Towards the end of 1982 I was part of Tom Higgins' team in the LM Regional Freight organisation at Euston House and we were very much involved in the evolution from the operational-led to the business-led railway. My specific role was the regional development of the Speedlink train service product in conjunction with teams at BR HQ, led by Grahame Boyes, and at the other regions. In early 1983, a team of Speedlink salesmen was created under the leadership of Mike Harvey and an event took place at The Grove, Watford to brief and build relationships within the new team. The attached photograph taken on 2nd February 1983 records those at the event, as follows: Front Row (From left to right): Ray Walkington, Mike Harvey, Tom Higgins, Ken Shuttleworth Back Row: Roger Hartley, Martin Brennan, Geoff Hannant, Jim Rothwell, Bob Scott, Paul Noons, Paul Rowlands.
At the time, Tom was Traffic Planning Manager, Mike was Speedlink Sales Manager, Ken was Marketing Manager, Coal and I was Network & Terminals Officer. The guys behind made up the Speedlink sales force.
Within a year or so there was further evolution as the Regional Freight organisations were absorbed into the ED, Freight structure at the BRB. Tom retired (many times judging by the number of send-offs he had around the LMR and elsewhere), Mike and I both went to "222", the Speedlink Distribution sub-sector was created and re-located to Melton House, Watford in early 1987. Though hard work, they were very enjoyable times and we were now more in control of our business and the future than ever before. However, the evolution continued and Speedlink was eventually consigned to history by the 1990s.
By Ray Walkington.
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