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Roger Wickens 1957 - 2019 UPDATED

We have received the sad news that Roger Wickens, group technical manager of Loxam's powered access division - formerly Lavendon - passed away earlier today following a courageous 17 month battle with cancer. He was just 61 and eight weeks short of completing 30 years’ service with the company - the longest serving male employee within Nationwide Platforms.

Wickens began his 40 year career as a trainee mechanic working on the transport fleet of Starch Products, in 1980 he joined Greenham Plant Hire as a service engineer for aerial work platforms, followed by a short spell at the Colnbrook depot of Isis plant before, rejoining Greenham, which was later merged with Scott Crane Hire after the Scott brothers acquired Greenham's crane and aerial lift operations to create Scott Greenham, later becoming SG Aerial Platforms - which were based at Alfreton, Derbyshire. The business was then acquired by BET and he was appointed as national service manager shortly before the business was merged with PTP - following its acquisition by BET - where he worked mostly with JLG, Grove Manlift, Marklift and Benford products.
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In 1989 he joined Nationwide Access - as it was then - as national service manager based in Scunthorpe, at the time the company ran a fleet of just 200 units, mostly Genie booms and UpRight scissor lifts. It was owned and managed by Gary Smith and David Wraith who had set it up a year or two earlier. The business was then acquired by David Price and his new company Lavendon in a management by in - supported by CinVen - in a Management Buy In. As the business expanded he played a significant role in the technical integration of several UK, Belgian and German acquisitions, and the later launch of operations in Dubai, Spain, Hong Kong and France which led him to his final role as the group technical manager of Loxam's powered access division, following its acquisition of Lavendon in 2017.

During his career he also worked closely with powered access manufacturers to develop new products and technical enhancements, while being, actively involved with IPAF and later joined the European Rental Association’s Technical Committee.
He was an avid collector of crane and aerial lift models amassing a collection of around 100 cranes and more than 250 platforms, he eventually had to curb this hobby, due the rising costs of the models and space limitations. He would often dismantle new models and painstakingly repaint them in a company colours, complete with miniature decals.

He met his wife, Anne James when she joined Nationwide Access in 1996, they became a couple in 1997, but did not get married until 2004. As well as Anne, he leaves behind two step children, Lauren and Richard.

Loxam's Don Kenny said: “Our sadness and grief is compounded by our concern and thoughts for Anne. Both she and Roger have been an integral part of the Lavendon story and they are well known figures in the company and wider powered access industry. It is a truly sad day for our organisation.”

Vertikal Comment

Roger Wickens was one of the ‘good guys’, modest, quiet, yet exceptionally knowledgeable, and always interested in finding ways to improve safety and good practice. While he could hardly be described as ‘larger than life’ or ‘exuberant’, he was highly knowledgeable and had a dry yet highly tuned and well developed sense of humour. He had a subtle and engaging smile which lit up his face, when relaying an observation or piece of information that he clearly found ridiculous or nonsensical without ever saying so. In the hope that you might take up the fight, although he never directly suggested such action.

In this way he played a more substantial role in the development of new product standards, than is appreciated, all too often he would simply point out or highlight issues to others whom he knew would take up the issue in a more forceful way than he could, and yet if he cared about an issue he was more than able to fight his corner in a highly determined and effective manner, without ever getting heated or unpleasant. In fact he came over as simply wanting to solve the issue. It seemed at times that he underestimated the respect that he was held in and therefore how much ‘real power’ he wielded.

The industry has lost a kind, warm and intelligent individual, a true gentleman. He was missed already, but more so now that we know he will not be making a comeback.
Rest in peace Roger

We will publish the funeral arrangements as soon as we have them.


The Late Roger Wickens

Following the loss of my beloved Roger on 17th May, I just wanted to say a massive thank you to everyone: family, friends and work colleagues (both present and past) – for all your support and care, the numerous cards and letters, your messages, the wonderful tributes to Roger on both Linked-In and Vertikal – including Vertikal’s own touching comments, the flowers, and the plants and roses which will be lasting reminders of a truly wonderful man.

Thanks to everyone who attended Roger’s funeral on 10th June, it was good to see so many of you there to say a final goodbye to him. Roger was a very special person to so many people in so many ways.

Last, but not least, a huge thank you for the donations to Cancer Research UK in Roger’s memory. Donations given at his funeral and those via his JustGiving page currently total £1,602.41. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Anne Wickens


Ray Ledger
I was very sad to learn of Rogers passing at an early age.
I had the pleasure of working with Roger during the 1980’s with Scott Greenham and PTP. He was a reserved and considered man which is why I listened when he had something to say,particularly about machines.
I send my sincere condolences to his wife and family.
RIP Roger

May 21, 2019

Very sad news and our thoughts and heartfelt condolences are with Anne and family.
In my 20 years of knowing Roger he has always been a true gentleman and also a true professional. And clearly through all of the comments above Roger was universally liked and respected by all who knew him.
He was one of the most knowledgeable people I have ever met in the industry and always generous in passing on that knowledge to improve products. His insight and advice has been invaluable to me personally and to the companies I have worked for.
61 is too young, but you and your family can be very proud; you left your footprints in the snow!
Respect Roger R.I.P

Brian King

May 21, 2019

Jeremy at Genie
Very sad news. The loss of a true gentleman. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time. Rest in Peace.

May 20, 2019

So sad to hear this news worked with Roger at nationwide and was a top bloke .Condolences to the family

May 20, 2019

Skyjack Tom
Very sad news and a great loss to all who knew him. I first started dealing with Roger in the early nineties, and we have continued our friendship through these many years. A great stalwart of our industry, he will be sadly missed. Thoughts and condolences to Anne and his family

May 18, 2019

Steve Couling
I would just like to agree with all the comments made so far. It really is such sad news. I have always had such great respect for Roger and his professionalism even when he told you the bad bits about your product. A good friend and a great Access man. Love to Anne & family

May 18, 2019

Terrible, sad news. Thoughts and condolences are with Anne and the family. RIP Roger.
Steve Simmons

May 18, 2019

Robert Buono
Such sad sad news, Roger one of the best, a true gentleman friend and work colleague. Deepest condolences to you Anne and your family.
Rest in peace my old friend.

May 18, 2019

Access Advocate
Yet another great ambassador taken from our industry!
I have known Roger for over 40years and a true gentleman, his knowledge will be a massive loss to our industry.
Roger was a problem solver in many ways working with both colleagues, customer & manufactures to find safe and cost effective solutions.
In all my years of knowing Roger he was a softly spoken and very calm person and I never had a crossed word or a raised voice from him no mater how much pressure he was under. Rest in peace my friend and condolences to Anne and the family.

May 18, 2019

Very sad news. A legend in the industry and a gentleman. RIP. Legacy will live on, on and on.

May 17, 2019

Definitely one of the good guys, RIP my friend

May 17, 2019

Mr Cherrypicker
So sad to hear this news today

Roger was a highly skilled service professional and a first class man to have on your team

Simply the best , comes to mind

A fantastic ambassador for the powered access industry, kind and gentle in his personality and so talented
Never heard him say a bad word about anybody
Proud to have worked together for such a long time

It has been a long and hard fight
RIP my friend
Genuine and sincerest condolences to Anne and the family
You are in our thoughts and prayers

Mike & Val Evans

May 17, 2019

Really sad, sad news. Deepest condolences Anne to you and your family. R.I.P Roger. Werner Gronau

May 17, 2019

Gerry Oconnor
R.I.P Roger , My condolences Anne and Family .
Gerry .

May 17, 2019

Ian James
A sad day for the access industry. We have lost one of the true gentlemen. A kinder more genuine person would be hard to find. He was so professional and was always willing to find a way to overcome obstacles. Thoughts go to Anne and the rest of the family. R.I.P

May 17, 2019

Anne, these things are never easy to write, and with a heavy heart I extend my deepest condolences to you and your family during this dark time. Chris Nightingale

May 17, 2019

Genie John
Incredibly sad news. A truly great man and one that will be missed. Condolences to his family, friends and colleagues R.I.P Roger

May 17, 2019