Flat 2, 72 Embankment Road, Plymouth, South Devon PL4 9HY
Nov-68 – Sweda awarded me my first territory as Devon & Cornwall. Someone had tried to run the patch before from Exeter but had failed, so they insisted I needed to live somewhere near Plymouth.
Jane had an aunt there but otherwise I’m not sure I’d ever been there. As we drove into the city we passed along Embankment Road and laughed at it, suggesting it was like Gasworks Place or Colpit Lane.
Where did we get our first home? It was a flat on the first floor of 72 Embankment Road above the very appropriately named ‘Drake’s Bazaar’ general store. It cost us £16 3s 4d per month which looks weird today expressed that way 16 pounds 3 shillings and 4 pence. But selling cash registers was about to receive a big boost when on 15th February 1971 the country went decimal and all those old tills were obsolete!
We seemed to spend much of our time going up and down the old A38 in various unreliable cars. In those days you were lucky if tyres made it to 12,000 miles, electrics were a nightmare, bits falling off all the time. But at that time you could claim back the costs of running your own car as a salesman, so at the end of the year it was like raiding the piggy bank as you got some cash back.
The trip was of course to my branch office and to take our first child, Sarah, to see our families in Bristol, It was only 125 miles but it usually took well over three hours and in the summer we didn’t even try to travel around the weekends!
It was a great place to live and work. I would drop Jane and our baby on a beach, do my day’s work and join them there later. I also played rugby for a local team.
We decided we wanted a house and stretched ourselves ridiculously to take a 95% mortgage on this £3,700 purchase just across the Tamar Bridge in Saltash – at the time on £750 pa plus commission it seemed like we’d taken on a mountainous debt!