The day-to-day experiences and thoughts of a hardware retailer have now been immortalised in a new book of memoirs.
How Much for a Little Screw? is based on Graham Higson's exploits as a hardware retailer in the nineties and noughties, and revisits some of the territory he explored in DIY Week's One Man's Week column that he wrote anonymously for over 10 years.
"I spent 22 years running a DIY hardware store in a small satellite town," Mr Higson told diyweek.net. "Although we expanded our ranges, the premises were not big enough and the walls weren't made of elastic, so it was an interesting time. We were there just as the sheds were taking off."
He went on: "Ever since the mid-70s, when I was a Saturday boy at the shop, I'd been a fan of the old Hardware Trade Journal [later to become DIY Week] and every week I waited to read the latest exploits of the hardware man on the back page. For me, it was like a penny dreadful of the 1920s, desperate to see what would happen next. I suppose you could say that DIY/Hardware was in my blood. Twenty years later I got the job of writing those pages myself.
"Doing so actually made me look at how we appeared to the public, and we even smartened up the shop just in case the editor paid us a surprise visit. Reps would call in and talk about what the retailer had said, and laugh about his adventures. They had no idea it was me.
"From my point of view writing about the shop became therapeutic; no longer did I feel that we were isolated from similar businesses. How Much for a Little Screw? is a fictionalised memoir based on those articles, with new stories that I didn't feel could be published in the magazine.
"I've written about good customers, bad ones, our fellow traders, our own mistakes and our brilliant staff--oh, and the challenges of a nano-sized business trading on the high street in the 1990s."
The book is available from Amazon
and costs £8.99 in paperback and is available for £1.92 as a Kindle edition.