We are creators. Everyone at Brompton plays a small part in making these bikes and getting them into the hands of people to ride, find their route and enjoy.
From Andrew Ritchie’s first sketches in 1975, right through to today it’s people that make the products, and people that make us different.
Four decades of hard work (and we’re only just getting started) and so many stories, we hope you’ll indulge us whilst we tell you some of the stories of the varied, unique, and inspiring individuals we are lucky enough to have turned up each day. We are Brompton.
To begin, meet Tina Campbell. One of our longest-standing employees, Tina originally joined Brompton in 1995 as a part-time cleaner, taking over from her mother due to ill health at the age of 16. Tina attempted to leave in 1999 but was persuaded to stay by Andrew Ritchie who offered her a full-time job in the Spare Parts Team (QParts) that she now heads up.
This team play a vital role in getting replacement parts and accessories to your front door and are responsible for a 2,100+ raw parts list.
There are so many different roles within the business, requiring a range of skills and characteristics. Is there anyone you’d switch roles with for the day?
Never really thought of that, but to make you laugh it would be Mr. William Butler Adams.
What is your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure is chocolate [TUT TUT], my favorite being Galaxy. I crave it so much when I get stressed!
Relaxing and unwinding are always important. How do you like to spend your time outside of work?
Doing my garden. I mainly grow different kinds of flowers; I love how they add a splash of color to the garden. I'd love to start growing some fruit and veg but there are too many foxes around, unfortunately.
In your opinion, what makes working at Brompton so special?
It has to be working as a team and getting on with people. Within my team, we all get on so well! They know I’m not too hard on them, so there’s no fear of making mistakes. The team says I’m like a mother sometimes, caring for them and making sure they know I appreciate what they do when I’m pushing them hard at busy times.
Helping people to achieve during training is important too. When new team members have to learn everything about the 2100+ small parts (Q-Parts) on the bike, that are sold as spares, they need to know the difference between our range of bags, handlebars, and even the tiniest screws. Some parts look almost identical!
For those who aren't familiar with what Q-Parts is, how would you best explain it?
The way I always explain it to people is that it’s an inventory of replacement parts and accessories for customers’ bikes. If there’s a fault on a bike or bike accessories that we replace under warranty, the part that arrives at your front door has been picked up and packed by my team.
They need to know everything about the bike and available accessories, right down to the smallest washer or seat post bung… Something that I found quite intimidating at the start of my journey, as I was unfamiliar with bikes at the time. I take a lot of pride in passing on what I know and helping people get their heads around the parts we deal with. Sometimes we handle thousands of parts per day!
We also handle fulfillment of individual part and accessory orders from our website. So, with Christmas coming, we’ve got a very busy period ahead to make sure we keep all our customers happy!
As we release more and more products, we must make sure we keep all our records updated. Each raw part has a unique nominal code that allows us to track stock levels. It can be a challenge, but it is very important to keep the books balanced… It keeps the finance team happy!
What is your most memorable moment in life since joining Brompton?
Becoming a nan for the first time to my beautiful granddaughter Gia.
It sounds like family is a big part of your life. Can you tell us more?
I have 2 boys who are my world. They’re 33 and 24. There’s a 9-year gap because I didn’t want any more kids after the first one haha! But I definitely don’t have any regrets now. Both have good jobs and I’m really proud of them. My eldest is a plumber and my youngest is a window and door fitter. I think they must take after me with their practical skills.
I have a great family who I see very often, some live nearby, some don’t. It’s nice when we all get together as we can’t always catch up that regularly. There’s much to talk about! Family parties and holidays are always great too. I don’t really have a favourite holiday destination though; I enjoy being wherever the family are.
Has there ever been a time where work life and home life have crossed paths?
I’ve had some tough times over the years that my friends and family have helped me get through. I lost my dad to cancer and he was a big part of my life. My friends supported me emotionally and cheered me on in the Race for Life.
Brompton very kindly did a collection for my dad too, in aid for Help for Heroes, as he fought in the war. I always try my best to help people and do good things. Recently I began training to look after people with Dementia, as my mum was sadly diagnosed with the illness.
We've heard you have a flair for quite a few things - can you tell us what they are?
Crafts, decorating, painting, woodwork, gardening... you name it! I love anything practical. I get involved with all the dirty work. Learning new skills is great and the feeling of getting things done on my own is really rewarding.
Tell us a few interesting facts about you?
I’m easy going and get on well with people. This helps me make lots of friends, both in and out of work, who have been my rock.
I have a dog named Sasha, she’s a Staffy who’s very well behaved and loves a good walk… A great way to keep me fit. She’s 11 years old and going grey a bit, like her owner. 😉
I’ve worked for Brompton for 24 years and made some wonderful friends for life. The time has gone so quickly. When people ask me how long I’ve been here, I find myself sitting back and thinking ‘have I really been here this long?!’ I’ve seen people come/go and loved watching the business grow.
I live in Greenford, not far from the factory. I enjoy riding in when the weather is nice and the mornings are bright, but not so much when it’s dark and rainy in Winter. Getting to work is very easy which is always a bonus!
It takes the hard work of every single Brompton staff member to take our little folding bikes from the first sketch to shipping them out our door. To see our whole factory in action, check out our “How a Brompton is made” video. Can you spot Tina?