A Merseyside warehouse worker who survived a life-changing car accident as a child is celebrating 40 years on the shop floor of Palmer and Harvey’s distribution centre in Haydock.
Terry McCabe, now 58, was just 13 years-old when a car veered off the road onto the pavement as he made his way to school in Kirkdale, Liverpool. The collision severed his foot at the ankle and he was told he would probably never walk again.
Surgeons at the then Northern Hospital in Liverpool managed to re-attach his foot but, in spite of two operations, failed to give him any use of the damaged limb. It was a fortunate turn of fate which changed the course of Terry’s life.
“By chance, my doctor was having lunch at the Adelphi Hotel with a specialist called Dr Sood from Leeds. He told him that he was deeply concerned that he was treating a young lad with his life ahead of him and had failed twice to give me a working limb. Dr Sood said he thought he could do it,” said Terry.
The surgeon talked to Terry’s father and asked permission to try, what was then, experimental surgery by fitting a plate to replace Terry’s shattered ankle. After learning to walk again for 18 months on crutches and 12 years of close monitoring, he was discharged from medical care.
“When I was old enough to work, I was registered disabled and was given what was known as a ‘green card’ which was a huge stigma in those days. People told me ‘you’ll never get a job’, but I’m not the kind of person who likes to be beaten. I applied to Palmer and Harvey for a job as a van assistant. They saw past my disability and gave me a chance. I have been with them ever since”.
Terry progressed through Palmer and Harvey’s ranks to become a warehouse worker at Wood Street in Liverpool. He moved to the company’s Derby Road premises in Bootle in 1981 and then on to the Haydock distribution centre in 1987 where he is now a goods-in co-ordinator monitoring the movement of thousands of outers of stock each day through the 120,000 square-foot warehouse.
“When I was discharged in 1981, Dr Sood and the whole medical team met me at the Royal Southern Hospital,” added Terry. “They knew I had a good job, thanks to Palmer and Harvey, and told me they couldn’t be more proud of me. It was very moving. I don’t know where Dr Sood is now but I’d like him to know that, as well as Palmer and Harvey, it is thanks to him and his team that I am celebrating a 40-year career.”
Terry has since played for Palmer and Harvey’s company football team and its cricket team through the nineties, taking on rival teams from across Merseyside. Now he prefers to watch and cheer from the side-lines and has been a fanatical Everton supporter and season ticket holder for the last 53 years.
Brendan McMahon, distribution centre manager at Haydock said: “Terry is a much liked member of the Haydock team and always has a smile for everyone. He is loyal, hard-working and is an asset to both the company and the depot.”
Palmer and Harvey has a high number of long-serving employees across the UK. Almost 100 staff have clocked-up over more than 25 years’ service with the company.
Palmer and Harvey is the UK’s number one delivered wholesaler, with an annual turnover of more than £4 billion, serving the convenience, forecourt and CTN retail arena.
Their industry-leading delivery network of 14 regional depots places Palmer and Harvey within two hours of each and every customer. Their offering of excellent range, secure delivery direct into store, flexible delivery slots, easy ordering and free delivering give the retailer outstanding value. This is backed up by their diverse fleet of over 1,000 vehicles which delivers ambient, chilled and frozen products to every postcode in the UK and voice actuated picking in our warehouses which means our deliveries have higher than 99% accuracy.
As a key supply partner to major UK grocery multiples and the leading delivered wholesaler to the UK convenience market, Palmer and Harvey supplies more than 11,000 ambient, chilled and frozen product lines. They also holds direct distribution contracts with major UK manufacturers.
Palmer and Harvey can cater to different sizes of organisations, thanks to its flexible network and diverse fleet, which also includes a direct van sales operation to service smaller accounts.
Palmer and Harvey is one of the largest privately owned companies in the country, wholly owned by its current and former employees.