On the hunt f step back in time wit

1 l wer or a new

983 witness major develo the beginn the internet not how w it today)

ed some opments: nings of (though

we know ), the

mobile (as opposed to car and what Michael Jackso the moonwalk, which w witnessed being perform o

inebriated patr pub as they made their way windows at closing time. Th no personal computers, and .

ons of the Gr

also pre-PC in another way Power selling i

Black k & D k y.

I remember the satisfaction I felt with every single Bl

Decker power

tool that we sold. Cash was flowing so much more fr eely than ever before and it was tough for me to fight the temptation to go mad and fill the whole shop with this stuf f

f. I had to

remember that the profit margins were as tight as a… (here you get And, yes

to fill in a suitable simile). we e doing okay with associated

sales, but even this was not exactly empire-building. Happy times.

Then it happened: people began

asking for Bosch power tools and walking out when we had none to offer. Why? Because they wanted something of

f on two levels (ther e’s pr to captur

Black & Decker example of our needing to stock obably a it

better quality than . This was another

mor e appr means keeping a better alternative e a sale.

opriate term), but

One of the issues concerned with B&D was the inability of orbital


sanders to keep hold of the paper ed,

sanding sheets. This, I discover

applied mostly to the gr units that had been imported on the e weak

een-coloured cheap from Canada, wher

spring clips left customers somewhat cheesed of

ff with Black & Decker as a

whole. Not a good move. The local sales manager told me

) phone, n called

we often med by otty Sark past our e

here wer we were


w supplier and an interesting th part 36 his stories from



un te cu hi

h fr w

tr U

w st


esting run in with Sticky Syd; our independent hardwareman takes a om the shopfloor

ny town.

I listened with mounting terr nable to understand why he was elling me his plans for world key utting domination. He’d even made ds that

or,r, imself some display boar

e was filling with blanks pinched rom his employer

Unflappable, seen it all befor And, then Syd came back to ask if key-cutting

ry and see where it gets hi e.

we would allow him a

tall in our shop. We had to admire hiis determination but no way did we want to hand over our key business o someone else, though in retrospect, it would have given us more time to oncentrate on other areas, whilst ental

w to

ld h i

that the majority DIY range e o wer ee

used two or thr

for more serious always

the Master

If anyone w the

of the tools in the only meant to be times a year

o r, and

seemed surprised that I didn’t know this.


For the less ambi craft r un


Decker Professiona only from B&D S

itious, ther

we had it: the r wasn’t meant for a Marvellous! Maybe I shou more committed a Mastercraft tools, were equally appall e o g

seemed the mor set about looking Bosch, hoping for b

Leather cuts Sticky Syd was nationwide chain o that’s goods, not g although ound th


did open a leather village, whose bu

Service Centr e was


wanted something jobs

there was Black &

al range (available es).

range. So, there n of the mill stuff anything serious.

uld have been and taken on the gins


but the mar ling, so I did what obvious step and for a supplier of

better gins. mar manager of a

of leather shops – ,

gear r, by the way y,

his time someone shop in a nearby ulk of sales was

“No wa hand ou over to – thoug it would

o ld

ay did we want to ur y business ke someone else gh, in retrospect, i en s

d have iven us g

more time to concentra on other areas”


mainly by male-order (not a typo); it was closed down by the council. Anyhow

line in shoe repairs and key cutting. Syd was tall, beefy y

w, Syd’s place also did a y, with a fluffy

y, ffy

hairstyle that was a cross between a 1970s American soul singer’s and a candy floss. You get the pictur e. day, complete in

by. Sury

He came in one company overall, and told me of his ambition to set up by himself – cutting keys; something we also did, as did another shoe mender close eplaced and

ely he would be r then there’d be four of us at it in one

co al in to


ncome. But he’d alr

I’m hi


lso bringing in some useful r eady owned up

o stealing his employer’s stock, so usted

m certain we couldn’t have tr is fingers not to stick to ours.


During a recent trip to Calderdale, was shocked to find that a local hardwar e shop had ceased trading. Being concerned, I found the shop’s acebook page, with timeline posts ecent closing down

Fa d p

co So es I

co it

escribing the r rocess, amidst a multitude of omments om grateful customers.

fr stablished, long-r

cu od bu

ba ef ba ot p

sh in to

o, what had happened to this well- unning business?

ouncil’s parking char no longer financially viable for ustomers to pop into town for the dd few items (it’s not only the cost, ut the risk of being fined if late

can only guess, so here goes: the ges made


ndependents curl up and die and es become decimated.

hop online, bank online, own centr

Please don’t have nightmares. 19 JULY 2019 DIY WEEK 15

ffect had made the four town centr anks close down one after the ther. So, no banks and expensive eason why people local

ack). Over 19 years the knock-on e

arking: another r r, claiming they

were miss-cuts. My boss said: “Let the bugger m”.

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