John retiring after 50 years with firm

John Busbridge
John Busbridge

A DIRECTOR of a well-known furniture store is stepping down after 50 years with the family business.

John Busbridge, senior director of Gordon Busbridge Ltd, is retiring this week, having joined the firm after leaving school at 16.

He started working for the company straight from school and his father Gordon insisted he learn the business from the bottom up. So he served his apprenticeship by working for three years as a carpet fitter and then a further three years delivering the furniture.

John then helped his father and uncle, who was a master builder, with a lot of the modernisation of the shop and building the company warehouse at Silverhill in St Leonards. He then joined the sales staff and at the same time completed a day release Art and Design course.

While his brother Christopher and brother-in-law Peter continued to run the furniture, carpet and curtain departments, John opened the fitted kitchen and bedroom department 35 years ago which he has, together with his staff, run successfully ever since.

Every Christmas he can be seen outside the shop putting up the renowned 25-foot tree which had a light for every year the shop had been in existence up to the centenary in 2011. He recently received a personal letter of thanks from the Bohemia Traders Association thanking him for this contribution to cheering up the local community.

The business was started by John’s grandfather in 1911 before his father Gordon gave his name to the store in London Road, St Leonards.

After 50 years and being the longest serving director working in the family business John is looking forward to following his many hobbies such as classic cars, windsurfing, and skating.