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How I Built My… with Bantering Bob


Bob Niblett recently retired from our Ryde branch after 49 years of dedicated service to our company and a fair bit of banter.

BOB caught up with Bob to chat about his career, the value of banter and what he’s getting up to in his retirement.

 Tell us, how did you get started at Jewson?

I started as an invoice clerk straight from school. Back then it was HW Morley & Son in Newport. I just went for the interview and got the job, then moved up the ranks from there.

And what do you do now?

Enjoy my retirement! Though I miss my friends back at the Ryde branch – I think of them as my friends and not my customers.

 Describe a typical day back at Jewson in Ryde

As the manager of the branch I’d be making sure everything was running smoothly for the team and the customers. And engaging in a bit of banter, of course!

 How would you say you went that extra mile for your customers?

Well, as I’ve mentioned, I thought of them as my friends. You’ve got to get involved with your customers and care about their lives. They’re not just numbers and if you show that you’re interested in them as people they will choose your branch over others in the area.

 Why ‘Bantering Bob?”

I’d always bounce off the customers with a bit of good-natured banter, from football to cricket and anything else. I suppose it makes people feel welcome.

How do you unwind?

I’m an officiator for road races so you’ll often see me overseeing a marathon or half marathon. It’s good to get involved in something that is really different to the world you work in. Now I’m retired I have much more time for it!

 What are you most proud of?

Gaining the trust of my customers. It’s not something that comes straight away, it’s something that you have to build on, sometimes for years. I’m proud that my customers trusted me.

 We’re brewing up – what’s yours?

I’m not really into tea or coffee, I prefer water. It’s important to stay hydrated!

 Finally, what’s your top bit of advice for anybody thinking of starting out in a trade?

Don’t take people for granted, keep your head down and get on with it – and if you don’t like what you’re doing, change it and find something you enjoy. You’ll be at it for a long time so it’s important to find something you’re good at and have fun doing.

Would you like to talk to BOB next month? Get in touch at [email protected]