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National Lifetime Achievement Award for Bowker BMW Service Engineer

A Preston-based BMW service engineer has become the first technician in England to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from BMW UK.

Last year Harold Bowden, who works at Bowker BMW in Preston, became the first technician in the UK to retain BMW Master Technician status five times in succession.

Harold’s unique achievement was recognised at a presentation by Graeme Grieve BMW UK CEO. Steve Nash CEO Institute of the Motor Industry and motoring celebrity Tiff Needell were also in attendance.

Lifetime Achievement Award-winner Harold Bowden said: “It was a huge surprise to receive the award. I was very grateful. Especially with it being the first Lifetime Achievement Award for a technician in England.

“I know it takes a bit of effort to keep on top of the new technology. But, it just feels like part of the job to me. There’s such a depth of product knowledge in the team at Bowker. And I’m glad I can play my part.”

“Bowker has invested heavily in my training. I owe a huge thanks to the company and my colleagues for supporting me through the additional training required at great expense. It was the encouragement of colleagues that gave me the belief that I could achieve it again.”

BMW requires all Master Technicians to re-qualify for the accreditation every five years. And Harold’s fifth master technician award last year - after working in the industry for over 40 years - marked a unique milestone. It was the first time anyone has achieved such a consistent level of product knowledge performance in the country.

Harold is one of only 66 master technicians in England. And, along with colleague Paul Whittaker, Harold is one of two master technicians at Lancashire BMW dealer group Bowker.

In the tests, Harold successfully completed the industry-recognised examinations featuring a range of online, practical, diagnostic and theoretical examinations. The test now also includes a coaching exercise and customer handling situations.

Wayne Hyatt, Bowker BMW and MINI service manager said: “The technology is always changing. There are new hybrids and electric vehicles in the range; so there are always new engine developments or new gadgets to widen our mechanical knowledge.

“Each car from an old classic to new model can be a challenge. Everyone here puts a lot of effort into maintaining our product knowledge. But, Harold’s fifth consecutive award has taken it to a completely new level. It’s a unique achievement in the country and we all congratulate him on his success.”