Around the back of North Weald Airfield, within earshot of the drone of classic planes and high-performance cars speeding along the runways, is an un-prepossessing eighties warehouse which is home to Best Mailing Services UK (BMS) and HDCC member, Lyn Reed. Lyn has been managing director of BMS for “more years than I care to remember.” But it wasn’t always thus…. 


Her working career began at Rank Hovis McDougall, once owned by the famous J. Arthur Rank, who at one time employed over 3,000 people, many of them in Harlow. “I began as a punch card operator. I am not sure how many people today even know what that was.” She quickly progressed to NCR, tape encoder, operator and supervisor. The role was repetitive and she became disillusioned. “I needed something different,” she said, ‘something to get my teeth into!” 


At this point, Lyn’s new husband had left the army and had a role within the security services, and she was approached by MI5. After an extensive interview and vetting procedure she was given a position at the Joint Computer Bureau and tasked to set up a Secure Remote Location in London, to take the manual registry records and computerise them. At the time all the records used to identify the potential connections of individuals to groups identified as a risk to National Security were kept on card.  She sourced, interviewed and managed a team of twenty-five 18 and 19 year old girls who were employed to facilitate the three-year job. “It was a fantastic time,” Lyn laughs, “unfortunately I can’t tell you too much about it, or I’d have to shoot you..” 


After 5 years with the security services she moved on, having been ‘headhunted’ for a role with the famous Bowker Publishing House in Epping – employed as their chief computer manager and programmer. However after 6 years, the company was asset-stripped by its American owners, Rank Xerox, and was forced to close. Lyn’s business brain went into overdrive and she approached Xerox and convinced them that they should support her new venture, Best Mailing Services. That was in 1985. 


BMS are specialists in mailing services, print management, order fulfilment and data processes for all businesses. They were one of the first mailing and fulfilment houses to be accepted into the Royal Mail Strategic Partnership Scheme and have grown to become a respected provider of Direct Marketing Services throughout the UK and Internationally. Some of their clients include Kier, BAFTA and Kuoni. In March of this year she launched a Marketing and Fulfilment Hub with a local marketing agency, “One of the great lessons I have learnt in business,” she said, “is to try to be innovative, to move forward and try new avenues.” 


A very big part of Lyn’s life is her charity work. She has been a Samaritan since 2009, a ‘Befriender’ at Mind, mentoring and leads a homeless centre for Crisis at Christmas. ‘ homelessness is not inevitable, we work together to end it ‘. The main image shows Lyn in the Himalayas on a charity trip with other Samaritans in 2012.  

If you would like to contact Lyn at Best Mailing services you can give her a call on  01992 524343 or visit her website www.bestmailing.co.uk. 


Samaritans Harlow :  

01279 421110 




Phone: 01279 421 308 


Contact: Alison Wilson 



Crisis at Christmas:

Tel: 0300 636 1967




Howick & Brooker Property // Harlow Cricket Club

It’s no secret to anyone who knows him, that Alan Howick loves his cricket, and Harlow Cricket Club in particular. Alan first played at the Marigolds ground in Old Harlow as a colt in 1965. “Due to my entry into estate agency in the late sixties I was only able to play Sunday cricket although, if asked, I would say that I preferred social cricket and its traditions rather than the highly competitive league version.” He was captain of the Sunday side for 5 years in the 1980s, latterly Club Chairman (twice), Club Secretary (twice) and is now in the ninth year as Club President. 



Alan describes himself as ‘old-fashioned estate agent’ who is now in his 50th year in the industry. He is founding director of the Howick and Brooker Partnership, which has been practising in Old Harlow since 1975, and from their current home, Gothic House, since 1978.  Since formation, the agency has been instructed to sell many thousands of homes in Harlow and the neighbouring villages and as far off as Hertford, Dunmow and Saffron Walden. The company is also a member of the Guild of Professional Estate Agents. 


Howick and Brooker expanded in 2010 with the creation of HB Lettings Limited which has become a very successful business managing many hundreds of properties in and around Harlow. 


But his first love, apart from the Balinese dancer he met at 14 (skip this bit – Ed) has always been cricket. In 2015 he wrote and published ‘Cricket in Harlow – The first 139 years (I was there)’, and was instrumental in the development of the new pavilion at the ground, which opened in December 2016. “The project was kicked off by the hugely generous legacy of a former Club President, Vince Dunn, who left the Club a sum in excess of six figures,” said Alan. ‘The Club then managed to secure half a million pounds of lottery funding via Sports England and a number of other grants from charitable sources.” 


The resulting Clubhouse is an extraordinarily modern and stylish construct that still retains the traditional feel of a village cricket pavilion. It is not only home to xxxx cricket teams, both male and female of all age groups, but is also used as a facility for community and social groups who often have nowhere else to meet. 


If you would like to contact Alan or the Harlow Cricket Club, please use the details below 

Howick and Brooker – 01279 418888 

Alan Howick – alan.howick@hbproperty.co.uk 

Harlow Cricket Club – http://harlow.play-cricket.com 


The Harlow Arena

The Harlow Arena is part of (and affiliated with) Harlow Town Football Club and is situated on Elizabeth way, CM195BE. It has invented itself as a venue and social hub, benefitting the community and local businesses alike.

When Tommy Cunningham took over Harlow Town FC in February 2010 he had a vision for developing the existing premises into something that would benefit both the Club and the town in general. Since then the club has been promoted to the Premier Division of the Isthmian League, which represents the seventh level of the English football league system.

The former Chelsea, QPR and Wimbledon (Crazy Gang) player rebranded stadium and its facilities as The Harlow Arena, introducing a new club shop, updating the members’ areas and sprucing up the whole ground in general.

Tommy, who was also Harlow Town’s manager between 2003 – 2007, said: “Harlow’s football team have progressed really well since Danny (Chapman) took over as manager. We wanted our facilities to match that.”

The Arena now boasts a new marquee opened in 2016 which offers a unique pitch-side setting with an incorporated bar, dance-floor area and seating for up to 160 guests. It also has dedicated heating for the colder months and the ability to open up the sides for an “al fresco” setting. There is also a ‘Function Suite’ which has a large bar and dance- floor area, multiple possible layouts and seating for up to 160 people. It has hosted all kinds of events, from exhibitions and corporate events to comedy nights and private functions, such as weddings and birthday parties. There is also a Sports Bar complete with widescreen that is ideal for smaller events, and the ‘Directors’ Suite’ which offers a contemporary setting for meetings, corporate training sessions or lunches.

There has been a determined push towards engaging businesses over the past year. The football club is proud to be a member of the Chamber of Commerce and a number of HDCC events have been held in The Arena, primarily breakfast business networking, all local business are welcome to attend and should look to book through the Chamber’s website. There are a number of sponsorship offers available to business customers too, which offer considerable benefits to businesses excluding the obvious; those of increased visibility and aiding the local community.

If you would like to contact The Harlow Arena please use the links below

01279 443196



03 – LEARN

We’ve collated some excellent top tips from members, associates and contacts to whet your appetite for learning more.

STEVE CHEW – Magnificent Stuff

  1. The brain is designed to learn. If you don’t learn it will atrophy.
  2. Technology changes ridiculously quickly – constant training is imperative.
  3. I know it’s unfashionable but… READ things!



  1. Training – you can never be ‘too smart’; there is always something to be learned from someone, no matter how lowly you consider their current position to be.
  2. Development – one thing we can always be sure of is change. Try to be positive about change. A flexible mindset will help you cope.
  3. Growth – This ought to be contained within your business plan. Who are your ideal clients? How do you approach them? Who are your competitors?



  1. For start-ups, when writing a business plan double the costs and half the income forecasts.
  2. Pay invoices within 30 days and you will be more likely to be paid quicker.


PAUL BARTLET – Price Bailey

  1. Look for changes in the sector you are in. Are there opportunities for new service lines? Keep things fresh!
  2. Listen – there is a reason why we have two ears and one mouth and the key is using them in proportion. The difficult part is mastering the skill. Listen to learn rather than listening to respond.
  3. Learn – explore opportunities to broaden your skills.



TREVOR STANESBY – Blue Pig Creative

  1. Keep to your word.
  2. Do not over promise on what you can do.
  3. Listen to your client.


ED PEARSON – Entrepreneurs Network

  1. Make sure you’re embracing the right problems.
  2. There is always stuff popping up in business that can potentially derail you but solving the right issues that get you moving towards your goals and ensuring growth.


LYN REED – Best Mailing Services

  1. Build a strong relationship with your client.
  2. Stay connected.
  3. Pick up the phone! It is not all about email.
  4. Go that extra mile & be proactive.
  5. Offer help & knowledge for free; it doesn’t have to be about something you can charge for.
  6. Be happy, stay positive and show interest.



If you would like any help with any of the topics discussed please feel free to contact us at info@magnificentstuff.net 

A Night at the EDA’s 2018

My first 6 months as an Account Manager at Magnificent Stuff has been an absolute whirlwind to say the least! My passion for marketing has grown day by day which was injected with excitement and delight when I received an email saying that we were finalists at the Essex Digital Awards 2018. Our category was Social Media for Business which, as all of our wonderful clients know, we strive to be the best at! The Magnificent Stuff team had a fantastic evening which is why we want to share it with you all!

The event was held at Hyland’s House which is a truly stunning venue located in Chelmsford. Besides being an awards evening, the event brought over 100 people together all of whom share the same passion. This, therefore, made the networking opportunity second to none.

The evening kicked off with a welcome drink, photos and mingling in the main hall. We then moved into the marquee where a delicious dinner was served and the awards began. The support and sponsorship in the room was incredible and it made me feel lucky that I was a part of the industry, let alone this event.

Continue reading “A Night at the EDA’s 2018”