A team in action.

Simpson & Allinson triumph at BMF Master Merchant 2013

Published:  07 August, 2013

For the second year in succession a team from Simpson & Allinson was crowned BMF Master Merchant champions, following two days of closely contested physical and mental challenges in the Lake District.

Over a glorious July weekend the winning team – John Williams, Ian Allchurch, Jonathan Kirk and Nathan Coyle - drew on experience gained in previous years to fight off the challenge of five other teams all competing for the first time.

Glynis Catterson, Simpson & Allinson’s finance director said: “This is only the third time we’ve entered Master Merchant and we really didn’t expect to win for a second year running. There’s some stiff competition out there and you never know what challenges the organisers are going to throw at you. It’s a great event for the whole company – those taking part and their supporters. The staff thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and I know I won’t be short of volunteers to defend the title again next year.”

This year’s runners-up, Parker Building Supplies, also have their sights set on winning the trophy next year. Parkers entered two teams, mixing people from different branches and head office in each, which led to some friendly rivalry.

Team member, Daniel Cottell said: “None of us had taken part before, so we were not sure what to expect but each team worked well together to tackle the problem-solving tasks and challenges. Tasks such as code breaking and conundrums use logic and memory, while others like canoeing and ghyll hiking are more physically demanding. We enjoyed all of them and had lots of fun, but you do learn how to communicate effectively and coordinate the team’s efforts to accomplish as many tasks as possible.”

It was also the first Master Merchant event for BMF managing director, John Newcomb, who said: “I was one of many first-timers at this fantastic event, but it has been running for over 20 years and the experience is as fresh as ever. The mix of mental and physical agility, team building and having fun matches perfectly with the BMF’s Fit for the Future theme. It’s a great way for teams from merchants and suppliers to get to know each other better and to work collectively for the common good. It really should be a key date in the industry calendar.”

The Master Merchant shield will be presented to Simpson & Allinson’s winning team by Mr Newcomb and Stuart Mason-Elliott from the event’s sponsor the BMTT at the BMF Members’ Day on the 18 September. The BMF will also announce the date of the Master Merchant Challenge 2014 at Member’s Day.

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