Employee Spotlight: John McKillop – Fabricator

Next up in our employee spotlight series is John McKillop, our expert fabricator who spends his time manufacturing stunning gates and bringing our clients’ visions to life. Remember, we offer a bespoke service so be sure to get in touch with a member of our team. We would love to help you. See what John had to say about his career so far, and how he likes to spend his free time.

1) How do you know Craig (Director), and how did you end up working at CM?

I’ve known Craig since we started High school over 20 years ago – we were in some classes together. He was one of the popular lads from a young age. One of the likeable lads apart from the football rivalry. Always top banter. I spoke to Craig about 7 months ago regarding a position – a close friend of mine was helping Craig out at the time. A few months passed and I saw he had an ad for a position,  so I sent him a message. I went up to the unit to meet him and he told me about his ideas and where he wanted the company to be in the future. I also realised we are very similar in the way we think. He made me an offer I couldn’t really refuse and I was really interested in helping him and his company grow.

2) What is an average day like for you at work?

An average day working with the team is brilliant. We have a  great group of people here at CM – always willing to help each other out regardless of the task. We all have the same mindset where we want the reputation of the company to stay positive and to ensure we maintain all safety standards to avoid any unnecessary incidents.

3) What is your favourite project you’ve worked on so far?

I don’t know if it’s classed as a project, but I took Craig’s high performance car in for some car work, and as a car lover that put a smile on my face. Besides that, it was my first start-to-finish job at Barr’s factory in Cumbernauld. I fabricated a gate and frame, and also installed the gate on site. Since then, I have fabricated few more gates and have been part of a few other exciting projects that I’m sure everyone will hear about soon.

john mckillop

4) Could you tell us a bit about your career before joining CM?

I worked in a small blacksmith/fabrication workshop in Broxburn where we did a large variety of work – no job was too big or small. I was a  young, very eager lad, which is still how I see myself. I was able to work with some brilliant tradesmen there. I spent just over 9 years there and got put up to a charge hand position after 8 years. After that I left  and went onto a modular fabrication workshop as a fabricator. I was there for 12 years – after 9 years I was promoted to a fabrication supervisor position.

5) What is one of the most rewarding parts about the job?

Since a very young age I’ve always looked forward to a challenge – no job too big or small. I always have and always will take great pride in what a do. I personally like to see a job once it’s finished – especially since I know how it started. I love putting a smile on someone’s face and that feeling of appreciation will always be my drive.

6) From start to finish – how would you describe a typical gate installation?

This is dependent on the type of installation it is. The team will go step by step on what needs to be done, and discuss anything that should be done differently for each installation (from a procedure standpoint.) In a nutshell we arrive on site, set up, mark out where everything needs to go, dig holes if necessary, bolt down, levelling, wiring, automation setup, and tidying up. Job done. Nice and efficient.

7) What is something people may not know about you?

I like to think I am a very hard working guy, with great attention to detail. Don’t shy away from anything. I am (or was) a keen runner before the pandemic. I have participated in roughly 50 events including 8 marathons. I am a thrill seeker and have done 2 solo 3500ft parachute jumps – I like to live life on the edge. I would love to do an iron man event one day.


John with Director, Craig Manson, at a recent park run.


8) Could you tell us a bit more about your family?

I have three children.  One boy – John Jr (18 years old), 2 girls Shannon (12 years old)  and Sophie (8 years old). I have been married for 10 years to my best friend Hazelanne who I have been with for 20 years. Also have a 6 month old cockapoo, Thor

9) You’ve driven many miles over the course of your time with CM. What are some things you do to pass the time in the van, and what kind of music do you like to listen to? Also, what is your favourite song at the moment?

I listen to a very wide variety of music. Anything from my auld mans era – Chris Rea, Neil diamond, Dire Straits, to more up beat stuff like GBX, to rap music – Tupac, Eminem, and Dr Dre. But I do have a soft spot for Justin Timberlake, anyone that knows me will know this lol.  Currently, my favourite song is Cold Heart by Elton John & Dua Lipa.


10) What do you hope for the future of the business?

I hope to help CM go from strength to strength and to be the biggest gate manufacturer and automation installer in Scotland – then the UK.


CM Gates & Barriers are expert fabricators and installers of driveway gates, barriers, and access control systems. From our base in Livingston, perfectly situated between Edinburgh and Glasgow, we serve the whole of Scotland.


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