Our Team

Simon McGee – Director & Founder

Simon McGeeAfter leaving school in 1988 I joined the Youth Training Scheme (YTS), I had always had a keen interest in electronics and gadgets, and I secured an interview at a small local offshore company which ran and operated ROVs (mini remote controlled submersibles) for the offshore industry. After my first ever job interview, I started working in their GY office on a day release while attending college.

After 12 months I found myself with the option of going offshore, but that really wasn’t for me, so I arranged my second job interview and found myself working for a small telecoms company called the Phone Box on Hall Plain in Great Yarmouth.

After two years of being the boy, the company suddenly went into receivership and I found myself without a job! Having already been involved in the looking after Great Yarmouth Borough Councils’ cabling, I decided to see if they would consider me continuing where the Phone Box left off and as of July the 15th 1991 at the tender age of 19, I founded my company Phones Direct.

My first year’s turnover was £27,000 with absolutely no profit, but it was a start! Three years went by and I found myself needing some help so I took on my first employee and gradually started to gain more and more customers as the years went on.

In 2001 a good friend came to me and proposed selling me his business as he wanted to retire, so I purchased Anglia Telephones, primarily because the name Phones Direct was a bit to internet based and as East Anglia is our catchment area it made sense, so Anglia Telephones & Data Communications was born!

With product lines and services expanding into CCTV, Call recording, CTI and much more, I would not be able to do it without my fantastic team, Caroline, Graeme, Ashby, Ellis and my Wife Tracey, which was very evident in 2009, when I had to have time off to have open heart surgery, a bit of a shock at 37! They all rallied together to make sure we gave the same great service my customers expect, and gave me time to get back on my feet. 2009 also saw our move to the Beacon Innovation Centre, moving house and getting married, so it was a very busy year for us all!

2016 saw my 25th year in business! I have seen many, many changes in the telecoms industry in that time and I am looking forward to the challenges of the next 25 years!

Caroline Woodhouse

Caroline WoodhouseI started my career at the young age of 18 straight out of college where I went for my first ever interview and managed to secure a job with Norwich Union which is now better known as Aviva.

After working there for 9 years I decided it was time to have a family but after having my son I went back to work part time at Office Equipment Centre’s for 5 years after such time we thought it was a good idea to add to our family and along came our second son.

I took a career break of 18 months and needs must I secured a part time job with Hockley’s Estate Agents which meant working every Sunday which did not fit in with family life so I decided to leave, although the boss tried all ways to make me stay even suggesting he’d get someone else to work the Sundays so I must have been doing something right!

I have been very lucky with my career as my brother in law was then about to take over the electronics side of Office Equipment Centre when it was sold he then asked if I would join him part time until unfortunate circumstances led him to make me redundant. It was sheer luck that Linda (Simon’s mum) was having her hair done one day and asked my sister in law if she knew of anyone who was looking for a part time position, result! I had a brief interview with Simon his question being ‘when can you start!’ and the rest is history.

I have now had the pleasure of working for Simon at Anglia Telephones since 17th October 2001 dealing with most aspects of the business including supporting the boss! However, my primary role within the company is dealing with the line, broadband, Voip orders through Mainstream Digital and our most recent partner Trusip from the preliminary order to completion and ongoing support to all of our customers.

I still work three days a week which suits me as I am my elderly mother’s primary carer now so she takes up more of my time and times have changed since I first started working for Simon but I am very lucky working for him as he is a great support to me at work and also on a personal level. So I am in my 20th year this year and this is my longest continuous service I have worked for one company and I am sure this will take me to my retirement as I am confident Anglia Telephones will continue with its success through the support of our very loyal customers.

Graeme Lack

Graeme Lack

My career started in 1996 with Granada Services as an apprentice TV and Video Engineer attending college one day a week, allowing me to pass my Electronics 224 course in assessments and practical.

From the year 2000 I worked for Manpower, where I was contracted out to Telewest as an installation engineer, where I was fortunate to secure a full time position and that was my introduction to the telecoms world.

In February 2003 I went self employed and worked for Custom Cable contracted to NTL again as an installation engineer.

I joined Anglia Telephones in December 2003 as a trainee Telecoms Engineer and have worked my way up to senior engineer under the watchful eye of Simon.

I successfully completed and passed Panasonic training courses on the Panasonic KXTD816 and 1232 systems in 2004 and in 2005 the KXTDA15/30/100 and 200 systems. I am now trained on the Panasonic TDE100/200, NCP500/100 and the NS700/1000 systems and learning about Sip trunks and the benefits of utilising this technology. This gives me a better understanding of what products and services we are able to offer our customers.

Recently I have also successfully completed and passed Paxton Net2 training courses for Installation of IP access control door entry.

Ashby Harrison

Ashby HarrisonIn 2004 I enrolled on a two year Electrical installations course at Great Yarmouth College. I attended college two days a week and the other three I worked at Codays Sheet Metal Fabrications. After completion of the college course I applied for a position at a local Fire and Security systems company called Securicom as an installation engineer for Fire Alarms and CCTV in Care homes and Schools, mostly working away from home.

After two years I was unfortunately made redundant due to the company going through a quiet period. Within a week my previous employer contacted me to let me know that there may be a position for a trainee telecoms engineer at Anglia Telephones. After a brief chat with Simon at the office on Beccles Road, I began working the following Monday and have now been employed since December 2008.

Since joining Anglia Telephones I have been working alongside Graeme building up my knowledge on all of the Panasonic telephone systems we install past and present.

One of my current roles I am involved in is CCTV installation.  I have been installing analogue CCTV cameras for around 7 years and am now progressing over to the IP camera solutions we have to offer, learning about the Surveon IP range in particular.