CPU Story - Chapter Nine

 Here is the Ninth chapter of the CPU Enterprises Story which was originally sent in the CPU Summer 2010 Newsletter - emailed out to customers on 15.08.10. Written by Peter

Dianne and myself are now semi-retired and spend most of the Summer season on our 'wide beamed' Narrowboat. The wool trade is not quite so busy during the summer so we leave Carole and Dawn to run the business, which we have to say, they do very well. In fact they do it so well that I have given up looking for something 'new' to tell you in the "new"sletter. So perhaps we should rename it the "ongoing story of DKY"letter.

Writing the account of the beginning and progress of CPU / DKY is the first time that I have put pen to paper in this way. If you have read the previous newsletters you might quite rightly say that it shows. When all have gone home for the day, I sit at my computer (they still allow me to call it mine) and try to recall the events of the past. This is not as easy as it might seem as my attitude has always been to look forward and not dwell on the past, perhaps that is why I seem to make the same mistakes again and again.

The CPU / DKY story is not one of Rags to Riches, but perhaps somewhere in-between - let me explain.

Looking back at my previous ramblings I begin to wonder why we didn't just give up when we got knocked back so many times. Perhaps we would have if either of us were 'backward lookers', but we carried on getting back up again. We never got to the low ebb of rags, nor have we ever reached the dizzy heights of riches - but perhaps somewhere in-between. The boat was brought using my redundancy money and Dianne's inheritance from her Mum. It is funded by (and I hate to admit we are old enough) our pensions, with a modest income from DKY. We have never been abroad for holidays and are very grateful that we are able to enjoy our semi-retirement in the way we do.

In the last newsletter we had reached the point where we had rented extra stall space on Peterborough Market, giving us 48 feet of stall frontage. Now we had to fill it.

At the time we were already selling Sirdar, Stylecraft and Tawny yarns together with an extensive range of accessories, but we needed more. That's when, once again, things seemed to click into place.

The Tawny suppliers were introducing a new range of yarns to the UK called "elle" which was manufactured in South Africa. After receiving samples of these yarns we decided that this may well be what we needed to fill the extra space.
The elle models

The elle manufacturers were keen to promote their yarns, so were staging a series of Fashion Shows all over the UK and they thought it would be a novel idea to have one of those shows on a Market. All we had to do was to persuade the Market Manager and Council to give us permission - which they did. They even gave us lots of extra space in the Market for the day and had 2000 leaflets printed to advertise the event - all free of charge. They also found space for changing rooms for the models - a couple of empty stalls with shutters that did not quite fit right - little cracks which were very popular with the male stall holders :-)

Everyone on the market were very supportive, including the market manager, who persuaded Pearl, the Peterborough Town Crier, to promote the event in the City Centre on the day of the show. We had two 45 minute shows, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Both were well attended by the public and other stall holders, who together watched the professional models strutting their stuff to very loud and lively music. Even though this event took place around 12 years ago, the stall holders still remind us of what a great day it was when we visit the market for our fruit and veg.

So is that the end of the story? Why did we leave the Market? How did we get 'online'?

More next time.

Chapter Ten of the CPU Enterprises Story

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