It’s been a while since we had such an animated, vibrant and hilarious speaker as Len. The time raced by as he entertained us with his ‘behind the scenes’ tales and anecdotes of his days whilst driving delivery lorries for Smedley’s of Wisbech and then as a self-employed furniture remover.
After driving a mobile shop for his parents grocery business, he quit to realise his dream of being a lorry driver, satisfy his love of the smell of diesel and the A1 and, dispel his father’s somewhat warped opinion that all lorry drivers were thieves, liars and womanisers !!!
He recounted several humorous incidents in which he was involved whilst delivering for Smedley’s including the eventful day he tried to deliver six cases of peas to a Tesco store. Unfortunately for him, his days were numbered and in 1971 he was made redundant however, ever the entrepreneur, he bought a van and started up a business delivering fresh flowers from Spalding to Brighton market. Whilst doing this, he was often asked to pick up and/or deliver furniture so, spotting a gap in the market, he set up his own removal company.
Once again, Len shared funny story after funny story of incidents which occurred whilst he was removing furniture including getting his lorry stuck under a bridge, being conned by a bogus Naval officer and finding a collection of risque photographs in a piano. Having built up a very successful removals and storage business, Len eventually retired after thirty-three years however, this was very short-lived as, after four days, he bought a minibus and set up a travel firm. Fourteen years later, he retired for the second time and is now a stand in school bus driver when not collecting and building with meccano.
Len doesn’t drink or smoke, has successfully beaten bowel cancer and has never won an award however, he’s very, very proud of the knitted medal he was given by an 86 year old customer and held it up for us all to see. His zest for life is infectious and his tales were truly captivating.
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