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11/02/2019

I managed the Radford road branch of Granby motors for Jack and his business partner Pete for most of the nineties.

They were good times back then when the one new registration a year caused a surge of excitement, which seems somewhat subdued today with the twice a year registration system.

At the height of the Granby empire, there were five shops and a warehouse facility which was always full of stock to sell.

Indeed Jack always had an eye for a bargain!  When e-bikes were still in their infancy a large batch of them duly arrived in the warehouse. Micro-scooters also appeared there on another occasion!  

Once a consignment of computer printers turned up, and that definitely looked a little out of place when everything else in the warehouse had wheels attached!

Monthly sales meetings were held at Jack’s home in Ilkeston, where he would chair them chuffing away on his roll ups and passing around Gloria’s homemade sandwiches, and the odd glass of beer.

Despite all his busy work-related life, he still made time for other worthy causes. He was a founder member of the Ilkeston Lions way back in 1976 and contributed to others such as the DARE scheme.

Jack had many business contacts abroad, both exporting and importing. This inevitably led to parallel importing as he and a number of other independents took advantage of the money market importing and retailing cheaper motorcycles and scooters in to the UK. The phone positively “glowed” on a Wednesday when MCN came out.

All good things come to an end and after a long run of over 50 years the business slowly shrank back to operating solely out of the warehouse which by that time doubled up as a retail outlet. Jack’s health in those latter times had deteriorated and the business was finally no longer sustainable, so after all the successful years in the industry it had been a part of for so long the Empire finally closed its doors for the last time in Jan 2016.

He was undoubtedly a character widely known and well liked by many people in the industry and he certainly had a group of very devoted and dedicated staff around him, some who had worked with him for many years. This is testament in itself to the kind of man he was.  

I am sure there will be many other people in the industry with a story to tell about the man we all affectionately knew as “Granby Jack” and I for one cannot wait to hear them.

As I sign off I would like to take this opportunity to give my personal  condolences to Gloria, Howard and Julie.

RIP Jack

Mark Nightingale