News and Events

In The Spotlight With John Harrington Of Top Brass

  • Posted

Tell Us About Your Role At Top Brass?

My daughter once asked me to describe what I do. After 15 minutes of going through a normal working week she looked up and said “So basically you watch other people work?” Oh the truth hurts so much when from the mouths of babes!!

In my role now I work closely with the senior management in continually reviewing our processes and methods and considering how we can continually improve our clients’ experience with us. As a team, we guide the company forward and upward being mindful of our staff’s needs as much as our clients’.

How Did The Business Start?

It actually evolved. My business partner and very long term friend, Geoffrey Bassett started way back in the middle of the last century! Seriously he did. I have known him since I was 18 and very proud to now be working with him as I did in my early career, and then later for him and now as partners.

Starting as an awning installer and then manufacturer he moved on and, being a typical London “barra” boy, lived off his wits and took opportunities when they arose. Over the decades, we changed with the trends and grew and improved into the multi-faceted company we are now. It’s an organisation I am very honoured to be part of and something of a pinnacle for me to have helped Geoffrey to achieve a company that people want to work for and clients stay with for the long term.

What Are The Biggest Challenges To Your Business?

Ourselves and the limits we put on ourselves

The new factory and the staff enjoying what they do – growing and not losing the personal touch and sight of where we came from and how we got here.

What Did You Want To Be When You Were At School?

Policeman – but my parents were dead set against it as it was during the troubles.

I don’t think I would have been a good beat cop but I think would have been a good detective?

What Was Your First Job? 

Worked on the loading bay at John Lewis Oxford St – loved it.


What Job Would You Like To Have Other Than Your Own And Why?

Something horticultural based – I grew up without green areas around and, when I first had a garden of my own, fell in love with the work.


What Do You Love Most About Working In The North East?

The people – funny, sociable and generally have a great work ethic

What Do You Love Most About Living In The North East?

The openness – love the countryside but am also very lucky to live near the coast so every day the views are different

What Do You Do In Your Own Time Away From The Office?

Have more time with the children.  I always suffered with long travel times in the south but now, although I still do the same long hours, I get home more quickly. However, as we are buying a home here I will get back to my gardening and bike riding too.

What’s Your Number One Piece Of Advice For Anyone In Business Or Wanting To Start Up?

When things hit you and keep hitting, as they will, never give up. Change tack but keep going.

“The problem is not the problem, the problem is your attitude to the problem” Cpt Jack Sparrow !! lol


“Life – you have been a great partner and opponent too – Now time for us both to rest”

“There is nothing so sacred as Honour and nothing so loyal as Love” Wyatt Earp” 



Would you like to take part in our 'In The Spotlight' series? If you think you stand out from the crowd please email us with the following information:

Your full name, the business or charity in which you are involved and why you would like to take part.

If selected we will be in touch to interview.