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Meet the Team

 
     
Nigel Bennett        Nigel Bennett

Nigel has been involved in the family firm all his life. He joined forces with his dad, Hilton, in the early 70s and following his dad’s sudden death in October 1990, Nigel took over the Company, ably assisted by his mum, Dot. He still “leads from the front” and is known to be up at 4 o’clock to dig the channel at Bembridge Harbour. Away from the firm, Nigel has many interests including motorbikes, game and clay pigeon shooting, historic trials car events and is the proud owner of flat-racer, Rum Swizzle. His constant companion is Boss Dog, please see Pet’s Corner
 
     
Jane Bennett   Jane Bennett

Jane joined the Company in 1996, following Dot’s retirement at the age of 70, no pressure then!  With Dot’s guidance, she took-over the day-to-day running of the office and with only seven employees, life was a little less stressful and has worked alongside Nigel to build the company into what it is today.
Jane’s a bit of a Land Rover addict but when not behind the wheel can be found with her horse – a lovely coloured Cob - or keeping Nigel on the right track at historic trials car meetings. When at home Jane is usually found busy in the garden or enjoying a relaxing moment watching Strictly Come Dancing or catching up on the horse racing.


 
     
Jackie Spragg   Jackie Spragg


Jackie has been with the Company since 2011. She very quickly worked her way to the top and is now an important member of the management team.  She is passionate about her home and family and together with her husband, has totally renovated their home – if you stand still too long you will get painted! When not knocking down walls Jackie can be found mucking around in a kayak or out with her dogs. Jackie is also a keen ‘learner’ gardener and rather partial to Monty Don!
 
     
     
Nic McDine   Nic McDine


Nic has been a member of the H.J. Bennett team since 2008 and now is ‘The Keeper of Sage!’  If you have a query on a payment or need a copy invoice Nic will have it sorted in a jiffy. We all love her because not only does she process our payroll but she also looks after our annual leave sheets. When not at work Nic resides at the stables where her 2 miniature Shetlands and a 16hh Clydesdale cross keep her busy - but she still manages to squeeze in a bit of dressage and handbag shopping when she gets a chance.
     
Tony Preston (aka Ant)   Tony Preston (aka Ant)

Ant has been at H.J. Bennett since 2000 and in that time he has become an experienced plant operator. Usually found in one of our excavators but he’s equally at home operating screens and crushers or helping with maintenance of the plant and equipment.  Out of work, Ant uses his mechanical knowledge to restore old Land Rovers and any other bit of machinery he can get his hands on. Although single Ant has his terrier Tyson and 4 cats to keep him company so he won’t be getting lonely.


 
     
 Andy Francis AKA: ‘Franco’  
Andy Francis AKA: ‘Franco’


Franco drives an H.J. Bennett 32 tonne (8 wheeler) and tipper lorry and is also pretty handy with a loading shovel. With us since 2010 he previously worked as an owner operator on the mainland working with CEMEX. His nickname ‘Franco’ is due to his Mediterranean looks and reflects his passion for fishing, the sun, his large family, going out and always being ‘game for a laugh’. In 2014 Franco went on the Norway fishing trip with Phil and Steve; two of his fellow drivers.


 
     
Chris Throp AKA:‘Mr ZZ   Chris Throp AKA:‘Mr ZZ’ (as in ZZ TOP – the beard says it all)


A real family man whose children and grandchildren are the apple of his eye, Chris has been with us since 2004 and drives a 32 tonne (8 wheeler) tipper lorry. Aside from his family (and H.J. Bennett of course) his passions are walking his dog, socialising and an enviable collection of motorbikes. He likes nothing more than touring France on them or watching race events including the Isle of Man TT. Mr ZZ has a twin brother Mike, who also works here.

 
     
 Steve Spragg AKA: ‘Spraggle or Spraggie’  
Steve Spragg AKA: ‘Spraggle or Spraggie’

With H.J. Bennett since 2010, Steve drives a 32 tonne (8 wheeler) tipper lorry but can turn his hand to most things wheeled from our dump truck on Bembridge beach to loading shovels and diggers, even our aggregate screeners. He loves fishing and all things afloat. When he’s not in a boat he can be found floating around in a kayak – trailing a fishing rod. Not surprising when you know that before becoming an HGV driver he worked as a skipper on a deep sea trawler!


 
     
Charlie Taylor  
Charlie Taylor (His real name is Michael)


A bit of a foodie, Charlie joined us in 2012 and drives a 32 tonne (8 wheeler) tipper lorry and like ‘Franco’ is handy with a loading shovel. Aside from H.J. Bennett he likes nothing more than good food and wine. Keen on sport he plays five a side football; golf and kayaks, enjoys music, socialising and spending time with his family. Before H.J. Bennett, Charlie worked for a number of haulage companies and even an insulation company.


 
     
Mike Throp  
Mike Throp AKA: Michelle (Ah, bonjour monsieur!)


Having joined HJ Bennett in 2005 Mike drives one of our 8 wheeler tipper lorries. Mike works almost exclusively to deliver aggregates for IW Aggregates of Cowes. Previously, Mike drove an HGV for a haulage company and a coach before that. Like his brother ‘Mr ZZ’ Mike is rather fond of bikes. He also likes Land Rovers. Also like his brother he tours France on his bike with his family and friends and is into a little French speaking.


 
     
Ron Attrill AKA: ‘Rocket Ronnie’  
Ron Attrill AKA: ‘Rocket Ronnie’

With over 25 years of service, Ron is a real all-rounder and can drive and operate everything we have at H.J. Bennett. At the moment this includes delivering bulk bags and trade packs to builder’s merchants around the Island with our crane lorry. Ron also ran ‘The Thistle’ café in Ventnor with his wife until recently when they retired. He loves the great outdoors and can be seen walking West Highland white terrier Ellie; fishing and spending quality time with his family.


 
     
Ash Bunday AKA: ‘Ash’  
Ash Bunday AKA: ‘Ash’

A relatively new recruit to H.J. Bennett Ash joined us in 2015 to operate the grab and drive one of our 26 tonne (6 wheeler) tipper lorries. Ash followed in his family’s footsteps and worked in the farming industry before joining HJB. Outside of work Ash enjoys spending time with his wife, children and grand-children and is a fan of motor sports and international rugby. He also enjoys being outside listing camping and gardening amongst his interests.

 
     
Chris Hookey AKA: ‘Mr Hook’  
Chris Hookey AKA: ‘Mr Hook’


With us since 2002 Chris used to be a brick layer and still enjoys dabbling with small building projects and tinkering with garden machinery, a talent not lost at H.J. Bennett. He also has a collection of remote control helicopters which he flies when the weather allows. Chris can be seen in one of our 18 tonne (4 wheeler) or 26 tonne (6 wheeler) tipper lorries delivering to domestic customers around the Island.


 
     
Phil Gaile AKA: ‘Phillippe’  
Phil Gaile AKA: ‘Phillippe’

Phil has an artistic flair and is our Poet Lorryeate - he can often be found scribbling down the poems he’s composed as he works, serenading his work mates with songs from the big musicals or walking around Ventnor in a kaftan! Phil joined us in 2011 and drives a 26 tonne tipper lorry, grab lorry and HIAB flatbed lorry. Phil is also a great welder, which comes in handy at H.J. Bennett. His other hobbies include fishing and creating sculptures in his workshop from scrap metal.  



 
     
Tony Buckett   Tony Buckett


Tony B has been with us for since 2007 and is one of our most experienced excavator operators. While usually found in the cab of an excavator, he can drive our lorries or operate our screens and crushers. Tony is another fan of the water and enjoys fishing and boats. He’s also likes to pack up and get away from it all and can often be found exploring with his wife in his camper van.
 
     
Kean Payne   Kean Payne

Kean joined HJB in 2006 and is one of our plant operators. Having spent much of his time at our recycling centre Kean can operate most things from screens and crushers to excavators and loading shovels. Kean’s passion is fast bikes and he’s an avid follower of superbikes and Moto GP. In his previous job he worked at a bike dealers and can usually be found out on his KTM at weekends if weather permits.
 
     
     
     

 


 

Caring for the Island

”No-one is more aware of the impact that construction has on the environment than us and especially this beautiful island on which we have built our reputation and lives.”
Nigel Bennett – H.J. Bennett