Retirement sparks new era for company

Stuart Wiggins and Richard Gaff.
Stuart Wiggins and Richard Gaff.

The start of a new era beckons in Coquetdale.

Long-serving electrical independent businessman Stuart Wiggins is retiring, having run his namesake Rothbury company for the last 23 years.

Now Richard Gaff and his wife, Joanne, will step up to the plate, when they take over the reins and become owners of Stuart Wiggins Ltd from Monday.

And father-of-two Richard, 36, who started working for Stuart 19 years ago is relishing the challenge.

“Having worked with Stuart all these years, it was always my hope that one day I would get the opportunity to take over from him. I’ve certainly learnt from the best,” said Richard, from Thropton.

“We are hugely supported by our customers and we aim to provide a more competitive service to the local community.”

Stuart’s retirement brings the curtain down on years of graft in the industry.

He joined The Seaton Valley Relay in 1967 which became Wired Colour Vision Ltd.

This was the start of colour transmission from Pontop Pile.

In 1971 the company was sold to HN Storey Ltd in which Stuart was promoted to manager and covered branches in the North East, Yorkshire, Cumbria and Scotland.

After Mr Storey’s death in 1981, Stuart carried on running the business until 1989, when he bought the Rothbury branch.

Apart from retailing, rentals, service and repairs of consumer electronic products and domestic appliances, the company also specialises in professional aerial installations – not only in private houses, but also in communal and commercial buildings, caravan sites, hotels and guesthouses.

Stuart said: “After 23 years in business I am retiring.

“The business will soon be in the capable hands of my able colleague, right-hand man, and friend, Richard.

“I am sure he will do an excellent job, ably assisted by his wife, Joanne, and supported by Rita and Maureen in the shop.”