Our Teams

Design & Programming

Our Teams

Machine Shop

Our Teams

Fabrication

Our Teams

Despatch

It’s our People Who Make the Difference

Taplanes designs and makes great products, however we are only as good as the people who work here. From the people who have been working here for 30 years to our more recent graduate design engineers, our amazing workforce is committed to designing, manufacturing and delivering first class products and customer service.

Senior Team

Tracey Phillips

Tracey Phillips

Managing Director

After starting working life as a chemist, longer ago than she….

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…cares to admit, Tracey has worked in so many organisations and sectors that she has a draw full of t-shirts from having ‘been there, done that’.

She fell in love with Taplanes a couple of years ago and like Victor Kiam (showing her age here), she loved the company so much she bought it. Being MD at Taplanes is never dull and by Thursdays she looks forward to her Fridays when she gets to spend some precious time looking after her granddaughter.

When she isn’t busy looking after Taplanes or her large number of children, she tries to avoid watching NUFC play, goes to lots of live music gigs, scuba dives with the fishes and gets into trouble with girlfriends who are old enough to know better.

Jon Frewin

Jon Frewin

Director

Jon is an accountant by profession, but he is far from boring….

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….His dry sense of humour and dead pan delivery often leaves people wondering did he mean what he just said?!

Unsurprisingly, Jon chose to work in business rather than in professional services, and in a career spanning 30+ years, he has served as Group Finance Officer in multi-national businesses, been involved in improving operations using Six Sigma and lean manufacturing, and overseen dozens of acquisitions in multiple countries.

He now looks after the numbers at Taplanes and as co-owner he represents us at corporate golf events!

Tony Alex

Tony Alex

General Manager

The international man of mystery… when will we know more?….

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….looks like he’ll have to remain a mystery for now!….

Sales Engineers

Clive Wilson

Clive Wilson

South West

Clive joined Taplanes as recently as 2018 but has spent…. 

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….a lifetime in the bathroom industry, so he is well placed to help you with your latest modular showering project.

He loves to dine out and visit the theatre (& is not ashamed to admit it!) and if he could choose a superpower it would be to read minds – if he succeeded, we reckon he would find out that most people are thinking he looks (& sounds) just like Rick Stein – yes he does really!

Jonathan Braunton

Jonathan Braunton

North England

Having worked at Taplanes since 1943, Jonny knows….

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….everything there is to know about modular bathroom solutions. He combines his extensive technical product knowledge with his love of socialising and the line between work and play disappeared long ago!

From sharing a bag of Pink Ladies, a box of fancy biscuits, a day at the cricket or clad in lycra whilst out cycling; his clients become good friends and lifelong customers. When he isn’t sorting out showers and making new friends, he likes to spend time with his wonderful family, watch a few movies and stay active.

His favourite colour is green – unless it’s an apple, and his lucky number is 13.

Dan Wilkinson

Dan Wilkinson

East Anglia & London

Born with a plastic spoon in his mouth, Dan, also known….

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…. as ‘The Wizz Kid’, only experiences brief moments of shower-free thoughts when endorphins, caused by extreme exercise or alcohol consumption, overwhelm him.

Dan lives for the buzz of a successful showering solution and immediately falls in love with those who supply shower-related problems to feed his addiction. An odd child, he started working at Taplanes in the noughties, straight out of nappies, and hasn’t been the same since….. neither has Taplanes!

Simon Blakey

Simon Blakey

Scotland, Ireland & West Midlands

Simon is one of our beloved boomerang employees – he joined….

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…. left, joined again, left again and finally came back (3rd time lucky?!) when he realised Taplanes really is the best in it’s field.

With 30+ years experience of working in the specialist bathroom sector, he is another unique character who loves to design & enthuse about showering solutions.

When he isn’t designing modular bathrooms, he is often found cooking, drinking real ale or mountain biking on the hills of the Yorkshire Dales with his Romanian Rescue Dog, Boo.

Sales Support & Marketing

Jeanette Parker

Jeanette Parker

Business Dev & Marketing Manager

Jeanette is on a mission to introduce Taplanes to the world….

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….Having grown up with the sun, sea and sand of Africa, she had a desire to up sticks and move to the UK – evidently a sub-conscious decision after once hearing about an amazing secret shower business hiding in rural North Yorkshire!

When she isn’t busy trying to keep warm, sort out our new website (yay you found it!), arrange the next exhibition, contribute to business development strategies or plan a marketing campaign to take the modular bathroom world by storm; she is walking the dog, looking after the kids and then relaxing (umm, occasionally) with a glass of gin, wine or bubbles.   

Craig Stephens

Craig Stephens

IT & Sales Support Co-ordinator

As you might have guessed, Craig prepares your technical quotes, ….

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….processes your orders, deals with your queries and co-ordinates all things sales and IT related.

He is super intelligent, very handsome, loves online Excel and is a long suffering LUFC supporter…. but we reckon only one of these things is probably true.

Olivia Sparnenn-Josh

Olivia Sparnenn-Josh

Sales Support Administrator

Joining in 2008, Livvy’s sunny disposition keeps us all smiling….

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….Livvy is amazing – she is one of those people who can turn her hand to anything; be it sales or marketing admin, assisting with the prep for exhitions, arranging deliveries, preparing quotes or credit control – she is fantastic at getting money out of people!

When she isn’t working at Taplanes…..or running around after her 2yr old!.. she performs with the band ‘Mostly Autumn’, with music being a great passion. Leisure time is enjoyed camping in the Lake District or going to the gym.

Design & Fabrication

Tomasz Woznica

Tomasz Woznica

Senior Designer

Tomasz has been with Taplanes since 2008, although he…. .

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….is another boomerang employee, who briefly left then returned after realising how great Taplanes really is!

With a wealth of experience in Taplanes modular bathrooms and assisting to implement new products, Tomasz is now working with our new design engineers to support the next generation of innovative Taplanes product designs.  

Other than his passion for history, Tomasz is interested in the best use of small living spaces and loves a design challenge. He created a wonderful ‘Manchester bee’ shower base design but dreads Tracey coming up with another of her creative ideas.

Ria Markides

Ria Markides

Design Engineer

Ria is the real deal – a superbly talented product designer….

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….whose skills belie her young age.

Hailing from Cyprus after leaving South Africa as a young child, she has sacrificed the sunshine to live in North Yorkshire, designing the next generation of modular bathroom pods.

Ria is best known for her love of technical design, Mexican telenovelas and grilled halloumi. She is a great addition to the team and is honing her skills as a referee in the daily ‘meeting of minds’ of Tomasz and Neil!!

Dominic Matthews

Dominic Matthews

Design Engineer

Dominic is a smart young creative with the desire to innovate….

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….and solve problems (the bathroom design variety, he’s not some kind of life guru). He is looking forward to learning and developing new ideas and products within the markets of ‘podular’ design.

A fair-weather cyclist and keen sportsperson, he is in regular need of showers, hence has vast experience in this area. An avid holiday- goer, he has experienced a range of global bathroom solutions, from holes in the ground, buckets of water or even cups….. to the pleasures of luxury bathtubs with heated flooring.

Neil Murfitt

Neil Murfitt

CNC Programmer

Neil has worked at Taplanes from the year dot and after….

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…. 29+ years, is the longest-serving employee!

He programmes the CNC machines and recently programmed a fantastic ‘Manchester bee’ designed shower base;  although he swears that it looks more like a wasp – we told him to buzz off.

Away from Taplanes, Neil loves riding Italian shopping bikes, better known as Vespa and Lambretta scooters. He owns 3 and would happily buy more but his wife won’t let him. Like Craig, Neil is also a long-suffering Leeds supporter.

Abin Joe Jimmy

Abin Joe Jimmy

Design & Programming

Abin completed a mechanical engineering degree in….

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….Kerala, India and worked abroad as a design engineer before joining Taplanes earlier this year.  

He is quickly broadening his knowledge of CNC machine programming and is looking forward to using his technical knowledge to contribute to the design of the next generation of Taplanes modular bathrooms.

Abin is awaiting the imminent arrival of his first born, and is preparing for fatherhood by trying to get as much sleep as possible before the baby arrives!

Purchasing, Processes and Finance

Karen Anderson

Karen Anderson

Office Manager

Karen has worked at Taplanes since the start of the century!….

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….She looks after the day to day finances and management accounts and loves nothing more than reconciling numbers – she can always be relied upon to remember things that happened at Taplanes donkeys years ago!

Karen loves shoes, hates the cold, hates spiders even more and away from work is often seen soaking up the rock music at live gigs and festivals, sometimes also selling merchandise & proudly promoting the Jimi Anderson Group.

Joanne Woods

Joanne Woods

Purchasing Manager

Jo used to own a bar on the Costa Del Sol….

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….but missed sunny North Yorkshire so much that she moved back. Spain’s loss was our gain – Jo joined in 2006 as a temp but she loved it so much she is still here!

She works closely with our suppliers and is often seen pulling out her hair whilst chasing up door and shower panel deliveries or counting items in the warehouse when things mysteriously go missing on site, only to turn up 3 days later.

A dab hand at DIY, she enjoys doing up her house (no doubt whilst listening to music), gardening and going for walks or relaxing with friends and a glass of cider.

Andrew Chapman

Andrew Chapman

Process Improvement Engineer

One of our newest recruits, Andrew started during a busy….

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….summer period and needless to say had to hit the ground running and learn about the wonders of modular showers and bathrooms pretty quickly!

When not working out some wizardly mastery on Excel reports, he enjoys nothing more than looking at processes and reviewing processes and then highlighty & proposing where efficiencies could be made with these processes…. after all he is our process improvement guru! 

Away from work he enjoys international travel, soaking up different cultures and considers himself quite the “foodie”, sampling different Michelin star restaurants around the UK.

Karen Morgan

Karen Morgan

Reception, Deliveries & Invoicing

Another employee who couldn’t stay away, Karen returned….

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….to Taplanes in the summer, co-ordinating deliveries, invoicing, payments and a multitude of admin tasks.

She is the person you are likely to speak to first as she assists manning the phones and greets visitors to the office and factory.

Karen has a passion for cooking, especially baking cakes, which is convenient as everyone at Taplanes loves cake! Luckily for Karen she can work off the calories being an avid gardener, walking her Springer Spaniel in the Dales & having recently taken up Yoga.

Factory

Fabrication and Machine Shop Team Leaders

Dave Anderson

Dave Anderson

Machine Shop

Dave is too busy enjoying the sunshine to write anything….

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….

John Harrap

John Harrap

Machine Shop

John joined Taplanes in 2008 & having read the other bios….

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….it looks like 2008 was a good year. As Foreman, John runs the machine shop with the efficiency of the British Army!

When he isn’t co-ordinating the machine shop, training people or supporting the General Manager, he likes to cycle home and spend his time away from work looking after his family and having fun with his 4 grandchildren – he doesn’t look old enough!

Neal Whitmore

Neal Whitmore

Fabrication

We’d like to know more too but he’s enjoying a well earned break….

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….

Andy Watson

Andy Watson

Fabrication

Otherwise known as Gadge, he likes to go incognito….

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…. 

Chris Duree

Chris Duree

Fabrication

Working at Taplanes for almost 16 years, Chris….

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….is a highly skilled and experienced senior fabricator who enjoys supporting the design team to build new products and prototypes.

When he’s not watching football he likes to have a bit of a kick about himself, actually enjoying a wide range of sports.

He loves eating out with friends and family and values quality time that he spends with his 5 children but with ages ranging from 2yrs to 13yrs, it’s no surprise they’re always on the go!

Dave Winter

Dave Winter

Fabrication

Dave joined Taplanes in 2003 and hasn’t looked back since….

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…. He is one of our most skilled and experienced fabricators and enjoys supporting the design team to build prototypes and new products and offer customers on-site support.

Away from the factory, he and his wife enjoy cycling and walking in the Dales and travelling abroad. He loves a good movie or boxset and he reckons his greatest achievement in life is his three daughters, Robyn, Kerry and Amy but we reckon his greatest achievement is living in a house full of women and holding onto his hair. 

Nick Casiero

Nick Casiero

Fabrication

Nick joined Taplanes in 2007 and is another of our….

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….most skilled and experienced fabricators who enjoys supporting the design team to build prototypes and new products and when the need arises, offers customers on-site support.

Outside of work, Nick loves spending time with his family and teaching his kids all about Italian food just the way he was taught. Born in North Yorkshire but fluent in Italian, he likes his football, enjoys keeping fit, is a boxing enthusiast and has a passion for drawing.

Jimmy Baxter

Jimmy Baxter

Fabrication

Joining Taplanes in 2004 and working his way up to….

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….be a senior fabricator, Jimmy is yet another of our most skilled and experienced fabricators who enjoys supporting the design team to build prototypes and new products and offer customers on-site remedial support.

In his spare time, when he gets the chance to escape the kids, he likes to go wreck fishing of the North East cost for some peace and relaxation.

Machine Shop Team

Fabrication Team

Despatch

James Robinson & Les Bullock

Delivery

Steve Denton

Steve Denton

Transport Manager

Steve joined in 2007 and you may well have met him when….

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….he delivered your shower or bathroom pod in ‘Nancy Marie’, Taplanes 18 tonne wagon. Steve has over 32 years experience in the transport industry, incorporating journeys around the UK and to Europe; so there is probably not a town (or service station!) that he hasn’t visited.

Away from work, when he’s not spending time with his young daughter, he is restoring vintage vehicles; however his latest project is restoring an 1895 Robey Portable Steam Engine, which is nearing completion after buying it in pieces at auction. We cannot wait to see the finished product!

Have a question?

If you'd like to find out more about us and our solutions, just drop us a line or give us a call.