One of the UK's leading label printing companies

The Retirement of Sales Director Francis Milne

2019 was always set to be a year of changes for Abbey Labels but our biggest one this year has to be the retirement of our ever-popular Sales Director, Francis Milne.

After 32 years of dedicated service to the Abbey group, Francis has decided to retire from the label world and spend his time enjoying the finer things in life! A beloved member of our team, Francis started with us back in 1987 having previously worked in car sales (and dabbling in a bond movie!). The transition was a bold and very successful move.

Francis has excelled in the world of labelling and his role as Sales Director has seen major developments through the history of Abbey Labels, from assisting with graphic design and hand delivering proofs (to the time before PDF proof emails were even an idea!) to leading a sales team into greatness. Thanks to Francis’ efforts and encouragement towards the rest of the team, our year on year sales continue to grow, meaning we have been able to make many new developments and investment within the company. For this dedication, we shall forever be in his debt.

Francis Milne, retiring Sales Director of Abbey Labels

Not only a colleague but a friend to many, here is what we have to say….


I first met Francis in the early 80’s when he was manager of the largest car dealership in Bury St Edmunds. He sold me a Montego estate car for my wife to drive (she never forgave me). I decided then, that if ever this guy wants a change of career Abbey would be first in line.

Francis joined us in 1987 promoting our Business Forms division and set the standard for others to follow; he worked with our repro company with the same success and was soon rewarded with a directorship of the group.

When he joined the Abbey Group team Francis made an instant impression, with sales reaching new highs and encouraging us to invest, matching his success. Abbey Labels would not be one of the top and most respected label printers in the UK today if it wasn’t for Francis’ drive and charm.

Francis is one of life’s good guys.

Peter Allum


Francis has always put Abbey Labels and it’s customers first. I am forever thankful for the dedication he has shown. It’s because of this and the example he has set to the others, that Abbey Labels is on the solid foundations and the success it is today. I hope he has an enjoyable and well deserved retirement. Thank you, Francis.

Tom Allum


I have known Francis since he joined the Abbey group in 1987, I have worked alongside him since Abbey Labels inception in 1996. I couldn’t think of a nicer, more personable individual to have journeyed through my working career with. He has encouraged many clients to use the services of the company who are still working clients today; these I’m sure will have been enticed and charmed by his smooth Sales techniques.

Thank you, Francis; it’s been an honor. Enjoy your well-earned retirement.

Barry Pettit
Managing Director


With Francis’ departure comes a new opportunity for our committed sales team member Craig Rutterford, who will be stepping into the role of Sales Manager.


Having joined the Abbey group as an apprentice printer 14 years ago, working through production and into the sales team, I’m now excited to be taking on a new role as Abbey Labels Sales Manager. The team has been led superbly over the years by Francis, his knowledge, experience and hard work have been key to the success of Abbey Labels.

Thank you for all your help Francis and here’s to a well deserved and happy retirement.

Craig Rutterford
Sales Manager