Worshipful Company of Carmen

scite, cito, certe — skilfully, swiftly, surely
Master Elect


Master of the Worshipful Company of Carmen, Nicholas Kenneth Laister, or Nick as he is known to many, was born in 1958 on the Lincolnshire Yorkshire border.   Nicholas was brought up near his mother’s family farm and the David Brown farm machinery depot managed by his father, an agricultural engineer. He was educated locally, and as an active member of Eastoft Methodist Chapel, became their organist and an accredited Local Preacher.  

In his first employment he was responsible for shipping grain, coal, steel, wood, chemicals, and many other commodities all over the world and later became a Director of a vehicle movement company, HSL Automotive where he formed many important industry links.  He project managed the build and opening of two large additional warehousing units, diversified into archival storage and management and car movements and vehicle modifications which converted vans into patient transport and ambulances using the Ratcliff tail-lift.   

In 1990 he met and married Joy, who worked in the family landscape gardening and floristry business.   In January 2002 Nick & Joy set up nkl automotive ltd. which they ran successfully along with a fabulous team, moving demonstration, fleet, and lease vehicles, mainly individually driven although occasionally involving use of car transporters; valet, repair and refurbishment workshops were an additional service the company provided for their corporate customers.  As a result of their successful teamwork with driver, road safety and commitment to driver training, nkl automotive ltd. was one of the first ten companies and the only one privately owned, to receive an award from Driving for Better Business, DfBB, which is a government initiative and now forms part of Highways England; other notable awards were from BRAKE, Motability, The Worshipful Company of Carmen, and East Riding of Yorkshire Council.  

In 2005 Nick became a Liveryman with The Worshipful Company of Carmen and it was also the year in which he and Joy built their commercial premises which in 2006 were officially opened by HRH, The Princess Royal.

Nick was elected to the Carmen Court of Assistants in 2012 and in 2013 Joy became a Carmen Liveryman and the couple sold their company to British Car Auctions (BCA) whom they worked closely with until 2016 when they both left the company to semi retire but keeping themselves fully occupied with Carmen, family, church, charity work, travel, and their property portfolio.  

Nick is determined with the help and support of an army of volunteers on the Carmen committees and panels and the Carmen Company as a whole to be a voice within the Transport & Logistics industry and beyond.   In recent times, following Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic, we as a nation have seen an ever-increasing shortage of HGV drivers, the importance of logistics, the effects of our usage of fuels worldwide on our climate, climate change, the importance of sustainability, bees for pollination, diversity, and equal opportunities for all and so much more that we all must question our responses to these difficult subjects.   It is vitally important that we as a Livery Company work closely with others to harness best practice and support training opportunities to better educate ourselves and others. Particularly important is our need to both teach and learn from our younger generation who are our future decision makers, and in all these matters make a huge difference in the future of the next generation.