elite Garages

On 1st of August 2023, Elite Garages celebrated Nick Barnes’ monumental 35 years of service. Stationed primarily at our Partridge Green location, Nick’s role as Audit Manager means he’s a familiar face across all of Elite Garages’ diverse locations, from our bustling petrol stations to our busy vehicle workshops and wholesale hubs.

Elite Garages: Where Family Values Reign

Elite Garages prides itself on being a family-owned business. In fact, Nick’s journey with us means that he’s worked closely with three generations of the Elite Garages family. But, the connection doesn’t stop there. Several of Nick’s own family members have also worked for the Elite team. Nick’s son, Dave, is currently making strides in our IT Department!

Sharing a fond memory from the past, Elite Garages owner Richard Whittemore, reminisced:

“When Nick came in for an interview all those years ago, we ended up fitting 2 tyres together out of hours straight away! The company has changed and grown significantly during the time Nick has been with us. When Nick first joined, we only had 3 sites, and now Nick helps across our 9 petrol stations, 17 vehicle workshops, and all the wholesale hubs. He’s certainly seen a lot of change and grown with us over the years! Thank you for 35 years of loyal service and being a part of the Elite team.”

The Elite Garages team celebrating with Nick Barnes

Nick’s Remarkable Journey At Elite Garages:

  • Relief Manager Days: Nick’s introduction to the Elite world began as a Relief Manager, overseeing our three initial sites: Pulborough, Caterham and Mannings Heath. It wasn’t long before he was heading up the Pulborough branch, managing both the vehicle workshop and petrol station.
  • Leadership in Pulborough: Under Nick’s leadership, this branch saw an upgrade to a newer and much larger site, where he managed all aspects of the reception and workshop, ensuring high standards were consistently met. Nick’s excellence shone through for about 15 years here until 2005.
  • The Wholesale Era: In 2005, Nick became involved with the wholesale division, focusing his expertise on purchasing and stock control.
  • The Big Expansion: 2008 was a big year for Elite Garages. We expanded our portfolio by 10 new locations, and Nick seamlessly stepped into the role of the Audit Manager for the entire group. He became the go-to for everything from stock control and profiling to Health and Safety audits. Alongside his mechanical and managerial skills, in 2009 Nick also passed his NEBOSH Level 3 qualification in Occupational Health and Safety!
  • Maidstone & Newport: More recently, Nick’s expertise played a key role when we opened our brand-new sites at Maidstone and Newport, ensuring they were well-equipped and efficiently audited.

With 35 years under his belt, Nick has seen it all. He nostalgically remembers a time when tyre stocks were checked manually using a paper card system. Compare that to today, where Elite Garages boasts over 20 locations with a robust staff of over 300! If anyone deserves a lovely batch of cupcakes and plenty of gratitude, Nick Barnes is at the top of the list.

Congratulations Nick Barnes
Colleagues Share Their Gratitude

Tara, who joined the family in 2015, shared:

“When I joined Elite Garages part-time in 2015, Nick sat in the office across the way in Mannings Heath and immediately made me feel welcome with his friendly helping hand into the world of Elite! Nick is part of the furniture here and well-respected by all of us at head office. Well done on 35 years!”

Jack, a more recent addition, added:

“Nick was extremely helpful showing me the ropes and his depth of experience in the industry has been invaluable. His knowledge on tyre IPCs, exact bin locations and what tyre sizes fit specific vehicles never fails to amaze! Congratulations to Nick for 35 years with Elite Garages!”

Final Thoughts

Elite Garages is a family business at its core. We cherish the dedication of colleagues like Nick, who’ve been instrumental in our growth.

We’re grateful to our local colleagues and many customers have been with Elite for a long time, entrusting us with their vehicles for MOTs, servicing, cambelt replacement, brake replacement, exhausts, top quality tyres and free vehicle safety checks.