One of Spalding’s finest and oldest independent retailers is to close in July.
Nick Revill, managing director of Revills Jewellers in Market Place, is retiring and that spells the end of the family business after 70 years in the town.
A closing down sale is under way and the projected final day of trading is Saturday, July 29.
Nick (57) started at Revills as a Saturday boy at the age of 12 and went full-time at 16.
Fellow staff members have also been long-serving.Anna Mothers started in 1969 and Carole Bettinson began in 1962, with only an 11-year break while she raised her children.
Nick (57) said: “All of the staff are of an age where we need to retire. Our average age is over 60.”
He added: “It’s still quite a profitable business, so that’s been the difficulty in saying enough is enough.”
The business began in Spalding in 1947, with a shop in Francis Street.
Nick’s late father, Roy, worked at the sugar beet factory before joining the Navy as a 17-year-old ahead of World War Two.
His role working with gyro compasses led to him deciding to get into the repair of clocks and watches after the war.
He met and married Sybil and the business – established in Brighton where Roy had been based – moved to Spalding.
In the late 1950s Roy’s father, George, left his job as head electrician at the sugar beet factory to join the growing business. George was still repairing clocks at the age of 88.
By then the current premises had been established. The former Barclays Bank building, which had lain empty for a couple of years, was bought in 1976 for £25,000 and £75,000 was spent converting it to a shop.
As a comparison, a three-bedroom Allison home at that time was about £13,000.
It was a big leap for the business and with the new premises came lots of added lines of goods.
Nick said: “We wanted to have a bigger presence in the town. So we had this bigger shop and I remember us having to find a lot more stock!”
The next big step for the jewellery side of the Revill family (Sybil opened the shoe shop still trading in Francis Street in 1967) was opening a second branch in Boston, which closed in 2005.
Nick’s wife Wendy is a director in the firm and all of their children – Oliver, Edward, Madeleine and Millie – have worked in the shop at one time or other.
Nick is, understandably, sad at the closure of the shop, which has also been staffed for the past seven years by Linda Harding and Verdon Knight.
He left Spalding Grammar School a little unsure about what the future held, but a career in jewellery sales and repairs proved just the job.
“These ladies and this business have been my extended family,” Nick said. “Although I’m the boss, their decisions count just as much as mine.
“We’re very much an old-fashioned business with old-fashioned values.
“It has actually been a pleasure. I’ve met so many lovely people and made a lot of friends from customers.”
He is looking forward to spending more time with the “one or two” old cars he owns.
For Anna, a particular enjoyment of her 48 years’ service has come from helping customers choose an item such as diamond rings to a mark significant occasion.
She said: “It’s going to be a very, very sad day [when we close]. Working with jewellery has been my life. It’s been a privilege to work for Mr Revill.”