After more than 30 years at Cheffins, Bill Pepper, Partner and Head of the Machinery Department, will leave the firm on June 30.
Bill’s first year at Cheffins was in 1987, prior to attending the Royal Agricultural College, before joining the company full time on August 3, 1990, at 24 years of age.
Starting as an assistant chartered surveyor, Mr Pepper went on to join the machinery sales team in 1995 and was later promoted to be the Head of Cheffins’ Machinery Department.
On leaving Cheffins, Bill plans to pursue other projects, including commercial and recreational opportunities on his family’s farm near Royston and to get involved in residential development ventures.
Bill comments: “I have had the most fantastic career at Cheffins, however after being at the firm for my entire working life I have decided that now is the time for a new challenge.
“Whilst it will be incredibly hard to leave Cheffins and my team, I am looking forward to being able to spend more time with my family, work on other projects and hopefully travel the world once restrictions allow.”
Talking about the development of the Cambridge Machinery Sales, he continues: “When I first started all those years ago, the only way to sell machinery was through a weekly publication or via the Cheffins sale ground.
“There were no internet sales, so I could never could have foreseen that we would end up offering online-only auctions as we were forced to throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
“The past 26 years or so at the sale ground has seen Cheffins go from strength to strength to become the leading auctioneer in the second-hand machinery market.
“Throughout that period we have seen the rise and fall of the Fordson Super Major trade to Syria, the influx of Eastern European buyers as borders fell, the devastation of Foot and Mouth, the astonishing Sudanese trade for the older Massey Fergusons, the challenges and opportunities created by Brexit and more recently the havoc caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Throughout all of this, we as a team have stayed strong and adapted, managing to continue to service the second-hand machinery market to the highest standards.
“From standing outside in all weathers selling each lot piece by piece, I have overseen the development of the auction right the way through to the construction of the drive-through building, which was completed in 2016, and most recently the development of the online-only sales during the periods of lockdown.”
The Cheffins Monthly Machinery Sale will now be overseen by Bill King, Chairman, and Oliver Godfrey, Director.
Bill King says: “It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Bill, who has played a crucial role in the development of the Cheffins Machinery Sale, developing it to where it is today.
“Bill has weathered many storms for Cheffins and constantly found ways to expand the auction and drive it forward, ensuring that we stay top of our game in spite of whatever political, social or economic events might be surrounding the agricultural and construction industries.
“We are hugely thankful for his dedication to the firm, and he will be sorely missed by everyone at Cheffins. We wish him all the best for the future.”
He continued: “With both a strong existing team in place and a couple of new recruits, we are confident that the Cheffins Monthly Machinery Sale will be in good hands following Bill’s departure and we will continue to provide an essential service for the second-hand machinery market.”
The Cheffins Monthly Machinery Sale grossed over £7.5 million in the first quarter of 2021.
A truly global business, Cheffins has over 30,000 registered buyers worldwide, with regular sales to Spain, Ireland, Germany, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and Northern Africa.