Meet Paul Esders

Celebrating a Remarkable 40-Year Career at Energas!

For Paul Esders, an impressive 50-year career, the last 41 of which were at Energas, will finally come to an end this year. He’s hardly changed since joining us as fresh-faced mechanic back in 1978, but the job certainly has!

As he prepares to walk the floors of our Hull garage for the final time, we spoke to Paul about his time at Energas, what made him stick it out with us for so long, and what the future looks like for our next generation of trailblazers who are set to make Energas shine.

So, Paul, what do you do for Energas? What does a day look like for you?

I’m the garage manager for the Hull garage. I look after the day-to-day running of the garage – checking the vehicles, booking in services and repairs, writing purchase orders, logging new vehicles into the system and making sure there are no major defects that need sorting. I basically take care of our gas fleet. There’s always a job to do!

Have you always worked in this position?

I started my career at another garage in 1970 and moved to Energas in 1978. Initially, I did all the repairs on the trucks. When the previous garage manager retired in 2006, I took over that position.

So, you’ve been with Energas for 40 years? How did you celebrate that milestone?

@Code 3 Models

I hit the 40-year mark in 2018 and the managing director, Lucia Sainz, presented me with a really special award. It’s a model of a vintage 1954 CRF truck that our previous MD, Alfred Robinson, bought in 2000. There’s a vintage and classic car rally, the East Coast Run, that runs from Hull to Bridlington each summer, and we’ve been taking the truck for a few years now. The model is an exact replica with all the detailing and colours, mounted on a plinth. It holds a lot of memories for me and is a really thoughtful award. You must have seen a lot of changes in 40 years.


What was the company like when you started?

It was family owned in every sense of the word! Everyone got on well and we treated each other like family. My two daughters used to come in on Saturday mornings to do some paperwork in the main office, and later my eldest daughter took up a job as the office junior. My wife came to work here too and was our first female gas representative. So Energas has always been a family affair for me! The boss used to come into the garage every day to have a chat with us and we kept in touch for many years until he sadly passed away. It was really close knit.

Energas has always been a family affair for me!

The future looks bright for the next generation coming through.

The friendly spirit has continued!

We all just feel part of the family and really looked after.

How does that compare to today?

The fleet has changed a lot and so has the technology. We used to have all these vehicles driving up on Saturdays from our other depots in Birmingham and Middlesbrough, and we’d service them while the driver waited. The drivers then had to drive back late on a Saturday night. Now, a lot of our vehicles are leased and we have service plans for them. Most of our checks are done with laptops and diagnostic tools now, so it’s more plug-in and play than messing around with wrenches!

Energas is an Air Liquide company now and we’ve become more corporate over the years, but the changes have been really positive. There are new depots opening and Air Liquide are really moving the business forward. I dread to think what would have happened if the family had sold the company to anyone else; we might have been closed instead of all the investment. So, the future looks bright for the next generation coming through. And I’m pleased to say that the friendly spirit has continued!

Is that what made you stick around for so long? The friendly spirit?

We all just get on so well! I remember the chairman used to have an old car and if was not busy at the garage I’d go to his house and work on it for him. We’d always have a big office party at Christmas. We’d even go to our colleagues’ houses and repair their bikes and lawn mowers for them. We all just feel part of the family and really looked after.

So, you’re retiring this year. What’s the plan for the future?

I was supposed to retire last year but I thought I’d make it to the 50-year mark, which happens in February. I’m not sure there’ll be much rest though! My daughter is about to start a business and she’s already asked me to help her. I’ll be looking after my grandson and am looking forward to doing some walking and DIY projects as well. I can always find something to do!

Final question. What’s your favourite Energas memory?

Article Paul Esders

That’s a tough one. I think it’s the first time I was asked to participate in the East Coast Run and I got to drive the vintage truck. I took my dad with me and it was a really nice day out – my dad loved it.

Energas sponsored the event program for years and years and it’s become a tradition for us to attend. I now take my daughter and grandson to the festival. Bobby Dazzler has won many prizes over the years, and whilst we only won third prize in 2019; my grandson thought it was great. Good memories!





Thank you, Paul for taking part in this interview. On behalf of Energas, we’d like to wish Paul a happy retirement and all the best for the future. You will be missed by your colleagues and all the drivers that pass through the Hull garage.