A COMPANY supplying blinds to customers across Huddersfield is changing hands with the retirement of its owner.
John Taylor, who has run UK Blinds Direct in the town for the past 12 years is stepping down and moving to Bridlington – where he aims to devote more time to his hobbies of sailing and camping.
The business is now in the hands of Longwood-based Alan Cromwell, an apprentice trained mechanical engineer, who has worked for some of Huddersfield’s foremost manufacturing firms and spent 12 years in sales.
Mr Taylor took up the Huddersfield area franchise for UK Blinds Direct 12 years ago after seeing the opportunity advertised.
He said: “Business was very slow at first and I was on the verge of quitting on a couple of occasions. But the business has grown steadily. We have supplied schools, businesses and private householders with blinds for use in conservatories and children’s nurseries.”
Mr Taylor worked in hardware for 30 years before venturing into business for himself. He clocked up 40,000 miles a year as a salesman for firms including Dickinson Hardware in Warrington.
But he began his working life as a clerk with British Rail in Sheffield, his home city. Later, Mr Taylor worked for ICI on Teeside before moving to Yorkshire 14 years ago. A widower, he has a son Wesley and a daughter Caroline.
Mr Cromwell has been working alongside Mr Taylor at UK Blinds Direct for the past few months in preparation for taking over the business.
He served his apprenticeship as a mechanical engineer with Highfield Gears before working for David Brown and later Taylor Valves. He has wide experience of sales and in recent years has also worked in the building industry.
Said Mr Cromwell: “Mr Taylor has built up UK Blinds Direct by providing outstanding service.
“The company gets a great deal of repeat business and orders by word of mouth. People ring asking for John personally. “I have met some of his existing customers and I am looking forward to maintaining those links as well as building new ones.”