From paperboy to boss – Ray’s in the news

ANNIVERSARY Ray Culverwell outside his store.  Picture: Allan Hutchings (121518-894)
ANNIVERSARY Ray Culverwell outside his store. Picture: Allan Hutchings (121518-894)
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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AT the age of just 14, Raymond Culverwell got his first job delivering newspapers for J G Riley, in Locksway Road, Milton.

And having started at the bottom, 50 years later he is celebrating his 30th anniversary of running the newsagents.

Raymond worked part-time in the shop for 10 years with the previous owner before taking over in 1982.

At that time the shop sold packets of five Woodbine cigarettes and copies of The News cost just 12p.

Now, 30 years on, Raymond said he still loves running the shop as much as the day he first opened up.

And to mark the occasion he decorated the store with bunting and offered discounted prices on cards in the store.

He said: ‘It’s quite an achievement to make it to 30 years, lots of people who open shops these days don’t make it past a year.

‘I’m really chuffed to have made it this long, but it’s all thanks to the customers. Without them I wouldn’t still be here.

‘The secret to survival in this tough economic climate is to make sure that you satisfy the customers and give them what they want.

‘I always try to help them in whatever way I can and if I don’t have something that they want then I’ll try to get it in.’

Raymond has made many changes in the shop since taking it over, including upgrading the tills from old hand-operated tills to touch control electronic ones, and trebling the size of the shop when he bought a property next door.

He has become a well-known face in Milton, and even employs the grandchildren of some of his former fellow paper boys to deliver papers.

He added: ‘I have seen lots of my customers and my paper boys and girls grow up.

‘They all know me and I know them really well too.

‘It’s so nice when they come in and tell me all about how they’re getting on.’