I bought my first store at the age of 21 in Upminster. I used to look at newsagents and think I could do a reasonable job. I retired five-and-a-half years ago but after two years my wife came home with a part-time job in retail. She was so buzzy that I realised I missed it and asked her if we should do it again. So we did.
What do you like most about being a retailer?
I get tremendous satisfaction out of my job. I like to get away for a holiday but if I could be in retail for ever, I'd be happy.
What do you hate?
News delivery - it's difficult to get right.
What's the best piece of advice anyone has given you?
'If customers can enter the shop and see the whole shop, you've got it right'.
What advice do you wish someone had told you when you were starting out?
That it's hard work. But you've got to be a person who wants high standards. You must never have empty spaces on shelves.
What's good about the location of the shop?
It's a country location. The nearest ambulance takes half-an-hour to reach us so we carry a defibrillator and can be there in minutes.
Who's your best customer and why?
It's the £100-£120 mums who don't want to go to the large superstores. I remember the first time someone pushed a trolley round, I kept following them saying 'They're still filling it up!" I couldn't believe it.
What would you have done if you hadn't gone into the business?
I would have been a policeman. I applied to the police and had passed the exams but chose retailing.
If you had your time over would you do anything differently?
I would love to be a young man and have lots of shops.