Record Shop Days

In the words of the great Max Bygraves…….”I wanna tell you a story.”

 But is it true?

 Back in 1984 I was offered a job managing a record shop in Gloucester. I was unemployed at the time so any job offer was worthwhile especially as there was a job offer for Mrs D as well. We considered that moving from Wales was the only choice we had given the dire employment situation at the time. I’d been working self employed desperately trying to sell life insurance for a dubious American company and given this was at the time of the miner’s strike and my patch was the South Wales area, then it doesn’t take a genius to work out that I wasn’t doing very well.

One night the phone rang and a friend from Wolverhampton  asked me if I was interested in talking to someone about maybe managing a record shop in Gloucester. He told me that they’d pay my travel expenses to go for an interview so after discussing it with my then new wife, we decided that I ought to go just to find out what was on offer. We’d been married a few weeks and were decidedly skint, what with me being jobless and my wife only working part time. The interview day came quickly and I jumped into my bright yellow Hillman Avenger 1600L and set off for the journey to Bath.

English: Westgate Street, Gloucester

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Before I knew where I was I was managing a little record shop in Westgate Street in Gloucester and living in a guest house whilst I looked for a flat. My wife had also been offered a job, as assistant manager, so we looked forward to being financially solvent. The first guest house we stayed in wasn’t exactly brilliant so we moved to a much better one around the corner and began to get way too comfortable. We had a good search of Gloucester and Cheltenham looking for somewhere to live and for reasons that I really cannot remember ended up with a dump of a flat on the second floor above a shop in Cheltenham’s High Street adjacent to the Old Restoration pub. It must’ve been cheap because it was awful. We must’ve been able to find somewhere better?

So before we got this flat we stayed in the guest house from Monday to Friday, we’d work on Saturday then drive back to Swansea and then return to Gloucester early on Monday. This happened on a weekly basis for about 6 weeks weeks until we were ready to move into the grotty flat. Cometh the hour, cometh the man in the shape of my brother in a hired Luton van that flew along the motorway at all of 50 mph carrying most of our worldly goods with the Avenger rammed with clothes and other stuff.

So, settled into our new hovel we set to work on trying to do something with this declining little record shop. Simply put the previous manager was rubbish and had no idea about how to run things – no idea at all. This little shop was taking about £1200 a week, not exactly much. The only real competition was HMV, Smiths and Woolworths so grabbing some of their customers would be easy enough I thought.

 

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Responses

  1. C’mon Doc what happened next ?

  2. Interesting story. It drew me in and then let me go. I’d love to read more stuff like this. You’ve got a great blog here mister. Will check out more.


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