21 November 2023

Meet Jim Blake, Technician at Volvo Carlisle

Company News

Meet Jim Blake, Technician at Lloyd Volvo Carlisle. Jim has been with Lloyd Volvo Carlisle for 6 years now and with his Master Technician Assessment quickly approaching, we caught up with him to find out all about his career development and what he enjoys doing in his spare time.

Jim Blake at Volvo

Thanks for catching up with us, Jim! Tell us a bit about about yourself?

Well I am currently waiting for the birth of my second grandchild, due any day now! I am also working hard trying to get my skills up to where they need to be to successfully complete my Volvo master tech assessment due December the 1st the day before my 61st birthday! I live in Silloth but have worked in Carlisle in various different roles & garages. I have been with Volvo about six years. My kids have grown up & left the security of the bank of mum & dad behind them, (I wish) . Living with my long suffering wife Brenda of 35+ years & my mental Collie -Spaniel cross dog!

How many years have you worked in the motor trade?

I was brought up in the motor trade, my dad had a Ford retail dealership in Silloth where I started my apprenticeship in 1978. Sadly he passed away when I was 17 & eventually had to sell the buisness.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I enjoy outdoor stuff Concerts , festivals , Glastonbury is on my bucket list. I also used to play a bit of golf & got down to 9 handicap but ran out of time to play due to other commitments. I haven't grown up very much & try to be a cool grandad spending a lot of my summer commuting & messing about on motorcycles. We are also into caravanning & try to get away whenever we can.

My main time filler apart from work is the time I put into the Silloth Lifeboat Station where I have been an active volunteer for over 40 years , starting out as lifeboat crew , working my way up to helmsman until an injury at sea caused my early departure from the crew side & changed roles to Station mechanic & Launching Authority meaning I am responsible for keeping the boat & safety equipment up to top specification & saying when the boat can & can't launch & who goes out on it.

Jim Blake

Here is Jim, receiving his Queens Platinum Jubilee Medal, presented by the lieutenant of Cumbria. These medals were presented to people who are in the Emergency Services.

What has been the biggest change in the motor industry since you started?

The biggest changes since I started in the motor trade is the amount of technology in cars as opposed to my first glimpse in the motor trade where plugs, points, valve clearances & carburettors were what we had to keep them going. Slowly the technology came in to curb emissions & things started to get a bit more advanced.

I do remember sitting in a room doing a training course where the trainer was raving on about the control unit that could do 1000 calculations a minute. (probably doing that every second now!)

Now we are on a steep learning curve to keep up with electric vehicles as the new models role out. Since I have joined Volvo I have had my head turned a little bit , they have gone from big & boxy solid lumps to sleek performance vehicles I would say like a wolf in sheep's clothing. I have found especially for the newer models that they are customer & technician friendly as all the models instrumentation & layout are kept the same, as is the running gear.

Some vehicle models I have worked on through the years stick switches on different sides & dash layouts completely different across the ranges making things a bit more difficult for us technicians.

Vehicle Technicians at Lloyd Volvo Carlisle
Jim with his fellow Volvo Technicians.

Now time for some quick fire questions! 

Favourite Holiday?

Love Devon & Cornwall as it is always usually better weather than we get & I always get attracted to coastal resorts & traditional fishing villages.

Favourite Band?

Got into the Killers by accident, my daughter was always playing it, next thing you know i've been to see them live 4 times! But I have a wide & varied taste, I used to work as a DJ part time until I was 25 so was well into 70's & 80's stuff. Latests bands I have seen were the Blossoms & Bruce Springsteen this year & have booked Springsteen again for next year.

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