Nicholls and Clarke host Family Fund Day event for Children Today Charity

Nicholls and Clarke held their annual, free St George’s Family Fun Day on Saturday, 23rd April at N&C Building Materials.  As well as celebrating St George’s Day, the family fun day is intended to raise awareness and funds for their chosen charity Children Today.  Children Today fund specialised equipment for children with disabilities.  Typical of the children helped by the charity is 8 year old Mario (pictured) who was born with hemiplegia which means he is weak down the right hand side of his body and can’t ride a standard bike.  Children Today were able to fund a specially-adapted trike for Mario’s needs which means he can now play out with his friends and is able to get much needed exercise.

The N&C St George’s Family Fun Day event included a series of free themed activities for all the family to enjoy, including bouncy castles, carousel, face painting, penalty shootout, large floor games such as connect four and jenga, balloon modelling, music, raffle, stalls, and much more.  The free event welcomed all families within the local community of Chadwell Heath to join in the fun.

For further information please contact paula@childrentoday.org.uk.

Nicholls & Clarke entertains select VIP guests to the ultimate McLaren track driving experience

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On 23rd September 2015, David Forbes, Chief Executive and Richard Hill, Sales Director, of Nicholls & Clarke Group hosted a McLaren Driver Day experience for a select group of customers at Dunsfold Aerodrome, Surrey.

This former-airfield is where the long-running BBC motoring show Top Gear was recorded, using a hangar as a studio and parts of the runways and taxiways of the aerodrome as the infamous Top Gear test track.

N&C’s VIP guests were tutored and entertained by tile agent and semi-professional racing driver Mark Cole, who drives an N&C liveried car in the current Porsche Carrera Cup series, competing in the Pro-Am1 category with the Parr Motorsport team, as part of the N&C’s celebration of 140 years in business.  Cole currently lies third in the ProAM1 championship, despite missing the round at Snetterton.

The Porsche Carrera Cup GB comprises 16 races over eight race weekends at seven different circuits, including the F1 GP circuit of Spa Francorchamps, Belgium.  For most of the race weekends PCCGB shares the same bill as the British Touring Car Championship: events that regularly attract crowds in excess of 30,000.  The striking blue livery of Mark Cole’s N&C sponsored Porsche 911 GT3 car was on display at the event.

N&C’s ‘Pure McLaren’ track driving day offered lucky guests the ultimate on-track driving experience.  Once fully briefed, they were able to drive the 648bhp McLaren MP4-12C 650S Supercar, initially experiencing the track in the passenger seat beside Mark Cole, and then at the controls while being tutored by Cole over the in-car intercom.

There were four MP4-12C supercars at the event.  This mid-engined machine is powered by twin-turbo V8 and features a carbon fibre tub chassis, and an all-independent double wishbone suspension.

The M838T 3.8 litre twin-turbo V8 engine, designed and developed by McLaren, Ilmor and Ricardo, produces 648bhp, allowing the McLaren 12C to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds and from 0 to 100 mph in 6.0 seconds.  The car can achieve a top speed in excess of 215 mph.  It stops pretty well too: braking from 200 km/hr to a complete stop in under 5 seconds.  To put this n some perspective, it can break from 60mph to zero in under 30 metres.

No wonder N&C guests found driving the McLaren supercars such an exhilarating experience!

In 2011, an MP4-12C set the third fastest lap around the Top Gear’s test track at Dunsfold, posting a time of 1 minute and 16.2 seconds.  The car has a long association with this track as it was developed and tested here by McLaren as part of the company’s product development process.

18 VIP guests got to drive the cars, attaining speeds of up to 170mph during the course of their 12 laps in cars that were fitted with full spec Pirelli race tyres.

The day proved an enormous success with many of the guests finding it hard to stifle the adrenalin-charged smiles on their faces as the event drew to a close.

Photograph: Malcolm Griffiths

Cole takes podium in Nicholls & Clarke sponsored Carrera Cup GB race car

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Mark Cole clinched his second and third podium finishes of the season during rounds 11 and 12 of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Knockhill in August. In both races Cole raced strongly in the Pro-Am1 category in the striking cyan blue livery of the N&C supported Porsche 911 GT3 car.

After an eight-year break from racing, Cole returned to the sport this season in the Porsche Carrera Cup GB, Britain’s fastest single-marque race series for identical 460bhp racing Porsches. Cole’s programme is backed by the Nicholls & Clarke Group as part of the company’s celebration of 140 years in business.

Cole is racing in the championship’s Pro-Am1 category with the Parr Motorsport team.  The race weekend at Knockhill in Scotland was the sixth of eight events this season and attracted live TV coverage on ITV4, as well as a huge race-day crowd at the spectacular track just north of Edinburgh.

Cole qualified fifth in Pro-Am1 and 14th overall in the very strong field, despite setting a best time that was only one second away from the overall pole position.  He used all his race craft to make up places at a track where overtaking is notoriously difficult.  In the opening race, he had a great run to battle up to second in Pro-Am1 and tenth overall. He backed that result up with third in Pro-Am1 and 12th overall in the second race to complete his best weekend of the season to date.

Silverstone side swipe
The PCCGB then moved on to Silverstone.  After a non-finish in the opening race, Cole took a fighting fourth place in the second race during rounds 13 and 14 of the Cup at the home of the British Grand Prix.

The race weekend at Silverstone was the seventh of eight events this season and attracted live TV coverage on ITV4 as well as another huge race-day crowd at the famous venue.

Cole had an action-packed first race, which eventually ended in the gravel trap at Copse Corner.

“I got caught out when Stephen Jelly came back on at Becketts after his first off and he caused me to ease off the gas as he re-joined the track directly in my path!  That let my Pro-Am1 rival Jack Falla past and I was frustrated and tried an over-ambitious manoeuvre at Copse and spun out.”

“In race two I made a good start and got up to ninth but then got side-swiped by Ignas Gelzinis at Becketts on opening lap. I recovered with only one place lost and then Jelly got punted by Daniel Morad.  He went off and speared back into the pack, directly in my path.”

“I had to brake to avoid contact and two Pro-Am1 racers, Jordan Witt and Daniel McKay, went past me on each side. That’s how it remained for the rest of the race, as these Porsche cars are so evenly matched.”
The Porsche Carrera Cup GB season concludes with rounds 15 and 16 at Brands Hatch in Kent over the weekend of 10th and 11th October.  See TSJ November.

Cole battles hard in the N&C Carrera Cup GB race car

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Building Materials supplier, Nicholls & Clarke, is sponsoring race driver Mark Cole as he competes in the 2015 Porsche Carrera Cup GB as part of the company’s 140-year anniversary celebrations. The team headed north to Croft for rounds seven and eight of the championship.

Mark Cole moved ever closer to his first podium finish of the season during rounds seven and eight of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB at Croft (27/28 June). In both races Mark ran right on the Pro-Am1 pace in the striking cyan blue livery of the N&C supported Porsche 911 GT3 Cup.

After an eight-year break from racing, Mark has returned to the sport this season in the hugely competitive Porsche Carrera Cup GB, Britain’s fastest single-marque race series for identical 460bhp racing Porsches. With a prime position on the supporting programme for the British Touring Car Championship, the Carrera Cup GB enjoys outstanding live TV coverage and huge race-day audiences.

Mark’s programme is backed by the Nicholls & Clarke Group as part of the company’s celebration of 140 years in business. Mark is racing in the championship’s Pro-Am1 category with the standard-setting Parr Motorsport team. The race weekend at Croft in North Yorkshire was the fourth of eight events this season and attracted live TV coverage on ITV4 as well as a packed race-day crowd.

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Mark (49) from Highclere in Berkshire has shown the pace to run at the head of the Pro-Am1 class and says that grid position is critical when the cars are so evenly-matched. “It is tiny bits of time to be found but they are very significant in terms of grid position,” he said, after a fifth of a second covered the top five cars in qualifying.

In both races, Mark raced to fourth place and was tantalisingly close to scoring a breakthrough podium finish. “In the second race we made some changes to the set-up and I had a much better car. We were actually being held up by the group, but it was so close that it was a case waiting for a mistake to allow an opportunity to pass. If I had been at the front of the four cars on the grid, I believe I would have won the Pro-Am1 category, it was that close!”

The Porsche Carrera Cup GB season continues with rounds nine and ten at the Snetterton circuit in Norfolk over the weekend of 8/9 August.

More details are at: www.nichollsandclarke.com

Jon Cruddas MP visits head office of building materials’ supplier Nicholls & Clarke

Our view on adapting housing to enable people to remain at home, rather than be in hospital, was the focus of a constituency visit by Jon Cruddas MP in Chadwell Heath when he visited Nicholls & Clarke Group  The business, based in his East London constituency, manufactures, distributes, retails and exports building materials and home improvement products.

Welcoming him was Stephen Forbes, Deputy Chairman and David Forbes, Chief Executive, who toured the six-acre site with Cruddas to show him the Group’s operation. The MP saw a complete range of accessible bathrooms, sanitaryware, showering solutions and wet rooms – many of which are manufactured by Nicholls & Clarke businesses amongst their four manufacturing plants.

David Forbes outlined how the business has developed national expertise in bathing and showering solutions for the elderly and disabled through its N&C Phlexicare brand.  Nicholls & Clarke invented many of the specialist products used in independent living, including the raised-height toilet, half-height shower door and low-entry shower tray.

Jon Cruddas remarked: “I was delighted to visit Nicholls & Clarke in my constituency and learn of their contribution to the built environment; both as a manufacturer and independent builders’ merchant”.
“Stephen, David Forbes and the team are to be applauded on their efforts.  They are a good indicator of the state of the economy.  It was good to hear from a local firm about their future plans”.

In addition to being MP for Dagenham, Jon Cruddas is also the Labour Party’s Policy Review Co-ordinator on a national scale.  With an ageing population and increasing pressure on the NHS and social care budgets, he said it was better to find ways for constituents to try to lead independent lives, rather than having to stay in hospital or day care centres.

“Today was useful for me because I saw, at first hand, the role that firms like Nicholls & Clarke play in wider social policy.  The assisted and independent living solutions I saw will help inform the thinking on big ticket policy like healthcare that the next Labour Government must get right.”

“As a country, we spend billions of pounds keeping vulnerable people in hospital, when they should be discharged.  Spending a few thousand pounds on adaptations to enable them to go home, that saves thousands of pounds per year in social care costs, has to be the way forward”.

David Forbes, stated: “We were grateful for the time Jon Cruddas spent with us to learn about our business and the building materials’ supply chain.  Nicholls & Clarke has made sanitaryware and washrooms for a very long time and we look forward to celebrating our 140 anniversary later this year”.

“With a General Election approaching, we want politicians in all parties to fully understand what businesses like ours offer to support vulnerable people to live independently in their own home”.

An Action-Packed Start for the N&C Race Car

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The Indy Race Circuit at Brands Hatch in Kent hosted the start of the Porsche Carrera Cup GB races where professional motorsport race car driver, Mark Cole took to the international track in full force in the Porsche 911 GT3 N&C race car.

Mark Cole demonstrated his pace at the opening round of the Porsche Carrera Cup by topping his previous practice times. The Berkshire-based driver showed commanding speed to set the fastest ProAm1 times in both sessions at the Kent based circuit. Sadly the weather would play a crucial part in the half hour qualifying session on Saturday resulting in Mark lining up out of position for the afternoon’s first race.

As the cars left the grid for the first round of the revitalised 2015 Porsche Carrera Cup GB championship, Mark was able to maintain his position. The striking blue and yellow livery of the N&C branded car worked its way through the field inching onto the rear of a train with it’s two Pro driver team mates as the race hit its stride.

At half distance Mark become the meat in a Porsche sandwich when he was overtaken by 2014 champion Josh Webster whilst himself overtaking a back marker. The back marker turned in on Mark leading to the three cars touching. Mark continued in the now battle scarred car to bring it home to narrowly miss out on a podium finish by just two seconds.

“I had an average start because I was starting on the hill so I had to hold the car on the brake. The car came to me well in the middle of the race but it was a bit messy out there with a lot of cars going off so it was the best of a bad job.”

Mark Cole – Finished 4th in class and 12th overall

Sunday’s race two would start in fine and dry conditions with Mark Cole’s N&C branded car slotting into P16 on the twenty-eight car grid. Mark again made a decent start to gain positions off the line. At the first corner team-mate Dino Zamparelli was tapped into a spin sending him into the gravel causing Mark to take to the gravel in avoidance. He was able to maintain the momentum and rejoin the race but in last position. With the Safety Car deployed to recover the stricken car it gave Mark the opportunity to close up on the pack and recover some ground. As the race restarted he was able to catch and overtake slower cars but unfortunately would have contact ending his race on lap five.

For spectators, it was agreeable that the experience was exhilarating and an exciting race to watch. On Sunday, round 2 was transmitted on ITV4 during the Touring Car Championship Series, with the Porsche Carrera Cup GB round being televised live at 3pm. Highlights of the race were subsequently shown on ITV 3 and ITV Sport.

N&C’s bold livery design and colours impressed spectators with its vibrant and familiar colours, reflecting their existing delivery fleet of over 110 commercial vehicles. 2015 is a milestone for Nicholls & Clarke as the Company celebrate 140 years of supplying building materials to the construction industry in Great Britain – 140 being a significant number as it reflects their registration number of ‘140’. Keep up to date with the team’s progress on twitter (@NCGroupLtd) or visiting www.nichollsandclarke.com.