This week, I’m proud to be publishing the 100th episode of Inside Agri-turf podcast, talking to my special guest Keith Christian, the recently retired Director of BAGMA about his remarkable career which including heading both trade associations for manufacturers and dealers.
Keith started life working in banking, but soon ‘found’ the garden machinery industry. Working first with a dealership, Burlinghams, then a manufacturer Spear and Jackson who were UK Stiga distributor at the time.
He then moved to set up Claymore Grass Machinery to distribute a range of overseas brands including Bolens, Masport, Stiga, Simplicity, Solo, Yanmar, Roberine and others. In doing so, he organised the much coveted, but unofficial, Claymore Travel Club.
During this time, Keith was elected President of the Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA) representing UK manufacturers, importers and suppliers of farm and garden machinery.
After Claymore was sold to Farm and Garden Machinery, Keith ‘crossed the floor’ and in 2007 was appointed to head the UK dealer representative body BAGMA (British Agricultural and Garden Machinery Association).
At the time, BAGMA was part of BIRA (British Independent Retailers Association, formerly British Hardware Federation). In many respects,it was not an ideal fit, and in 2021 the AEA bought BAGMA.
And so, it created a full circle for Keith, who officially retired a BAGMA Director in March 2023.
Photo courtesy of BAGMA Bulletin