Blog: Dave LeggettMerry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Dave Leggett | 23 December 2003

To all readers of just-auto: my warmest and best wishes for the Christmas break and the New Year. It has been a busy and eventful year for us here and I know I am ready to collapse in a heap on hearing the school bell ring. I’m sure many of you feel the same.

I’m not sure how obvious it is to the end user, but a lot of hard work goes into producing the end product that is this website. There’s a big and extended team and all, I think, deserve a mention and a word of thanks from me occasionally. There are some seriously unsung heroes who make it happen. I’ll try not to make this sound too much like an Oscars thank-you speech, but sometimes the credits should roll…

It’s thanks to:

Top of the list has to be ‘The Grobster’ – Graeme Roberts, deputy editor. The friendly Kiwi with a bite is a Rock of Gibraltar on the in-house editorial desk. Enthusiastic and unflappable, he just gets on with it. His depth of journalistic experience in the auto industry is invaluable, as is his ability to charm. If anyone is going to get an upgrade by sweet-talking the check-in girls, it is GR. And who was it that said an army marches on its stomach? So does Graeme. The bearded one returning from the kitchen to his desk mid-morning carrying a plate loaded with ‘doorstep’ sandwiches is a sight to behold.

And there’s Ollie Wilkinson on the commercial side. Ollie is unfailingly chipper and always able to appreciate editorial sensitivities. A very good sort even if he does occasionally do some strange things with his hair. Also on the commercial side is Michael ‘Bagel’ Nagle. He has a warped sense of humour, but then so do I, so we get along fine. Our content syndication guy, Andrew ‘Jim’ Leighton, also has a well developed sense of humour, although it’s not been much in evidence lately as he’s broken his arm after a mountain biking accident (but he's on the mend now).

Looking after the marketing and sales side of things in the company as a whole is Richard ‘Jacko’ Jackson. You couldn’t pick a better guy to go out on the town with (there’s no greater compliment coming from me). Recalling our incident-packed night out in Strasbourg a few years back still brings a very big smile to my face.
Much of the content on just-auto simply would not exist without the extended network of freelancers and contributors around the world who write for us. In no particular order: Matthew Beecham, Jesse Crosse, Karl Ludvigsen, Rogerio Loures, Anthony Lewis, Chris Wright, Glenn Brooks, Neil Winton, Jeff Daniels, Bill Cawthon, Mark Bursa, Ian Wagstaff, Tony Pugliese, Toby Proctor, Peter Wells, Peter McKay, Mike Duffy, Dave Cumming, Greg Keenan, John Rettie, Ian Henry, Mike Wattam, Mark Wilkinson, Gary Beecroft, Anna Kochan, Graeme Maxton, Stephen Downer, Dennis Foy, Tony Lewin, William Kimberley, Dave Moore, Ryan Tutak, Colin Whitbread, Edmund Chew and Sue Brown ( And the good folks at Automotive Design and Production definitely deserve a mention (Gary Vasilash, Kermit Whitfield, Chris Sawyer).

In-house on the production side, there’s the ‘kid’ – Tom Thorp, ably assisted by ‘Uncle Fester’ – Marc Grasby. Roger ‘the Dodger’ Dodson handles the pennies along with the kid’s chirpy sister, Raychel. The techies are led by Mike ‘Ike’ Grove (who is also publishing director for the holding company, Aroq), alongside Andrew ‘Frothy’ Forth and Phil ‘The Machine’ Duddridge. They keep the technical side nailed down pretty effectively and are unfailingly good-natured and patient when dealing with people like me who may be hovering on the edge of severe trauma if something is wrong with their laptop.

And finally, even though Will Johnston doesn’t work directly on just-auto, I must mention him as he’s got a larger than life personality in the office that rubs off on just about everybody. One of the most reliable people I’ve ever met and always willing to go the extra mile.

Did I forget the dog? Thanks to one and all for a great year. Here’s to 2004!

Dave Leggett
December 2003


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