My Background

Below is a timeline of my business career but I also think what you know about someone outside of work is incredibly important when forming relationships. I'm very much a family man and have four beautiful children with my wife, Judy. I'm an avid Liverpool supporter and have been since I was a boy. I love to travel when I can and have also developed a passion for scuba diving through my son, Jamie.

1974 – 1978, Bramhall High School

I was singularly unsuccessful at school. I sat 5 CSE’s and never went back for the results. (I was working that day). I enjoyed the social and sporting elements of school but hated the academic. I was very impatient to leave and start work properly.

1978 – 1998, Pilkingtons Bakery (The Family Business) Partner

I left school mentally at about 13 as all I really wanted to do was work beside my Grandfather (Papa) in the family business. The early days were amazing I learned such a lot. The work was physically demanding long days and nights with only Sundays off - I didn’t go out on a Friday night until 1998! And most Saturday nights I'd fall asleep at the table wherever we were.

As my knowledge of the business grew, and following my Papas death, I was keen to develop the business. We opened a secondshop and started doing wholesale deliveries. Turnover and profits grew. There was such an opportunity to modernise and develop the business. Unfortunately, my mother didn’t agree she was cautious and wanted to wind down her involvement day-to-day. The lack of ambition caused tensions.

1988 - 1992, AB Dick UK Ltd, Senior Sales Executive

Occasionally you need to jump off a cliff without a parachute and just trust you’ll land in one piece. July 3rd 1998, the night of my 25th birthday was eventful to say the least. The situation at the family bakery wasn’t great and I was increasingly frustrated. I was offered the chance to move into the sale of professional printing equipment and given my low ebb I chose to jump.

Decision made on a boozy Saturday night, resignation on Sunday and suit bought - thank goodness for the recent change in Sunday trading. Monday morning I find myself on a sales training course for new recruits. I was the only person with zero printing experience, I also had zero sales experience, unless selling 6 barmcakes qualifies!

What I did have was endless energy, a work ethic second-to-none and a good commercial brain and I picked things up pretty quickly. I sold nothing in the first 6 months but finished my first full year in the top 10.

From there on I was always at or near the top of the leader board and won awards at home and in Europe.

1992 - 1997, RISO UK National Sales Manager

I was head hunted for this role by my old AB Dick MD Peter Weil. Peter to this day remains the biggest influence on my early career. I started as a regional manager with the task of developing a dealer network across the northwest and midlands to promote the sale of the Risograph. We were very successful overachieving budgets year on year. I was promoted to National Dealer Manager and was then asked to start Riso’s first direct sales force. This challenge enabled me to fully utilise my direct sales ability. I absolutely loved it. It was manic, always on the phone, daily meetings all over the UK.

Slowly the market place was changing, Riso weren’t responding with new products and things started to slow down. At this time the offer to move back up north and start my own business in Stockport was floated..

The rest as they say is history!!!

1997 - 2017 Midshire, Managing Director/Owner

Started Midshire in partnership with my great friends Phil Powell and Glyn Scothorn. The northern office I ran started from scratch with just me and an engineer. Looking back now, leaving a fantastic job and relocating my young family to start up a photocopier business was to put it mildly reckless..

We had many ups and downs (more downs than ups) in the first few years. in spite of the issues We quickly outgrew our first rented premises and eventually managed to find the current building in Bredbury. Whilst the purchase of the building gave me some sleepless nights given its size and cost. The move paid off by attracting passing visitors and also making it easier to attract staff.

Our second major challenge was buying out Glyn to facilitate his retirement. Once again funds were required (more sleepless nights) but once completed we never looked back. Phil and I welcomed Kevin Tunley as a fellow director and shareholder. This team over saw quite dramatic growth propelling Midshire to one of the largest suppliers of office equipment in the UK.

At the end we had a turnover approaching £30,000,000 and a staff of over 250 people…

We stayed together until we sold to Sharp in the summer of 2017.  

2015 Stockport Business Person of the Year

So proud to have been recognised by the business community of my home town. Even prouder that the event was held in our fantastic Town Hall.

2015 Northwest Technology Entrepreneur of the Year.

Awards are obviously like busses nothing for 20 years then 2 come all at once!

2017-2019 Sharp Electronics, UK Head of Commercial Sales

Following the sale of Midshire to Sharp in July 2017, I was keen to stay on and assist with the transition. I deemed it important to support the Midshire staff through what could have been a difficult period. I was also committed to ensure a smooth takeover for Sharp and to assist them in making the acquisition as successful as possible. Whilst I cant pretend that staying wasn’t without its challenges, I am proud that the transition was relatively smooth.


I’m here as a friendly ear and to offer my help, business is a world with many questions and it’s difficult to put all of the little things that can help into a ‘service’. I am simply here to offer my guidance, connections and experience.

"Julian has been an incredible sounding board and provides a brilliant sense of accountability when trying to put new things in place when growing your business"

Daniel Simmons
Founder, Populate Social

"Julian has been an incredible sounding board and provides a brilliant sense of accountability when trying to put new things in place when growing your business"

Daniel Simmons
Founder, Populate Social

I'm happy to help

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