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Nicola’s back!

Feb 11, 2018
David Jordan interviews Nicola Mason as she returns to the moving industry as general manager for U-Move Group.

Visitors to The Movers & Storers Show last November may have noticed a new face on the U-Move Group’s stand – Nicola Mason, who has recently been appointed general manager.  I’d met Nicola while reporting on the U-Move Group meeting the previous month and we’d arranged to meet for a chat at the show.  

Many readers will know Nicola from her days at TMI, the former training body of BAR, where she was chairman in the early noughties: the first woman to hold this prestigious office.  

Nicola, a former home economics teacher at Malton School – a specialist science school in North Yorkshire where celebrity chef James Martin first cut his culinary teeth - began her career in the moving industry in 1996 when she joined her father, Robin Mason, at his company Selles Removals & Storage, later Selles of Hull. 

I asked Nicola why someone with a promising career in teaching wanted to join the moving industry. “I’d become frustrated with the way my subject was being taught,” said Nicola. “When I started it was all about teaching the children to cook, and they really enjoyed it. It used to be called Home Economics, but that changed to Food Technology, and later became part of Design Technology; hardly any time was spent actually preparing food. I hated it, so after five years as a teacher I decided to move on.” 

“My dad was not particularly encouraging about me joining the company at first, due to me leaving a well-paid Head of Department post, but I managed to persuade him. I’d been involved in the business most of my life and spent time at Selles during my school holidays when I was younger. I left the teaching job in the July and went to Canada to get some work experience with a couple of removals companies over there. When I came back I spent time out on the vans and going out with the estimator before taking up my role as European co-ordinator at Selles.”  

During the next few years Nicola attended a number of BAR training courses and, partly because of her teaching background, was invited to join the TMI Council, becoming chairman in 2003. 

In 2004 Nicola organised a TMI study tour to South Africa and it was here she worked closely with Andy Pearson and Mark Ratcliffe, who subsequently founded the U-Move Group in 2016. 

Nicola left the moving industry in 2008, shortly before the second of her three children was born, and spent the next nine years working as a full-time mum. 

“Last September, out of the blue I had a call from Andy,” said Nicola. “He asked me if I’d be interested in joining them to help promote and develop the U-Move Group. I’d been away from the industry for nearly ten years and to be honest I did miss it. I agreed to meet Andy and Mark a couple of weeks later to discuss things, and here I am!”  

The U-Move Group comprises five separate businesses, but Nicola will be concentrating on developing the Group’s UK Moving Group and the MGI: the training arm of the organisation. 

“I’m looking forward to being back in the moving business and helping Andy and Mark grow their new organisation,” said Nicola. “It will also be nice to meet some of my old friends in the industry and to help U-Move Group UK and MGI members get the most from their membership.”    

Photos: Top: Nicola Mason; bottom: 
Nicola with her colleagues from U-Move Group at The Movers & Storers Show.

 

 

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