Popular greengrocer retires after 43 years of service in Rugby

John Simmonds is retiring after 43 years
John Simmonds is retiring after 43 years

A popular greengrocer has called time on his deliveries after 43 years of service.

John Simmonds, who has lived in Stretton on Dunsmore all his life, first started the business with his wife Janet after buying a van from a friend who delivered potatoes and eggs.

Since then, John has worked hard to make the business a success and delivered food to families in his village, Princethorpe, Marton, Bourton, Frankton, Ryton, Dunchurch and more.

John, who has been chairman of Stretton on Dunsmore Parish Council for ten years and a councillor for 40 years, decided to retire at Christmas.

He said: “It was hard work to get everything set up but once we got going it was great and it was nice working together.

“Customers have become friends over the years and I’ve been delivering to generations of the same families.

“There weren’t any supermarkets when we first started and we delivered to various villages.

“It is something I have really enjoyed doing.”

John has received cards from customers who will be sad to see him go.

“It’s nice to have so many cards and I’ve had a couple of gifts too. You get to know people when you’ve been doing something for so long and they become friends.”

Speaking of his continuing role on the council, John said: “I really enjoy it and I know a lot of people as I’ve lived here all my life, so it makes talking to people really easy and pleasant.”

John and Janet have a son, daughter and four grandchildren.

Proud daughter Claire said: “My Dad has been so much more than a greengrocer, he has been a friend to so many people, helping them in many different ways. I am positive he will be sorely missed by everyone he served, especially the elderly who would of looked forward each week.

“He always had time for a cup of tea and slice of cake. I cannot recall my Dad ever having one day off sick in all these years, he even went on his deliveries with a sprained ankle once. I have so many fond memories as a young girl helping him out on a Saturday and I am proud to have him as my father.”