At the 2010 National Conference, held last month in York, Derek Bostock became the new FMB National President.
Taking over from Ron Storer, Derek will hold this post for two years and he will be supported by two Vice-Presidents, Jim Gilmour (FMB Scotland) and Neal Etchells (FMB London).
Many members will know Derek as he joined the FMB almost 30 years ago, and during his term of office he will endeavour to meet as many more members as possible. Master Builder’s Nicky Rogers spoke to Derek at the end of the summer to find out how he intends to approach this vitally important role and what his plans are for the next two years.
Derek was born in April 1944 in Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire. He was educated at Queen Elizabeth Boys’ Grammar School in Mansfield and went on to further education at the North Nottinghamshire College, where he attained his Ordinary National Certificate and Higher National Certificate in Building, and a City and Guilds Certificate in Quantity Surveying.
In 1961 he began his career in construction by working for J Searson Ltd of Sutton in Ashfield as a trainee quantity surveyor, eventually becoming an Assistant Director.
Twenty years later in 1981, Derek established his own building company which ran successfully until the recession of the late 1990s. In 2003 he moved to North Lincolnshire and set up HBC Building Management Ltd, a company specialising in estimating and quantity surveying for builders and civil engineering contractors throughout the Yorkshire and Humberside area.
Nicky asked Derek to explain a bit more about his choice of career, he said: “When I left school, I was offered three jobs, something that probably doesn’t happen now – I could have been a lab technician for the National Coal Board, an engineering apprenticeship with a tool making company, or become a trainee quantity surveyor with a local building company. I decided on the latter, because it involved working indoors and outdoors, and because some of the relations on my father’s side had links with the building industry.
“It turned out to be the perfect choice, because I have enjoyed every minute of every day, and I have worked in so many different places from hospitals, through private houses to refineries and even a rocket firing range!”
JOINING THE FMB
Derek’s FMB history began in 1981 when he joined the Nottinghamshire and District Branch. He became Branch Secretary and by 1984 he was the Branch President eventually becoming Regional President in 1993. Following his move to North Lincolnshire, Derek transferred to the Grimsby and District Branch, and became the Branch President in 2002.
Derek was elected as an FMB National Councillor in 1990 and sat on the Contracting and House building Working Party. He has spent the last three years as a National Vice President, and the last two years as Chairman of both National Council, and National Management Committee, becoming the first Chairman of the Managing Board. He was elected as National President on 10 September this year.
Derek married Susie in November 2004 and they now live in the village of Barrow Upon Humber in North Lincolnshire. In the past, Derek enjoyed cycling, cross country running and high jumping and now is a passionate golfer. He is a member and a trustee of Immingham Golf Club, as well as secretary of the FMB Yorkshire and Trent Golf Society, he particularly enjoys competing in the golf tournament at the National Conference, having won it on several occasions. He also enjoys travelling, and playing dominoes for his local pub team.
PREPARATION FOR PRESIDENCY
Derek’s main aim while he is FMB National President will be to look after the needs of the Federation members to the best of his ability and to make sure that the Federation is recognised as the voice of the construction industry.
So Nicky asked Derek to tell her how he was preparing for the next two years, he said: “My time as Vice President has given me a pretty good indication of what I might expect but the next two years will no doubt be difficult, as I will have to juggle my business with my FMB duties, and I will have to work while I’m away from my desk, to make sure that I keep to deadlines for tenders for my clients, but they will be met. I am very excited at the thought of being President, and I know that Susie is too, we are both looking forward to meeting many new acquaintances and friends over the next couple of years.
Talking of Mrs Bostock, Nicky asked how she felt about the next two very busy couple of years. Derek said: “Susie was born and raised in Glasgow, working most of her life for Rolls Royce, until she moved to Lincolnshire about 20 years ago. I first met her after she had suffered water damage to her home from a burst pipe, whilst away, and I went to price the work for a local contractor. She enjoys socialising, and will happily walk into a room full of strangers, and within a short time will have made her way around the majority of them. We are both excited about meeting as many members as we can and visiting places within the UK that we haven’t visited before.
NATIONAL PRESIDENT’S THEME
Each FMB National President adopts a ‘theme’ for the duration of the term of office, Ron Storer supported the FMB ‘Survive and Thrive’ theme and before him, Geoff Lister gave his support to apprentices in the industry. Nicky asked Derek what his theme was going to be while he is National President. He said: “Firstly I will do everything possible to look after the needs and aspirations of members, to make sure that they belong to the best construction federation in the UK, and despite the current difficulties facing the industry, make sure that when we finally do emerge we will be a stronger and better organisation that every member can benefit from.
“Secondly, I feel that there is a need for an umbrella organisation led by the FMB along with other organisations allied to the construction industry, who can work together sharing resources and expertise and become the voice of the whole of the industry, rather than smaller, individual federations all doing their own thing. I believe that this will help reduce the financial burdens placed on each one, so that they will have the resources to carry out important tasks, which sometimes, because of lack of finance, are put to one side."
“I will be working alongside the National Team towards this goal during my first year in office, but I know that it will take time and be the subject of many discussions over the next couple of years."
MESSAGE TO MEMBERS
Nicky asked Derek how he would encourage members to remain confident when by all accounts we could be heading for a double dip in this recession. Derek responded by saying: “We have been through recessions in the past and survived them, there will always be a need for construction, so my advice to members would be to trim their business accordingly to help them survive whatever is thrown at them, and have confidence that the FMB is continuing to help them wherever possible.”
Derek added: “The best piece of advice I was given that I’d also like to pass on to members is to keep a very close eye on outgoings, make sure that you monitor any variations and inform your clients of any additional costs or savings at an early stage. In other words - be professional in all aspects of your business."
“Susie and I pledge our total commitment to the FMB, and look forward to meeting many more of the family that make up this great federation in the forthcoming months at the various events that are already beginning to fill my diary."
“We both wish every member great success during the remainder of 2010 followed by an even more successful 2011."