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Waving goodbye to Mr Manrose

After 36 years working at Reading-based Manrose, Clive Britton has retired as Sales Director heralding the end of an era for the British fan manufacturer.

Affectionately known in the electrical industry as Mr Manrose, Clive Britton is probably the longest serving sales director in the sector. Joining Manrose in 1987 Clive has been sales director through nine Prime Ministers and has seen a sector transformation.

Clive started his sales career in 1976, aged 20 when he joined Lyons Tetley where he worked his way up to Area Manager. In 1987 Clive’s good friend Robert Belcher, whose family was already in the fan business, decided to set up a new company. On 24 December 1987, the company was registered with Clive as company secretary and Manrose was born, with its first production line in Clive’s parents’ garage, staffed by friends, while Clive’s mother fed them all lunch. At the beginning, Manrose started small with only 15 product lines and a couple of variations including a four inch standard, pull cord and timer fan, two shower fans and three window fans. In comparison 35 years later Manrose now has over 3,200 products.

Originally in the background, in 1989 Clive joined Manrose as Sales Manager with a brief to double the company sales from £500,000 to £1m in a year. Clive didn’t only double the turnover he grew the business to £1.3m in just 12 months and Clive was made Sales Director in 1990. By 1996 Manrose was recognised by every electrical buying group in the electrical trade and striking the order pad with £1m turning into £2.5m and then to £6m as the company continued to grow.

Clive Britton said: “Now is the right time for me to go; everything is going really well. We are leaders in transforming our manufacturing from using virgin to recycled plastic. We are in a strong position as a brand leader. I’m very pleased Stuart Eglin is taking over from me as Sales Director. I feel the company is in safe hands, because Manrose is very special. I have seen the company grow from the start, it important to me”.

Clive has enjoyed working in the electrical industry and describes it as very much a people industry. He is looking forward to retirement with his wife Claire and has some trips planned, including visiting Australia this year to visit friends and family. Clive is also keen to keep active and has some hobbies lined up including cycling and golf.

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