BMW UK honours award-winning Preston service technician

A global car brand has honoured a Preston-based master technician on his 60th birthday.

Harold Bowden, who works at Bowker BMW in Preston, received champagne from BMW UK.

Harold has worked for the BMW centre for 44 years to become one of the most accredited technicians in Europe.

In 2016, BMW UK recognised Harold’s achievements by presenting him with a Lifetime Achievement Award from BMW UK. He was the first technician in England to achieve the accolade.

Harold Bowden said: “I’m very grateful to BMW UK for their kind gift. I love the cars. Bowker have always supported me with my training. When you love the product, there are many days when it doesn’t even feel like work. The time since I joined BMW in 1976 has flown by. And I’ve got a few more years left in me yet!”

In 2015, Harold 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.

Bowker Motor Group aftersales director Jonathan Rogan, who presented the 60th birthday gift, said: “BMW UK can’t mark every staff member’s birthday. But this is undoubtedly a very special occasion. Harold is a perfect fit with our business and the BMW brand. He’s the man in the workshop that can always help with a complicated technical issue.

“More than 40 years sterling service, and counting, is a wonderful testament to Harold’s loyalty and expertise.”

As a Master Technician, Harold is required to re-qualify for the accreditation every five years. And Harold’s fifth master technician award  in 2015 - 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.