From over 3,000 entries, local Essex plumber Paul Martin has been named as a finalist in a national competition organised by trade retailer Screwfix – and is now battling it out with nine other finalists from across the country to take home the national title and a brand new van.
Paul, 35 from Outwood Common Road, Billericay, has become renowned among his customers for delivering superior service and using only the best quality parts. Paul insists on using only a few brands of boilers so his customers are getting products which he knows to be reliable and durable.
Paul has encountered a few unusual situations whilst working and no more so than when he had to rush an elderly customer to hospital. Despite Paul’s quick thinking saving the lady’s life Paul was given a parking fine as an added bonus.
Paul said: “I opened the door and noticed the woman’s lips were blue! I called NHS Direct who told me she needed to go to hospital but the ambulance control room told me that it would take a while, so I decided to drive her myself.
“After I took her in, I came back out of the hospital and saw I had a £100 parking ticket for my trouble! But it was worth it to save the woman’s life.”
Concerned Paul even made a trip back two weeks later to pick up his customer and take her back home.
Paul added: “With so many entries to the competition, even making the final of Britain’s Top Tradesman is an honour. I’m just crossing my fingers that I impressed the judges!”
Paul, whose company is called Precision Gas and Plumbing, is now hoping to be crowned Britain’s Top Tradesman 2011 – and win a brand new van manufactured by Ford.
John Mewett, Marketing Director at Screwfix, said: “At Screwfix we meet hundreds of tradesmen every day in our trade counters and we understand how hard they work and the efforts they go to in order to get the job done to the highest standard, so it is great to be able to highlight the good work that is being done up and down the country with Britain’s Top Tradesman.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the response and have enjoyed hearing some impressive stories of exceptional workmanship and great customer service along the way. Paul and all our finalists have demonstrated their willingness to go the extra mile to get the job done and it’s certainly no easy task to pick the winner.”
Paul was invited to Silverstone racecourse to meet the judging panel at the finalists’ day and was treated to a tour of the iconic race track.
The judging panel, which includes representatives from Screwfix, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering (CIPHE) and the electrical trade body NICEIC will be announcing the national winner later in June.