In 2005 I had a middle management position in a large national retail company, I had been with them for almost 26 years and Gill had been employed in various retail management roles since returning to work after bringing up our family. I really enjoyed my work and thought I was regarded in some esteem by the company, however things began to change and the work load increased, as did the hours while the staff levels reduced along with the salary.

And so I began looking for a different form of employment; however I knew I had no desire to continue working in retail and I wanted to do something for myself.

One morning Gill spotted an article in a magazine which asked “Are you looking for an original business? Do you want to be self employed and be in control of your own future?” It was as if fate was giving us a sign and within a week I found myself without gainful employment, having handed in my notice and waving goodbye to my past. Soon after, Gill gave up her employment and joined me full time.

Initially the task was daunting; although I had some business experience, I had no computer, little or no computer skills and no idea of how the future would develop.

As it turns out, the future turned out to be a combination of hard work, sacrifice, sleepless nights and some frank and honest discussions between Gill and myself.

Our magazines have undergone some changes in the last seven years; originally we used the Horwich Directory and the Westhoughton Directory as the titles, later we introduced the header BL as the main title for the two publications. Our original delivery was 2000 copies delivered by hand each month and later due to popular demand we increased to 3000 per month and these days, due to swollen knees and arthritic ankles, we need help delivering them, however we still do our share. And we’ve maintained our original pricing policy for the last seven years.

The point is, although some things have changed, we are proud to call ourselves the original, OK the original idea wasn’t ours, however we have created a magazine that’s true to our business ethos:

”Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”

The Olympic games certainly delivered a major spectacle, I’m really pleased that it happened in our life time and that in the future I’ll be able to say that I was there, well not quite there but certainly in front of the television when the main events happened and in Horwich when the torch was carried by and we watched sports we had never seen before and were spell bound by taekwondo “stupid sport“ is what I’d called it at the start. The opening and closing ceremonies where stunningly different, Rio has a tough act to follow.

We’ll be delivering be delivering our magazines once again this month, we added the number of magazines we have delivered since we started and were amazed that the number came to a staggering 440’000 now that’s what I call spectacular

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