When I was 17 I had a time after school without work, without knowing what I wanted to do. One day my oldest friend Gary called me and asked me if I needed a job. I said yes. Gary gave me directions to a factory floor in the heart of the lace market, which was in the heart of Nottingham.
It worked, and so did I, hard. I opened my brown paper envelope on my first pay Thursday and found £37. At first I thought it was a mistake, it was too much. No I'm not being sarcastic, this was money! Back then adjusting to money and the value of said, soon levels any hope of future wealth. At least for the for seeable future.
I gave my Mum £10 for my board and always spent £10 on Saturday night as I spent the last times I would enjoy with my school mates. My trip to work was by bus, this got into Victoria Centre at 7.30 am. From there I walked through town, along Bridle Smith gate and left into Byard Lane.
This was 1981, and the small shop window I stopped to look in every morning, the shop with the beautiful shirts, with the jumpers that I wanted, the suits that shouted style even to a boy. Well the shop had a signature above the window, and it was so cool. I asked my boss about the shop, I asked my boss about the small shop on Byard lane that I looked In every morning. I asked my boss who Paul Smith was.
Years later I would often drink in Jaceys Bar. There I met Chris who worked with Paul Smith in Bird Cage.
Then I would remember a time years back when... I would walk into work on Broadway just off Stoney St. The third floor, Joseph Cook. I would learn to use an Eastman straight knife well. And as I left for home passing Midup and Shread the most excellent tailors on the same floor. I would pick up the odd Paul Smith label, that had been dropped on the floor. ❤️