I will tell you more about our night but first let me take you back if I may. Richard, my brother and I started FCC back in 1981. The business grew over the years and believe it or not we still have some of those original customers who came to us when we started. So many thanks to you for the support over 36 years now.
In 1995 we entered a Motor Trade Award for the Auto Trade Magazine. It was our first venture into the world where we had to compete against other garages, some very notable companies I will add. Back then we had the great experience and accolade of winning ‘Independent small Garage of the Year’ 1995 in Birmingham. Fast forward to 2005 and we tried again. This time we were runners up at the ‘Motortrade Awards’, Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane. A good experience but we came away disappointed we had not won. But in these awards you are up against some very impressive businesses.
We stepped back from this world of competitions and concentrated on FCC growth. However this year, Richard decided the time was right to try again. We entered for two awards, ‘Car Dealer’ magazine ‘Service and Repair Outlet of the Year’ and ‘Workshop’ magazine ‘Independent Garage of the Year’.
On a cold wet November night we arrived at The Brewery in London for the awards evening. Little did we know what was in store for us. As the names of the five finalists were read out I thought we might get a “Highly Commended” mention but when we weren’t among those I thought we were going home early. So it was to our amazement when Mike Brewer announced the winner as Fields Car Centre of Woking.
We did the Double!
This is going to sound like it’s easy to win such recognition … but believe me it’s not! Once again in the same venue we were left feeling stunned at what we had achieved. Having been awarded ‘Service and Repair outlet of the Year’ in one award ceremony, we suspected there may be a sense this time of ‘sharing it out’. Meaning another deserving garage would win this accolade. In other words having won one award, we wondered if that might count against us … but NO!
Field’s Car Centre won ‘Independent Garage of the Year – Southern England’. You are going to get sick of me saying this but we really are speechless. Amazed!
We have been here before and gone home empty handed, the competition is very strong for these awards. But 2017 was to be our year to do the ‘Double’:
- ‘Service and Repair outlet of the Year’, Southern England
- ‘Independent Garage of the Year, Southern England’
Some of you have asked us how we were chosen, what were the judges looking for? Well check out the videos taken, where one of the judges explains why we were chosen.
Why two awards?
The motor trade has several magazines that service our industry. They each run their own individual awards. We entered for the ‘Car Dealer Magazine’ Service and Repair outlet of the year award and also ‘Workshop Magazine’ Independent Garage of the Year. You know the old adage… ‘You wait all day for a bus and then two come along’ well, that’s how it was for us.
A special moment
The extra special moment for us was something I noticed when we went to collect our award. We mounted the stage to receive our award from Formula One motor racing legend Johnny Herbert. Then as we came off the stage to walk to our seats, one table of guests rose to give us a standing ovation.
So what a year!
A huge thank you, to you our customers, without your support and ‘feedback comments’ we would not have won these awards. Thank you SO much. So many of you have offered your congratulations but do you know what has meant the most?… It’s when people, like you not only say “Congratulations” but then add “You deserved it!” To hear this means so much to us, we can win in life, in all sorts of areas, but when someone says ” Yes you deserved to win!” that’s special! And of course to our staff … What a Team! How proud we are of them!