Paul Talbot – 24 Years at White Light

At WL, one of our proudest

assets is our staff. We pride ourselves on offering our clients a level of

customer service they simply wouldn’t receive anywhere else. We’re fortunate

that a lot of our employees have chosen to stay with the company for a long time;

with one of these being our Quality Manager Paul Talbot. Paul has been with the

company for 24 years now so we thought we’d take this opportunity to sit down

and discuss his time at WL.






When Paul first joined WL, it was December 1995 and he was fresh out of college. He recalls: “I’d completed a micro-electronics course at East Surrey College and really just wanted any sort of job. I’d seen there was a vacancy at WL and went down to meet the company’s Managing Director Bryan (Raven). We got on really well and I soon joined the Operations team which saw me loading vans, doing deliveries etc”. After a few months in Operations, Paul quickly found himself moving around the warehouse: “I soon joined Bench where I was known as the fixer! Basically, due to my background in electronics, I was always been given circuit boards to fix, along with the more difficult wiring. I actually really enjoyed the technical side of things though; so much so that I joined Control where I got to play with as many toys as I wanted!”.












Paul soon found himself

running the Control Department which brought with it a few challenges; although

these were mainly due to WL’s location at the time. Paul explains: “This was

while we were still in the old Filmer Road building in Fulham so every time the

basement flooded (which happened more than it should) it was down to me to get

a group of us together and sort it out! There was also the challenge of pushing

consoles and flight cases down small corridors and over cobbled floors. It was

certainly a character-building experience!”.






Thankfully, WL was expanding

at a rapid rate and would soon move to a much bigger home in nearby Wimbledon.

Due to his role, Paul was in charge of overseeing the set-up of Control in

SW19. Shortly after this, Paul would continue honing his managerial skills as

he became Head of the Rigging and Followspot departments. Following this, he

was then promoted to Warehouse Manager; overseeing everyone who worked in the

vicinity. He comments: “My constant promotions within the company weren’t a

quest for world domination! Instead they were a natural progression. This was

during a time when I didn’t have a partner or any family so I was always the

first one in at 7am and the last one out at 9pm. They were long, long days but

I did genuinely enjoy them and the increased responsibility”.






Once in Wimbledon, the company continued to grow, now employing five times the staff compared to when Paul first started. As such, he worked with his team of supervisors to help oversee the growing workforce. It was also during this time that Paul’s personal life dramatically changed and the long hours he used to embrace were no longer a possibility. He explains: “My son was born in 2006 with Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy which meant he needed constant care. Funnily enough, I didn’t go part time straight away – I just had to finish on time! It was strange as finishing at 5pm for me was like doing a half day!”.












Since then, Paul has continued working in managerial roles throughout the company and for the past couple of years has worked as WL’s Quality Manager. He explains: “My role is exactly how it sounds: ensuring that, as a company, we maintain ‘quality’ and that everything leaves our facilities as it should. I’ve also put in procedures and systems that are bespoke to WL. As someone who’s been here for quite a long time now, I’m in the fortunate position of knowing what works best for our customers and how we’re able to give them the best service possible”.






As Paul has been at WL for

almost a quarter of a century, it seems only right to ask what the biggest

changes have been during this time. However, Paul wants to actually talk about

what’s stayed consistent: “What I love about working at WL, and perhaps the

biggest reason I’ve stayed, is the people. During my time here, we’ve gone from

a company of 25 to 250 yet it’s still retained its family feel and everyone is

so friendly and just wants to do the best job possible. Personally, I’ve also

made some great friends here, including Andy Cullen, Neil Adamson, Andy Johnson

and many more, and think of the company as my extended family – which not a lot

of people can say about the place they work”.






We’d like to take this

opportunity to thank Paul for his service to WL and the integral role he’s

played in the company’s growth. Here’s to the next 24 years!




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