Les Collins was born in Edmonton in 1921, and in 1940 started his war years as an ambulance driver in the London Blitz. After call-up into the Army, he was posted to the Middle East, where he drove fuel trucks and was a 'Desert Rat'. In his time he met King George V, General Montgomery and Winston Churchill, and while on a troop ship was chased by German U-Boats.
Les joined Herberts in 1964 as a delivery van driver, where his steady driving techniques and quiet efficiency were very soon in evidence. The May 1965 edition of the Lion News reported that he had received a letter of congratulations from the Truck Sales Division of Vauxhall Motors on the performance of his Bedford van, 685 OMV, which had averaged 'as high as 30 miles per gallon'.
In 1967 Les was appointed Senior Storeman, and moved with the firm to Haverhill in 1968 when he transferred into the Machine Shop. Later, he changed to scale assembly, working on the highly successful Lion 2000 and Lion Sovereign retail scales.
After the death of his first wife, Jean, Les married Iris at Easter 1978 in Newmarket.
Les retired in March 1985 and he and Iris later moved to Kessingland on the Suffolk coast. After the first pensioners' lunch in 2002 was covered in the Lion News, Les wrote to enquire why he had not received an invitation. He and Iris were regular attendees until ill health and poor eyesight made this too difficult.
Les Collins died on 30th March 2009 in Kessingland.