John Jempson & Son Ltd


Fun and games for Driver Of The Year launch

Posted on: May 3rd, 2018 by Amy Maynard

The Robertsbridge team celebrate the launch

The search for British Gypsum Driver Of The Year has begun and the team at Robertsbridge decided to mark the launch in style.

Jess Tallis and Ashlei Burgess organised a fun-filled event which saw drivers popping in for coffee and home-baked treats, picking up info packs, taking part in quizzes and even posing for some snaps, complete with props!

The observation period for the contest, which concludes in September, sees the drivers assessed via vehicle telematics, driving infringements and accident stats. Good luck to the team and watch this space!

Staff Offload

Posted on: March 21st, 2018 by Amy Maynard

This month, employees Shirley Bailey and Christine Cummings fill us in on life on the payroll team…

When did you start working at Jempsons?

S: I joined in December 1999. They started me off doing self-billing for British Gypsum and I thought, ‘If I have to do this again, I am leaving!’

C: September 2016. I came in because they needed an extra pair of hands.

How has your job changed since you started?

S: I used to check the tachographs against payroll when they were the old wax discs. Technology and legislation have changed the way we work hugely.

C: We have now centralised all personnel records and they are filed in one office, to keep information safe and up to date with Data Protection regulations.

What do you like most about working for Jempsons?

S: The office is extremely friendly and we have a laugh.

C: Yes, for me, it’s the people. I miss work if I am away. I also like the role because it’s varied and very black or white. Everything has to balance and it’s all very logical. I am not a grey area person!

Are there any anecdotes from your time in the office?

Both: What happens in the payroll department has to stay in the payroll department!

A day in the life…

Posted on: March 1st, 2018 by Amy Maynard

This month we are bringing you an insight into the diary of British Gypsum Contract Manager Stephen Parker, 46, from Faversham. He works at the Robertsbridge office and joined the company in 2014.

“My role within the company is to manage the company’s activity on our main contract with British Gypsum, which is for the distribution of plaster board and related products across London and the south east.

“Our main areas of focus are safety and the zero-harm culture, and our on-time delivery performance which is set at 99.5 per cent. These requirements go along way to shaping my work load on a day-to-day basis.

“This is my average Monday. My alarm is set for 5.50am. I have a coffee and check emails on my phone to ensure there are no early morning issues at Robertsbridge. I aim to leave home between 6.45-7.15am. It’s a 39-mile journey from Faversham to Robertsbridge, which usually takes just over an hour, so I generally arrive between 8-8.30am.

“Not that I am a creature of habit, but it’s coffee time while my PC boots up, and then I catch up with the team in the office and establish if everything and everyone is OK, and that everything is running on time.

“Generally, on a Monday, once I’ve checked and responded to any emails, it’s time to generate the weekly driver bonus sheets, which takes a little over an hour, taking various information feeds from our systems. This is then emailed to all relevant stake holders and displayed on the notice boards for the drivers.

“There is a morning production meeting with the customer at 9.45am, which is normally attended by our Operations Manager, and following this we generally catch up with any issues or workstreams that have come from the meeting.

“Next is a 5S housekeeping check on the two areas of the site that are my responsibility – the unit/car park and the diesel pumps. Once completed, these need to be recorded and any corrective actions arranged and documented.

“Back to the office, now it’s time to update the KPIs for the previous week, and display them on the notice board.

“With safety, one of the key business requirements, safety-related conversations are recorded through the customer’s system, so there’s some admin required for anything relevant.

“Between 12-2pm I try to just make myself available to cover the phones or the front desk while the operations team have their lunches (as I tend not to).

“As we get into the afternoon, I again review and respond to any emails, customer requests, conference calls, any of the previous week’s payroll anomalies or anything urgent that comes along.

“There are always project work streams, driver development, KPI and safety reports as well as customer-specific tasks to be attended to.

“The day generally draws to a conclusion between 5.30-6pm. Following the return 39-mile drive home, I do one last check of my emails!”

Office revamp

Posted on: January 26th, 2018 by Amy Maynard

A piece on the refurb in the British Gypsum newsletter

The Jempsons team at the Robertsbridge office started 2018 in a brand-spanking new space after an impressive refurb. British Gypsum Production Manager Tanya Young implemented the project, ensuring the work was completed in December, after just eight weeks. The state-of-the-art office includes the latest technology and equipment and now provides a spacious and harmonious working environment.

Meanwhile, in other news, we had our five minutes of fame on January 16 when we appeared (albeit briefly!) on BBC Two’s Inside The Factory. The programme saw Gregg Wallace exploring Ribena’s Gloucestershire factory and a Jempsons lorry was seen loading up the blackcurrants. You can catch us on iPlayer now!

Christmas parties of old

Posted on: December 7th, 2017 by Amy Maynard

A set of photographs that recently landed at Jempsons HQ has got us feeling nostalgic and festive in equal measure.

These pictures date back to the Jempsons Christmas parties of the 60s and feature Chairman Jonathan Jempson and his parents, John and Ada Ruth.

Jonathan is in the first snap but we aren’t going to tell you where he is sitting… can you spot him?

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.

Until 2018…



New additions

Posted on: November 2nd, 2017 by Amy Maynard

Here at Jempsons HQ, we are thrilled to bring you news of some additions to the fleet. We have taken delivery of five DAF FA LF.260 4×2 rigids and are expecting four new Lawrence David double-deck trailers on November 17. Meanwhile, we have also welcomed a new member onto the workforce. Martin Green has left his position at Wyevale Garden Centres to join Jempsons as Palletforce Depot Manager.

The new rigids

“I am used to the corporate commercial world, so coming to work for a family-run business is different but it’s also welcoming and quick to get things done. I recommend working for Jempsons because of the switched-on and loyal team. It’s good to be on board,” says Martin.

In other news, on October 5, MD Mark Chamberlain was among the guests rubbing shoulder with Princess Anne at the opening of the new Palletforce SuperHub in Burton-On-Trent.

We won!

Posted on: September 28th, 2017 by Amy Maynard

Thomas Goodsell receives his award

We are excited to announce that Jempsons driver Thomas Goodsell won the Most Improved Driver Of The Year category at the British Gypsum awards on September 14.

MD Mark Chamberlain and Chairman Jonathan Jempson accompanied Thomas and fellow driver Jamie Nichols, who was nominated for Driver Of The Year, to the event in Burton-On-Trent. As well as Thomas’s win, Jempsons also bagged the award for Team Of The Year.

The event saw a day of practical tests before the winners in each category were announced. Nominees came from British Gypsum’s five affiliated UK sites. “I was quite surprised to win and very happy,” says Thomas. MD Mark adds, “We’re pleased to be involved and thrilled to continue our proud record of success.”


MD Mark Chamberlain

Mickey and Paul Fuller

Meanwhile, MD Mark and Service Manager Paul Fuller took their wives, Susanne and Mickey, to the Transport Association’s Traffic Managers And Engineers Conference at the Coombe Abbey Hotel in Coventry on September 22. There was a medieval theme and the foursome relished the task of dressing up!

Watch this space!

Posted on: September 1st, 2017 by Amy Maynard

Every year, two drivers from each of British Gypsum’s five affiliated UK sites are entered into their Driver Of The Year and Most Improved Driver Of The Year competitions, and we are thrilled to announce the two successful Jempsons candidates.

Jamie Nichols

Thomas Goodsell

After a period of observation and analysis, Jamie Nichols has been selected for the Driver Of The Year category and Thomas Goodsell has come out on top to be entered into the Most Improved Driver final.

On September 14 the two drivers, plus MD Mark Chamberlain, will make their way up to the British Gypsum depot at Burton-On-Trent. Jamie and Thomas will then take part in a day of practical tests – including being assessed on vehicle manoeuvring, load security and customer service.

Jamie is already feeling a duty to carry on our proud record at the finals. “I have to admit that the pressure on my shoulders to do well at the finals is already there, as Jempsons drivers have done very well over the past few years,” he says.

The winner for each category will receive £1,000 cash. Watch this space for more!


Posted on: July 18th, 2017 by Amy Maynard

On July 12, Jempsons’ MD and Mark Chamberlain and Service Manager Paul Fuller were thrilled to take part in the annual Cart Marking ceremony at London’s Guildhall Yard, honouring the 500th year of the Worshipful Company Of Carmen.

Jempsons were invited to the prestigious event by a member of the Carmen. Mark and Paul took the company’s reconditioned 1937 N3 Commer on the back of a low-loader to take part in a parade on the streets of London, before ending up at Guildhall Yard to be “marked”. According to the Worshipful Company Of Carmen, “Once a year, usually in the summer, Carmen bring their horse-drawn waggons and carriages, steamers, veteran and vintage lorries, buses and coaches, and modern trucks and tractor units, to be branded, or marked, with a red-hot iron, on a wooden plate, with the year letter and the ‘carr’ number, as a reminder of centuries of service to the City and to maintain their ancient tradition.”

After the ceremony, hundreds of guests joined VIPs, including Carmen Master Marsha Rae Ratcliff OBE and Lord Mayor of London Dr Andrew Parmley, for a sumptuous sit-down lunch of smoked salmon, melt-in-the-mouth steak and chocolate mousse.

MD Mark says, “We were honoured to be invited to take park in such an historic ceremony.”

Staff Offload

Posted on: June 29th, 2017 by Amy Maynard

One of the company’s longest-serving members of staff, Jacky Stace, tells us that lorries deserve more respect and that she’s a dab hand under the bonnet…

Jacky Stace, 60, Director’s PA

When did you start working at Jempsons?

I’ve been at Jempsons for 34 years. The shop I was working in closed and a friend of mine sent me the advert for the Jempsons receptionist.

Tell us about your career progression…

I came in as telephonist, receptionist and Telex operator. The drivers used to have to find a phone box and ring in and I’d have to take their details, ring them back and put them through to whoever they needed to speak to. Then things eventually progressed to mobile phones. Then I started typing things up for Jonathan Jempson, dealing with all the accidents and goods-in-transit claims. People don’t respect lorries on the road, they don’t understand them. If someone complains about a driver on the road, we say the vehicle has a camera on it and we will download the footage and if the driver was in the wrong he will be disciplined. That normally pacifies people. A few years ago, a motorcyclist came round a corner on the wrong side of the road and collided with one of our lorries. Our driver thought he’d hit him. He was so shocked he couldn’t get out of the cab. Had we not had that camera, we would’ve been liable [because the motorcyclist’s partner said the lorry was on the wrong side of the road].

Any anecdotes from your time with the company?

When I was on reception I used to get people coming in irate because a lorry had splashed them or scratched their car. When I started, Jonathan Jempson’s father used to come in every morning to open the post. He never spoke to me. He used to walk past me every morning. He said to a colleague one morning, ‘Who’s the girl?’, but he never said a word to me.

Have you ever driven a lorry?

No. Years ago I would have liked to, but not now.

Can you fix a car?

That depends on what’s wrong with it… I can change a wheel and do the oil and water!

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