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A great man remembered... In January we lost our figurehead; the man who gave us CEF. Tom Mackie, who was 89, used his incredible drive and determination to create a company that many of us are proud to say we are part of. From modest beginnings with a single outlet opened in Coventry in 1951, City Electrical Factors forged ahead through some very hard times. Tom’s commitment to make CEF the UK’s leading electrical wholesale network never weakened. The company now commands respect from all areas of UK industry.

Thomas Louis Mackie




June 3, 1922 - January 6, 2012




Staff Focus


Without CEF, many people within the company would not have had the opportunities, security and benefits they now enjoy, and will continue to enjoy, for many years to come A memorial lunch was held to celebrate Tom’s life. It was testament to this great man that hundreds of people came to pay their respects. Many of them had been with CEF since the early days and spoke with great fondness of the hurdles they had to overcome, and the sleepless nights endured to shape and form CEF to be one of the most unique, secure and respected companies in the world. continued overleaf...


Product Innovation


National Events

The Power To Supply...

Welcome... our first issue of


Another great year with fresh exciting times ahead!



We have just enjoyed the second best year in the history of CEF which is an incredible achievement considering the current economic situation. With 127 of our 393 branches throughout the UK recording record results, this clearly reflects the hard work and positivity the branch teams have strived for, thus making CEF one of the best performing and stable electrical wholesalers in the UK.

The lunch gave everyone the opportunity to look back on Tom’s life, giving an insight into how he successfully built the business. Albeit an emotional day, it was a chance to recognise Tom’s astonishing achievements, reflecting on his wit and one-liners, and to truly appreciate his dedication and loyalty to continue the growth of CEF, not only for his family, but for everyone within the company.

A change in the structure of the company this year has presented fantastic new opportunities for many employees to progress within CEF. With the appointment of three new General Managers, CEF can look forward to fresh ideas and a new outlook for an exciting and secure future.

Mark Braden Bournemouth Group Manager

We can all really look forward to this year and the years to come knowing that CEF is well and truly in safe hands.

Thank you for your continued loyalty and all of your hard work. Thomas H. Mackie.

Contact us...

We want to hear from you! If you have a story that you would like to feature in the next issue of TheWire, please send it, along with any supporting photographs to: Mel Eden, 1 Station Road, Kenilworth, Warwickshire CV8 1JJ or email:

We’re also giving away an iPad to whoever submits the best article for our next edition, so don’t miss your chance to




Thomas Louis Mackie, pictured with his wife Georgina.

Tom’s legacy will continue through his grandson Thomas, who has already shown that he will maintain and promote the true core values that his grandfather initiated all those years ago. CEF; stability, security, trust, knowledge and a desire to do things right. The future begins now. Thanks for everything Tom. You’ll be sadly missed. Tom Mackie. June 3rd 1922 - January 6th 2012.


AUF WEIDERSEHEN DEUTSCHLAND After 6 years working in Germany, Mark is delighted to be back in the UK working for CEF UK again. He went out to Munich as Group Manager in June 2006 and after two years moved to the Black Forest region to combine the Rastatt and Karlsruhe Groups to make one large Group. Mark managed the new Karlsruhe Group until the end of March this year before deciding it was the right time to return to the UK. During his early days in Germany, Mark said it was immediately apparent that some of the CEF

philosophy was missing, as were the In-House operations. As a Branch Manager in the UK, Mark was always a big In-House supporter and didn’t realise how much he relied upon our exclusive brands until he didn’t have them anymore. He said German suppliers had a great deal of control over our customers, our market and ultimately our profitability. After working for CEF in the UK, it was difficult to adapt to being part of a small company in a huge market with no In-House support.

Mark said “it’s wonderful to be back. The UK’s extensive Branch network, National Accounts and fantastic In-House operations, all of which are the envy of our competition, are a joy to have once again.” Mark is really excited to have the opportunity to manage the Bournemouth Group with superb teams in all of the branches. He is incredibly happy to be back in the UK with CEF and its Senior Management and is looking forward to help strengthen business in the South of England.

Paul Chivers Reading Group Manager After almost 6 years away from the UK, working for CEF in Germany, Paul is very excited about the opportunity given to him to come back to the UK as the Group Manager of Reading. Paul left his role as CEF Aldridge Branch Manager to join CEF Germany in November 2007, working firstly as Group Manager for Hamburg and then Munich. In April of this year Paul felt it was the right time and also correct to return

to the UK and accepted the position of Reading Group Manager. Since his return to the UK, the one question he has been asked the most is… ”what did you miss the most about the UK?” Most people expected him to say something about missing certain foods or drinks, but no, his answer was everything but most of all “In-House”. Paul said there were many times he could have done with the back-up from Tamlite, Tamlex, Doncaster

Trevor Jennings Newcastle Group Manager We are pleased to announce that Trevor Jennings is now the Newcastle Group Manager. Trevor joined CEF in 1978 as the Van Driver for Blyth Branch. During his 34 years with CEF he has enjoyed working at Wallsend, Newcastle and Blyth.

Trevor has worked his way through most positions including Sales Assisitant, Stores Manager, Sales Rep and Branch Manager. He has enjoyed being No.1 Sales Rep whilst at Blyth Branch and was consequently promoted to the Branch Manager and is now looking forward to his latest challenge in this new role.

Cables, Cefco or Proteus. He realised just how important it is to have your own In-House suppliers offering the support and products and prices that other suppliers simply cannot offer and how much of an advantage they give you within such a competitive market. Paul said he is really looking forward to the challenges ahead in his new position, back with the company that has given him and many others so much over many years.




Gordon Ward, who was the Anglia Divisional Accountant has retired from the company after 40 years service. Gordon joined as a Purchase Ledger Manager in April 1972 & quickly progressed to become the Accountant in 1976, firstly at Ireland Division then at Pennine Division before taking over at Anglia in 1979.

Account Manager

Gordon has been a very loyal employee and a real character who will be sorely missed, not just for his accounting abilities but also for his wit and dry sense of humour. We thank Gordon for his hard work during his 40 years at CEF and wish him a very happy and long retirement.


WELL DONE Congratulations to Andrew Edwards of Redruth Branch who has won ‘Torquay Group Account Manager of the Year’.

YOU CAN’T BUY EXPERIENCE! April 2012 saw the 25th anniversary of Neil Mantovani’s employment with Cefco. True to the CEF ethos Neil started his career in the stores, progressing through the sales office until finding his vocation in the buying department. Neil heads up a team of four people, with an annual purchasing budget of around £13 million, comprising of products which are sourced from the UK, Europe, Asia and around the world. The knowledge that Neil has amassed during his 25 years of service cannot be bought or accrued overnight.

SPIDER-MAN! ...OR BARRY WHITE? Steve Poulson, Peterborough Group Office Manager, whilst at the old CEF Kettering Branch, based at Sydney Street, there was a problem with the space where the fuses were stored; there were often HUGE spiders in the stock boxes. Steve or ‘Polly’ HATES spiders and every time a customer on the trade counter requested fuses; Polly’s co-workers said that the customer had specifically asked for him. After dealing with such customers (and spiders), Polly was a nervous wreck.

Andrew joined City Electrical Factors in Nov 2009 as a Stores Assistant and was promoted 2 years later to Account Manager after a brief spell at Newquay branch. We all congratulate Andrew on this excellent achievement! Andrew Edwards, pictured with his Award.

After Steve had an operation on his voice box, he thought he sounded like Barry White?? ...more like Jimmy White!

A job well done!

Our Fundraisers... From John O’Groats

to Land’s End... Sarah Croston who is the Accounts Clerk for the Electrical Waste Recycling Group based in Kenilworth, recently completed a 12 mile walk from Warwick Race Course to Coventry Cathedral on 17th June.

25 years is a healthy deposit in the bank of experience, making Neil a valuable asset to Cefco and CEF customers alike.

To the


Well done to Dan Battin, delivery driver at Kingsbridge branch. He has won an inter-group competition to sell the most amount of Rescue Tape in the month of May. Despite being on the van and serving on the counter, he has out-sold every other Stores Assistant and some Account Managers!



Sonia Graham is coming up to her 25th Anniversary with CEF Bodmin!

Sponsorship proceeds to go to UHCW Baby Care Appeal. CEF were also pleased to donate £500 towards Sarah’s chosen charity. Well done Sarah! On the 15th June 2012 Aaron Vowles and eight teammates cycled 1000 miles through the length of Britain from John o’ Groats to Land’s End in just 13 days, averaging over 75 Miles per day, hoping to raise as much money as possible for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.

She started work at CEF Bodmin on 21st September 1987 employed to do clerical work. At the time Bodmin branch had 2 sub branches St Austell and Launceston and Sonia did the paperwork for all 3 branches.

All donations were greatly appreciated. CEF were proud to donate to £500 to this worthwhile cause. If you would like to help support this worthwhile charity please visit our sponsorship page:

Sonia soon started serving on the trade counter and that is where she has worked ever since. She is known by all the customers as the “Oracle” and if they need to know something it is straight to Sonia they go! Congratulations Sonia!

Dan is pictured above with Robert Sheppard, Torquay Group Manager, receiving his prize of an Adidas sports watch. Well done to Dan!




SPOTLIGHT Graypaul Ferrari Graypaul, Nottingham

The full range of Tamlite’s products and design experience were used in the refurbishment of the

Graypaul Ferrari dealership in Nottingham. All areas of this prestigious facility were carefully designed

and products were specially selected for their


quality and performance. The latest lamp and gear technology was used in an effort to keep energy costs down without any compromise on general illumination levels. The workshop areas required a critical level of lighting as Graypaul looked to

Graypaul Ferrari

maintain their high standard of workmanship. Tamlite selected the Cyclone vapour proof fixture for the main part of the workshop lighting, thereby


offering a robust, quality solution.

01 Cyclone

Graypaul, Nottingham

IP65 weatherproof fluorescent T8 luminaire

01 01

02 Trem Lay in recessed module

02 02


Automotive Applications






IP65 weatherproof fluorescent T8 luminaire

Lay in recessed module


The full range of Tamlite’s products and design experience were used in the refurbishment of the Graypaul Ferrari dealership in Nottingham. All areas of this prestigious facility 01 designed and were carefully products were specially selected for their quality and performance. The latest lamp and gear technology was used in an effort to keep energy costs down without

any compromise on general illumination levels. The workshop areas required a critical level of lighting as Graypaul looked to maintain their high standard of workmanship. Tamlite selected the Cyclone vapour proof fixture for the main part of the workshop lighting, thereby offering a robust, quality solution.

Web tamlite.c

Tamlite transport MAKING THE RIGHT MOVES... Tamlite Lighting’s extensive delivery vehicle fleet of 12 lorries has been substantially updated in one fell swoop with a £300,000 list investment in a half dozen brand new trucks from industry leading manufacturer Iveco. The decision to purchase 3 each 7 tonne and 18 tonne models simultaneously

was motivated by several reasons, primary amongst them being the desire for environmentally friendly low emissions, high fuel economy, and the reliability of modern technology to ensure best delivery service to our customers across the length and breadth of the UK. Use of our own commercial vehicles means that we can

ensure the safe transit of sometimes delicate lighting equipment, with pinpoint timing on date and hour of delivery through state of the art satellite tracking systems installed in every one and closely monitored back at base with the relevant factories of Tamlite Battens&TREMs, Tamlite XLP, Tamlite Modular, and Tamlite Hilux.

The Tamlite Fleet, based in Redditch.



TheWIRE Stratstone BMW Hull, North Humberside

Stratstone BMW Hull, North Humberside

01 01

Newly refurbished executive car showroom in Hull chose Tamlite Newly refurbished executive car showroom in Hull Lighting Refractor Lux luminaires with decorative gear housing for chose Tamlite Lighting Refractor Lux luminaires the main showroom lighting. GIH floodlights were also used on with decorative gear housing for the main Showroom lighting. GIH floodlights were also used part of the exterior. on part of the exterior. 01


GIH Floodlight

GIH Floodlight

02 02

Large area floodlight

02 Refractor Lux luminaire Refractor-lux High bay

Large Area Floodlight


Refractor Lux luminaire 6

Automotive Applications


Refractor Lux High Bay


02 02

Livingston, Scotland 01

Excel 01

Recessed T5 module



BSkyB Livingston, Scotland

BSkyB continue to consider the environment and their own carbon footprint during their recent refurbishment of their new Livingston offices. Careful consideration to all electrical loadings

01 01

was given which assisted in the selection of High Frequency Tamlite Lighting products. These products not only offered a reduction in energy costs compared to conventional switch start

Recessed compact fluorescent downlight

gear and but also optimum performance to keep product loadings and luminaire quantities to a minimum. Compact fluorescent and the latest


T5 lamp technology ensured maximum impact in

BSkyB continue to consider the environment and their own carbon footprint during their recent refurbishment of the new Livingston offices. Careful consideration was given to all electrical loadings which assisted in the selection of High Frequency Tamlite Lighting products. These products not only offered a reduction in energy costs compared to

terms of performance and aesthetics without the

of the environment. BSkyB is aensured carbon conventional switch compromise start gear but also neutral company. optimum performance to keep product loadings and luminaire quantities 01 to a minimum. Compact Excel fluorescent and the latest T5 lamp technology ensured maximum impact in terms of performance 02 compromise to the and aesthetics without Ultra environment. BSkyB is a carbon neutral company. Recessed T5 module

Recessed compact

fluorescent downlight







Skipton Building Society is the UK’s fourth largest building society. Founded in 1853, Skipton Building Society enjoys a national presence represented by over 100 branches from Aberdeen to Plymouth, with over 760,000 members.

Their Head Office is undergoing an LED lamp transformation with Fusion LED energy saving tubes and 2D lamps. The Hub (The central administration area) is completed and the main office plus some maintenance corridors are undergoing a gradual changeover.



The new Fusion Lamps Showroom is now complete and ready for business. After a total refurbishment the showroom is now an impressive 17.5 metres long and 5.5 metres wide.



With a floor to ceiling graphic running the whole length of one wall and fitted out with latest LED tubes and LED spotlights, it really is the best place to see Fusion products in-situ.





Lutterworth branch have been working closely with one of their customers and when they announced that they were moving to larger premises, it was the ideal opportunity for the team at Lutterworth branch to swing into action and take control of the lighting design.

Energy saving was the key and the whole unit was fitted out entirely with LED. The offices, reception, toilets and kitchen had 600x600 LED panels fitted into the suspended ceiling whilst the workshops and warehouse had a mixture of LED High Bay and Low Bay. Every area has been fitted with occupancy sensors as these are ideal for switching off lights when the space is not being used.

For a small company the investment of over £10,000 seemed a lot but they were looking at the bigger picture and worked out that this investment would be paid back in a mere 13 months. Mitchelwest say their office space has lighting that now replicates natural daylight whilst the workshops are lit to the highest standard.

They are more than happy with the end results, as were Lutterworth with the sale, and a double benefit was that it was all supplied by Cefco. This project is part of the ongoing drive by CEF Lutterworth to sell LED. It is a high value product that can add many benefits to our customers and strengthen our position as the wholesaler that can offer it all.



When asked to offer an aesthetically pleasing, energy efficient lighting solution for the harbour in Folkestone, Deluce lighting stepped up to the plate.

The lighting solution for this project incorporated the “Protector” range of 10 watt LED floodlights, opting for a mix of blue and cool white light to create the desired ambience. The utilisation of LED technology

provided maximum impact with minimal power consumption, plus the 50,000 hours life expectancy provided reduced maintenance costs. A tick in every box ! Products used: LED 10W Slimline Floodlights - Cool White & Blue.

80 x 10W LED Slimline Blue and Cool White Floodlights to light up Folkestone Harbour?

... just 800W! that’s impressive!








CEF are proud to announce that we have a new branch being developed in the centre of Birmingham. The existing Birmingham branch is being moved and will be renamed ‘Birmingham Central’ to reflect its new central location just minutes from the Bullring Shopping Centre and the many business in the very centre of Birmingham.

As well as a wide stock of the ‘usual’ electrical items, the branch will be specialising in, and holding, a wide range of lamps, lighting accessories and luminaries to meet the needs of facilities managers and maintenance companies operating at the many offices, retail and leisure venues in the city centre. The new branch will be positioned on one of the main routes into the city centre just off the A4100 Digbeth High Street at the prominent Bullring Trading Estate.

The Bullring Shopping Centre, Birmingham.



A fantastic day was enjoyed by a long-standing Lichfield customer, Mr. Rob Harris, a director of Astral Fire. He was accompanied by the Manager of CEF Hinckley Group, Richard Whitehurst, and by Steve Derry, Lichfield Account Manager. They visited RAF Coningsby on the 24th May 2012 where they enjoyed an exclusive tour of the hanger which housed several World War II Spitfires, a Dakota DC3 and a Lancaster Bomber. They also had a close view of the Typhoon (Eurofighter) and chatted with one of its pilots.



The Royal Air Force Battle of Britain Memorial exists to commemorate the personal of the Royal Air Force who served their country in conflict, particularly during World War II, and especially those who gave their lives for the freedom of others. They were able to see the oldest airworthy Spitfire in the world and the only Spitfire still flying which actually fought in the Battle of Britain, believed to be the 14th of 11,989 Spitfires built at the Castle Bromwich Factory in Birmingham. A thoroughly enjoyable day was enjoyed by Richard, Rob and Steve and the weather was extremely kind to them that day too!

RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire


ARBROATH CHANGES Due to management changes in other branches , a new management team is now in place in Arbroath.

Phil Copland has taken over as Branch Manager having been Stores Manager there for 10 years. Bobby Day comes in as the new Stores Manager. He was previously at the Dundee branch where he also served 10 years. The other guys in the team are Sales Assistants Peter Copland (he’s been there for 6 years), and Elliot Campbell (there for 3 years.). Last, but by no means least, is Van Driver Bill Blissett...he’s been at the branch for as long as anyone can remember!

CEF Arbroath Branch

As companies strive for energy saving solutions we are currently working on a few lighting projects with A.G Barr (The IRN-BRU Company). The first design scheme for their Walthamstow factory has just been accepted. The schemes include the high efficency Hilux and T5 NCF fittings along with Vision daylight/PIR sensors and digital dimming in some areas. A.G. Barr are also looking into having solar panels fitted when they replace the roof on their Forfar factory. CEF Arbroath has submitted a quote.






Coventry Branch has over 80 years of experience from its 6 members of staff.

Dave Savage started with Coventry Branch in October 2004 as the Van Driver and is still there doing a sterling job to this day.

The new CEF Barry Branch

Barry branch was opened by the Branch Manager Glyn Williams, Stores Manager Luke Powditch and Stores Assistant/Van driver Darren Pike on the 21st November 2011.

Barry is an area with a population of 48,000, home to Barry Island and of course Gavin & Stacey!

Located just off the main artery road in to Barry and next to Screwfix the team have really built the business from scratch and are now into their seventh full trading month averaging £35-40k sales per month at present. The branch broke even in the first trading month of the new year which is a fantastic achievement for a new branch.

Jim Read started at Coventry Branch back in 1980 as the van driver. He then got promoted to Stores Manager at Hinckley Branch and five years later became the Account Manager at Hinckley Branch. Jim then got the chance to go to Coventry Branch as the Account Manager. He decided to leave the company for 2 years but realised he had missed it too much to stay away so returned back to Coventry Branch!

The young team are proactively driving the branch forwards and we are hopeful of posting a reasonable profit this year!

Paul Coleman & his team at CEF Coventry

Paul Coleman, the Branch Manager, started at Northampton Branch as a van driver in 1990. He was then promoted to Stores Manager at Daventry Branch in February 1996, and by August he was the Account Manager at Bedford Branch where he stayed for 7 years until he took the Branch Manager’s Job at Coventry Branch. Simon Shiers started at Coventry North working in the stores in May 2003. He then went out as an Account Manager for Coventry North and Rugby Branch. His hard work has earned him the role of the Stores Manager at Coventry Branch.

Chris Beesley has worked in the electrical industry since 1996 but it took him 13 years to find his true home which was CEF Coventry Branch in August 2009 as the Branch Account Manager. His experience has been invaluable to Coventry Branch and he is a large part of their success. Andrew Lomas started with the company in May 1998 at Warwick Branch as a stores assistant and in only 2 years became the Stores Manager at Coventry North Branch. He has now been given the opportunity to become the 2nd Account Manager at Coventry Branch. The newest member to join is Andi Watts who has been working in the electrical industry for over 8 years.





National EVENTS The Kent County Show

Around 80,000 people attend the Kent County Show every year from all walks of life. This is why Maidstone North and Sittingbourne Branch are deep in preparation for this years event. This will be the fourth year they have attended the show. In the past they have discovered several new accounts and generated good sales over the 3 days. Milwaulkee will be heavily involved with the event as are Challenger, AVS, STE, CK Tools, Action Can, Tamlite, Snickers and Cefco Lamps.

CEF Stall at the Kent County Show.

Why not come along, visit: for more information - we are Stand 44!

Don’t miss out on this great event! Visit for more information! TheWIRE



Doncaster Group


Wednesday 16th May saw Cefco open its doors to local CEF customers to demonstrate the products, services and support available to every branch. Over fifty end customers visited the in-house distribution centre in Doncaster to discuss new innovations, energy saving solutions, labour saving tools, and view the 63,000 square feet of distribution space. The culmination of the day was satisfied customers, armed with the increased re-assurance that CEF is at the forefront of electrical distribution, offering “the power to supply” in all of the industry’s current marketplaces.

Cefco Main Distribution Centre, Doncaster.





Manchester Utd legends Ray Wilkins & Denis Irwin square up against wholesaling legend Mark Rasbuary! CEF South Wales Group Manager Mark Rasbuary recently played in a charity football match against Manchester United Legends for Daventry Town FC which raised £25,000 for various charities.

CEF North London and South West Regions are having a fivea-side football tournament on the 6th July in Cardiff at the Gol Centre. The event is being organised by Mark and squads of 7 staff per Group will be

competing for the inaugural NL&SW Premier League title.... followed by a few quiet drinks in Cardiff of course to toast the winners! We all wish everyone involved the best of luck!

Mark Rasbuary in action against Manchester Utd. legend Ray Wilkins



The Chapelfield Under 9’s, sporting the new Fusion-sponsored strip.

Thanks to Nigel Hall and Chris Hitchen for their support.

After being let down by their anticipated sponsor just prior to the start of the 2011/2012 season, Chapelfield Colts Under 9’s were delighted when Fusion Lamps stepped in to cover the cost of their new strip.

The team whose Assistant Manager is Mark Eden, Accountant for A & C Inhouse Divisions, play in Division B of the John Bryan Minor League in Coventry and finished the season in 6th place.

Competition Competition Competition Competition Competition Competition Competition Competition Competition Competition Competition


SPOT THE DIFFERENCE... We’re giving away £50 worth of Marks & Spencer vouchers... here’s your chance to WIN!

Simply circle as many differences between the two photographs below, taken at Doncaster Superbowl - it’s that easy!

£50 Gift voucher


To enter, simply fill in your details on the form below and return to: CEF - The WIRE Competition, Mel Eden, 1 Station Road, Kenilworth, Warwickshire CV8 1JJ




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