Find out more about the Cridfords team
Jonathan started working in the motor trade when he was 12 years old as a Saturday and Holiday boy. He spent his early years at a specialist dealer where his love for Porsche began. In 1987, he branched out and started Cridfords. He spent his youth driving, racing (and crashing) boats, cars and motorcycles, but now can be found covered in mud and sweat riding his mountain bike in the Surrey Hills.
Michael Watkins - General Manager
Michael moved from Yorkshire to the south in 2003 to study Music Production at the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford. He started with Cridfords in 2005 as the car valeter and after watching the sales team he quickly began helping out on busy Saturdays and decided this was what he wanted to do going forward. For the next few years he worked as a sales executive until leaving albeit briefly to be Business Manager at a volume dealership. Shortly after this he came back to Cridfords as Sales Manager and eventually progressed to General Manager in 2019. Michael has a keen interest in music and used to be lead singer and guitarist in a band. He is a keen mountain biker, dabbles in the gym but is at his happiest hiking over a mountain... or to the nearest pub at least.
Alex Hawkins - Detailing and Prep Centre
Alex came to us from a few different trades including the plumbing trade and BT, following this he came to us and very quickly it became evident that he had an eye for detail, the processes we'd taught him just weren't good enough so he spent lots of his personal time improving and honing his skills to reach perfection (particularly with bodywork), something he continues to do to this day. Alex is responsible for making our cars, and our customers cars, look as good as they possibly can. He evaluates every car that goes through the dealership and prepares it for sale whether it be wheel refurbs, scratch removal or the odd panel of paint he'll make sure it is up to standard, if you then have your car detailed with him you won't believe the results.
Alex is a successful middle distance runner for Epsom & Ewell Harriers but will run a marathon occasionally. He is a Japanese car enthusiast having owned several examples over the years so predictably his favourite film series is Fast and Furious!
Geoff O’Connor - Head of Classic car service, restoration and classic parts department.
Geoff is the heart of the Classic service, restoration and classic parts department, there's not much he doesn't know about an air cooled 911 or any classic Porsche for that matter. He started his career as an apprentice for AFN Porsche in 1977, he went on to be a main contributor in campaigning a Porsche 934 for privateer Richard Cleare over a two year period which culminated in a Group 4 win at the 1982 Le Mans 24hr while claiming to be the most successful 934 to have left the factory. The car was retired to the USA and Kremers CK5 Group C car was acquired and continued with the team until Geoff left to build up and run his own specialist workshop under the Ronnoco Porsche banner for the next 23 years.
During this period along with day to day servicing Geoff prepared customers race cars and himself competed racing a 906 engined 911, road going and modified 911’s as well as an iconic Carrera 2.7 RS. Wishing he had kept that one. Cridfords since their inception were using Ronnoco for their sales car preparation until Geoff joined forces with Cridfords in 2006 at the old Ripley site and has continued to expand along with the company to this day.
Geoff has a passion for Porsche first and foremost but has also been known for his Jazz Funk and Soul music, having had a regular slot on a pirate radio station and a club DJ, when he found the time he would competitively paddle in a Dragon Boat Racing Team for Windsor & Eton, he was also selected to compete in the GB team of 1999 when they became World Champions collecting two Gold and four Silver medals on the way.
Mark Casey - Workshop Manager
Mark has been working in automotive service since he was 16 years old and joined Cridfords in 2013. Mark has a great grasp of mechanical knowledge on many models and he specialises in major Porsche engine rebuilds from Cayennes to 911's. He tells us he can rebuild any Porsche engine blindfolded - don't worry we haven't tested him on this! Mark keeps the workshop running smoothly and ensures everyone is assigned the correct jobs for the day, when he's not adding new tools to his collection that is!
In his spare time, around family life, he loves to mountain bike and plays tennis regularly at Rudgwick tennis club.
Will Leslie - Service Advisor
Previously Will has worked for an export partner of Jaguar Land Rover serving emerging markets. They set up dealers in places as remote as the Fiji Islands. Myanmar, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and sub Sharan Africa. They were official vehicle modifiers for JLR and built specialist vehicles for aid and project / disaster relief. They were a major partner for the Red Cross delivering vehicles to disaster zones (earth quake, war, famine and drought). They served 60 markets worldwide and supplied circa 3000 vehicles per annum. Will came to us from a Customer Service Manager role at Volkswagen Gatwick - one of the largest VW dealers in the UK where his role saw him overseeing the after sales department where he was the focal point of contact for customer and staff interaction.
Interests out of work – competitive three day event carriage driving – The driven equivalent of ridden three day eventing only with a carriage. In 2008 Will won the national carriage driving exercise vehicle class following qualifying events across the country. He's a keen motorcyclist (but only if there is zero chance of rain). He also enjoys walking his dogs- a terrier and a Saluki. Will loves travelling as often as possible to less popular destinations – The last 5 years have seen him visit Mauritius (where he married his partner on the beach!), Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Maldives and India. Where would he like to retire to – Iceland – "Probably my favourite country of all".
Sam Fitzpatrick - Technician
Sam started as an Apprentice Mechanic at Cridfords in 2014, whilst studying at MIT skills. He is very motivated in this industry and has already undertaken restoration projects in his spare time. He carried his training out with Mark Casey and was soon rebuilding engines on water cooled models, also like Mark he has a big tool collecting fetish! It soon became clear Sam was massively interested in classic Porsche so a couple of years after completing his apprenticeship and working on the modern cars he began his training under Geoff O'Connor in the classic/restoration side of the business. They recently completed 'Project Oranges' together which shows just how accomplished Sam has become!
Sam is a big skateboarding fan and can often be found at the skate park. He has also picked up an interest in Japanese cars since Alex Hawkins started with us and is often modifying his GT86!
Shaun Stonard - Sales Executive
For the last 7 years, Shaun has worked almost exclusively with high performance cars.
Originally from McLaren Automotive, Shaun built over 1,500 cars and later managed the production of thousands more. He also helped to launch many of the models that are well known and loved today. His other experiences included managing the workshop at Topaz Detailing, as well as sales at a VW Campervan specialist before joining the sales team at Cridfords in July 2019.
In his spare time, Shaun is a keen musician and guitarist with a penchant for 70's progressive rock (particularly Hawkwind) and obscure instruments.
Simon Apps - Technician
Simon started at Harwoods Land Rover in Pulborough from school as an apprentice, he worked there for 20 years rising to master tech. Simon then worked at Frosts Jaguar/ Land Rover in Hove from a year and a half before being offered a job back at Harwoods on the Bentley side, again in Pulborough where he then worked for nearly 10 years qualifying as a master tech with the last 2 years as the workshop controller.
Simon is a retained firefighter and has been for 22 years which takes up a lot of his spare time. He was a keen footballer playing from the age of 16 to 40 for a number of local side and enjoys mountain biking and all kinds of motorsport!
Martin White - Technician
Martin has been in the motor trade for many years in differing roles for both VW and Porsche main dealers, he is our Piwis diagnostic man! If you have a technical question he'll know the answer and if not he'll be sure to find it out. Martin was a Master Tech at VW and was in the Master Tech world championships!
Martin has a keen interest in music with a stunning collection of CD's and vinyl, is an avid aviation enthusiast and enjoys sitting down to read a good book, his latest personal challenge is to read the top 100 novels of all time!.