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This latest edition of Pearce Hire’s ‘Meet the Team’ sees us introducing Gareth Seal. Which is perfect timing as Gareth has recently taken over management of Pearce Hire’s busy warehouse.
Gareth joined Pearce Hire early in 2016 putting his experience to good use in the busy lighting department - prepping and maintaining kit for constant turnaround and regular dry hire.
So far in his career, Gareth cites working at Pinewood Studios as one of his greatest achievements – and a pretty good name drop too! Gareth started his career there as soon as he left school, working for five years as a lighting apprentice on TV productions including Midsommer Murders and Holby City as well as some music videos and advert production. Following a move up to Cambridgeshire, Gareth worked for ELP as lighting/warehouse technician for a further 10 years, before the appeal of live events and festival production at Pearce Hire provided an opportunity for him to broaden his horizons and expand his knowledge base.
Having worked in Pearce Hire’s lighting department for the past 2 years, Gareth took over the role of warehouse manager at the beginning of 2018. He is loving the new challenges this role provides, and cites the incredibly friendly environment that Pearce Hire has as a real benefit for everyone on the team.
Whilst he particularly enjoys working in the entertainment production industry, Gareth accepts that the frequently tight time constraints can be demanding. But this is balanced by the variety in the projects he and his team are prepping for week-in week-out which means no one day is ever the same!
When he does have time off he is a devoted family man to his wife and two daughters.
We always like to end our profiles with some words of wisdom! Gareth says the best piece of advice he has ever been given is to ‘keep at it, and concentrate on the detail of the equipment you are prepping’.
And for anyone looking to enter this industry, Gareth speaks from experience when he advises young technicians to ‘work hard and take every opportunity you are handed – you never know what might come of it.’
Wise words Gareth – thank you! And good luck as you enter the busy summer season – the warehouse team will be prepped and ready to go under your leadership!
Touring and event power company Pearce Hire in Peterborough recently hosted a workshop organised by James Eade with Patrick McGinley from the Health and Safety Executive, for a group of HSE electrical inspectors. The aim of the day was to share information about the application of generator safety measures, especially in relation to earthing requirements, and to discuss some new safety concepts that James is proposing for new IET guidance on the subject.
“The current guidance on generator earthing in particular has not seen many changes for years” notes James. “The advent of modern technologies such as inverter generators coupled with the widespread availability of residual current devices for protection is driving a need to revise current practices.”
Current British Standards and associated guidance categorises generators broadly as either under or over 15 kVA rating, with differing requirements accordingly. In practice that is seldom the case with modern sets all differing in earthing needs. The events and entertainment industry is probably the largest industry sector using generator-supplied temporary power systems and so changes to standards and guidance can have a significant impact.
Shaun Pearce, Managing Director Pearce Hire said that “it was a very thought-provoking day” and added that “it was an ideal opportunity for us to influence the decisions that will not only have a big impact on our company, but more importantly, our industry”.
“We were exceptionally fortunate to have the opportunity to discuss what could amount to quite a substantial change with HSE who were able to bring their collective experience in this area from sectors as diverse as fairgrounds to mining operations” said James, who’s aiming to have his new IET site guide published in time to coincide with the forthcoming 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations this summer.
The workshop dovetailed well with HSE’s current #HelpGBWorkWell campaign, part of which is keeping pace with technological (and other) changes. According to the HSE “Tackling the problems of tomorrow today is a responsible investment that protects workers, enables new and different approaches and provides the new knowledge, skills and expertise Great Britain can share internationally.” With the electrical safety of generator supplies this is very much the case, with the changes proposed being promoted to the International Electrotechnical Commission, responsible for developing international electrical safety standards which are widely adopted here and abroad.
It also provided an opportunity to show HSE the way in which the events industry manages electrical safety using a combination of regular portable appliance checking and on-site inspection and testing in-line with the requirements of BS 7909. Enforcement of such events usually comes within the remit of local authorities, who may need to revert to HSE for technical support so it was a unique opportunity to present industry practices and methods to the experts from the HSE itself. Shaun commented that “it was a welcome opportunity to demonstrate our industry direct to HSE and showcase our operation, putting our safety regimes under such an expert review.”
In all it was a very successful day with attendees gaining valuable insights into each other’s areas, with the collective experience being used to hone the proposed forthcoming guidance.
This month we’d like to introduce you to Steve Hicks - the latest Project Manager to join the Pearce Hire team. Steve joined in November 2016, having previously worked at production company b+h for nearly 7 years as an audio engineer.
His industry career had started through his work with a local band, and as a stage hand at a local theatre whilst he was still at college. After college he worked on a couple of holiday sites – which was a steep learning curve turning around three bands a night every night of the week with fifteen minute changeovers and no sound checks, before taking the freelance route for a couple of years prior to joining b+h.
Throughout his career Steve has known and admired the work ethos of Pearce Hire and he is now delighted to be a fully-fledged member of the team. His job incorporates the management of all aspects of an event – working diligently with the client from the quoting phase right through to the delivery of the event, and the post event invoicing!
Steve loves a challenge and working under pressure - perfect attributes for a member of the busy Pearce Hire team - and is enjoying the opportunity to draw together all of his experience in the role of project manager. Over the past year he has relished expanding his knowledge of the power and lighting aspects of Pearce Hire’s work. With his background firmly in the audio sector, Steve recognises the importance for any project manager to have a good working understanding of all disciplines of an event to ensure that each client is offered the best service possible whilst bringing his extensive skill set to the new customers he is working with.
Steve has a love of all things Formula 1 which started early, growing up in awe of Damon Hill and quite often as a youngster he found himself shouting at the TV watching some of the battles with Michael Schumacher! Steve thinks it’s great to have such a successful British Champion in Lewis Hamilton and has been to Spa in Belgium and Monza in Italy to watch races.
But, as with many of us in the industry, he struggles with the concept of what free time is! Although the breadth of amazing industry events that Pearce Hire supplies is something he is looking forward to being involved in again this summer.
Steve says he loves the industry and one of his career highlights was mixing FoH at the Royal Albert Hall a couple of years ago at the Christmas Carol Concert for the Salvation Army. With a tight load in and set up time, the concert involved a brass band, two choirs, a worship band, a guest band and multiple speakers. Aside from the thrill of working at one of the most iconic venues in London, Steve says he loved the challenge of designing and implementing the Dante system for FoH, monitors and broadcast purposes which also received a full write up from manufacturer Yamaha – no mean feat!
So now to industry advice – Steve says that the best piece of advice he has ever been given is “if you think you know everything, you’re in the wrong job…”
And his words of wisdom in terms of career advice for anyone looking to enter this industry? “Be proactive, nobody else will progress your career for you. So, take every opportunity that comes your way”.
Wise words Steve – thank you!