Stannah 150 Staff Portraits – Colin Payne

It is 150 years since Joseph Stannah founded the company in the London docks and today Stannah employ over 1700 people. Like our founder Joseph Stannah, we recognise the importance of our staff, many of whom have a record of long service with Stannah.

Colin Payne joined Stannah 26 years ago on the recommendation of a friend, Mike Wells

Colin explains:

“Mike and I both worked for Otis in London and I relocated to work for them in Canada. When the contract ended I returned to the UK and my good friend, and colleague, Mike Wells, kindly met me from the airport. I asked him where he was working and he said ‘Stannah’ – I’ll tell them about you. I had a meeting with Peter Perry who was the Branch Manager at the Vauxhall Branch in London – and the rest is history."

Colin began work for Stannah as a Service Engineer, moving on to a Salesman for Lift Services, then a Sales Manager and later Branch Manager at Dartford before arriving at his current position as National Sales Manager.

Are there some really special moments or projects you look back on with pride?

“There are two different trains of thought here. I am very proud of the growth at the Dartford branch and I love seeing young people I’ve taken on in the past progress their industry knowledge and careers. Then there are the projects I’ve been involved with over the years. Cornwall Terrace lifts into some of the highest-end housing in London, managing the lifts relied upon during the 2012 London Olympics, without incident – that was quite an achievement."

What is the biggest misconception you have come across in the industry when you are proposing Stannah for a project?

“It’s back to Cornwall Terrace and possibly one of those pivotal moments in the company’s credibility in the commercial sector. I attended a meeting with the developer, contractor and architect and was introduced as the possible lift contractor to install bespoke lifts into £50M London properties. Stannah? Oh no, was the resounding response from the room. They make stairlifts. That’s just not possible. But they listened and eventually said they would consider us but definitely, definitely not put our name on the lifts – it just didn’t fit. We got the job and our name is in all eight passenger lifts in this £350M regeneration project. Stairlifts is just the start of our capability"

So after 26 years with Stannah what still excites you about the business?

“I really enjoy my job and the people within Stannah. It’s an exciting place to work. No two days are ever the same, but they are all interesting. At the moment the challenge of building a sales team and exploring opportunities for new business is never dull. It’s great to see the business growing into new products and market areas.”

Colin says the people at Stannah and the way the company treats you as family is why he has stayed for so long. He advises new recruits to apply themselves, seek support and guidance and show you have aptitude. Stannah will offer great career prospects if you do all of the above.

Colin currently works out of the National Sales Team office in Dartford and is responsible for the management of all Lift Services sales people in eleven branches across the UK.