Baby boom turns showroom into a car creche

From left, Jennings Mazda's sales administrator Charlotte Sharp, group internet sales co-ordinator Craig Robinson with Lily, accounts administrator Mary Moon with Jack, commercial sales executive Derek Bell with Harrison and Jennings Ford's sales administrator Vanessa Sampson.

From left, Jennings Mazda's sales administrator Charlotte Sharp, group internet sales co-ordinator Craig Robinson with Lily, accounts administrator Mary Moon with Jack, commercial sales executive Derek Bell with Harrison and Jennings Ford's sales administrator Vanessa Sampson.

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NEW models have been rolling in thick and fast at a Sunderland garage.

Staff at Jennings Mazda and Ford dealerships, at Riverside Road, began celebrating the pitter patter of tiny feet from February, and have barely stopped since.

“We’ve celebrated three births over a period of two months,” said franchise manager Norman Shepherd. “And we have another four members of staff within our Mazda and Ford dealerships who are due to become new mums and dads.

“There has to be something in the water.”

Derek Bell, 49, and his wife Gail, from Biddick Woods, were the first couple to announce a new arrival, with Harrison.

In March, Sunderland couple Craig Robinson, 32, and Claire Thornton, celebrated the birth of Lily.

The same month, fellow city parents Mary Moon, 28, and her partner Neil welcomed Jack into their family.

Four more little bundles of joy are due to staff members’ families later this year.

Next to become parents, are Charlotte Sharp, 31, from South Shields, and Vanessa Sampson, 22, from Sunderland. The sales administrators are due within a week of each other.

“It wasn’t planned,” said Charlotte. “We did think it was going to happen, just not as the same time as each other.”

Vanessa said: “I kept my news a secret and didn’t tell anyone. But when I found out Charlotte was pregnant, I had to let everyone know too. We announced it at the same time.”

Charlotte added: “It’s mad that there’s loads of us pregnant this year – seven new babies.”

The dealership workers also go on maternity leave around the same time, and they already have their eyes on who they think could be next to fall pregnant.

Vanessa said: “I have to agree with Norman, there’s got to be something in the water.”

@sunderlandecho