Episode 47

Dealernomics@70 with Tom Black, MD Cyril Johnston & Co Ltd, Belfast

Published on: 30th September, 2021

Founded 70 years ago when Cyril Johnston met a young enterprising engineer, Douglas Hayter, Cyril Johnston & Co Ltd has had a seamless relationship with Hayter mowers (now part of Toro) to the present day. The running of the family company then passed to Cyril's son, Dolway and David who have grown the business to encompass retail, hire, distribution and manufacturing.

A year ago, Tom Black, who trained at accountants Price Waterhouse (now PCW) was appointed as Managing Director. As a family outsider, he tells Chris Biddle how he helped refocus the company on its core business of grass machinery after several years of diversification.

He also tells how an outside consultancy was hired to help strengthen the company culture which was very successfully tested during the Covid trading restrictions.

Tom also says he hopes the company will benefit from the recent decision to provide each adult resident in Northern Ireland with a £100 shopping voucher to spent in bricks and mortar businesses over the next couple of months

Next Episode All Episodes Previous Episode

Listen for free

Show artwork for Inside AgriTurf

About the Podcast

Inside AgriTurf
The farm and grass machinery business
Inside Agri-Turf speaks to those at the sharp-end of the farm and grass machinery industry which ranges from powerful 500hp farm tractors to lawnmowers for the home, via equipment used in the upkeep of golf courses, cricket and football grounds, parks and open spaces, forests and the care of the countryside.
As new technology and robotics come increasingly on-stream, we will talk to manufacturers, dealers, industry representatives and end-users in order to report on this fast-moving, innovative and essential sector that often flies under the radar of public recognition.

About your host

Profile picture for Chris Biddle

Chris Biddle

Chris is an experienced journalist specialising in the farm and grass machinery market. He has worked for a major tractor manufacturer and been a managing director of a farm and grass machinery dealership in the West Country.
In 1988, he launched trade magazine, Service Dealer followed by TurfPro in 1998, selling both titles to Land Power Publications in 2015.
He was editor of Landwards, the professional journal of the Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE) from 2008 until 2019 and is the recipient of the 2020 IAgrE Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Land-Based industry.
Chris lives in Salisbury with his wife Trish, and is an avid cricket fan and member of the MCC for over 55 years.