Removals firm receives international honour

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ONLY four HGV drivers in the UK have been awarded a prestigious international diploma for their skills behind the wheel – and they all work for a Brandon removal firm.

The International Road Transport Union’s Diplome d’honneur 2010 was awarded to 1,079 profesional drivers from 29 countries for their excellent driving and safety records.

But Abels in Brandon has the only four drivers in the UK to get the award.

Kevin Baker, Duncan Perry, Tony Frior and Graham Ling all gained the diploma – together they have clocked up more than a century of service at the family firm. They were presented with the award by Stephen Vickers, director general of the British Association of Removers (BAR).

To qualify, the four had to demonstrate exemplary driving records for at least 20 years, 15 of which had to be in international service, covering a minimum of one million kilometres.

Philip Pertoldi, group managing director of Abels, said: “This is a superb achievement. It speaks volumes for the high standards set by our company, and achieved by our employees, that the only four UK recipients of the Diplome d’honneur work for Abels.

“I share Graham, Tony, Kevin and Duncan’s pride in knowing they hold highly prized certificates issued by such a distinguished body as the International Road Transport Union. It is the world’s leading commercial transport organisation.”

Mr Baker had never been out of East Anglia when he joined Abels 23 years ago, but has now driven across Europe and Scandinavia, and was even flown out to Hong Kong to deliver a shipment of antiques. Mr Frior, meanwhile, said his 26-years had seen him help members of the royal family, pop stars and actors move home.

Mr Ling joined the firm in 1979 and as well, as the international diploma, he was given a 30 years of service certificate.

Mr Perry is currently off work fighting cancer. He has served with Abels since 1988.