I started work as a 15 year old in a warehouse that supplied plumbing and heating goods. I stayed there for 10 years before the place was closed; I turned down a chance to stay with the company and instead went to work for one of its customers who wanted to start his own shop.
I spent eight years building up a new business before moving on to another new company. That only lasted only ten months; it was time to start my own business and in 1988 along with my brother-in-law began a small plumbing and heating supplies.
We had no shop at that point, instead I went around in an old rusty £500 van collecting and then delivering the goods. Around eight months later we got our first shop and five years on we added a second. In 2002 we converted a warehouse into a huge bathroom showroom.
In 15 years we had gone from a rusty van to three premises and a turnover of over 2 million. But like with everything, time catches up with you. After the fourth hip replacement I needed to slow down and so the company was split, the showroom closed, and the working week came down to 50 hours instead of 72.
I still run a Plumbing Supplies business, with all sorts of wonderful & colouful characters coming in. There are times when it’s so, so stressful & other times when I can enjoy the reaps of my rewards from that 15 year old boy just starting out in the plumbing world – maybe there’s a story in there somewhere; think that will have to wait for another day.