End of an era as Big Issue Rob moves on

DAVENTRY’S Big Issue seller has sold his last copy of the magazine before moving on to a new job.

Rob has been a familiar face outside Waitrose in Daventry town centre for eight years, but took the decision to give it up, and Friday was his last day.

He said: “I’ve really enjoyed doing it, but with the way the recession is going there’s no progress in this anymore.

“It’s kept me fed and alive for eight years, but it’s time to do something new.”

Rob, who lives on a narrowboat near Braunston, is setting up his own odd job man business.

He said: “Having worked in the centre of town for all these years and met so many people I know there are people who can’t afford to get contractors in to do small jobs, so I thought I’d set up my own business.”

Rob started out selling The Big Issue after a work-related accident which left him with a major injury.

He said: “I had a pretty major spinal injury, which meant I couldn’t to my job any more.”

As well as getting to know many Daventry regulars, over the years Rob has helped keep an eye on the town.

He said: “The highlight for me has to be the people I’ve met over the years. Daventry has some great characters. You get to meet a lot of people standing in my spot four days a week for eight years.

“Daventry has kept an eye on me down the years, and I’ve kept an eye on it.

“What with the purse thieves, and the armed robbery!”

Back in December 2005 there was a dramatic armed robbery outside the HSBC branch in Bowen Square, just along from Rob’s usual pitch.

When he saw a cash delivery man getting attacked outside the bank he and another man ran across the square to try and help.

At the time Rob said: “I knew they would be armed but I didn’t know how armed. But I couldn’t stand there and watch them beat him up.”

And in the run-up to Christmas, despite getting ready to pack up his stall for the last time, Rob was still giving out his traditional bottles of bubbles to children in the run up to Christmas – which took him nearly nine hours to wrap.

He said: “I’d just like to thank everyone over the years who’s brought a copy or had a chat.

“I’m going to miss the people most of all.”