New direction for former BT man

WHEN Mark Williamson lost his job in telecommunications for BT he checked the local jobs pages for opportunities.

IPSWICH: When Mark Williamson lost his job in telecommunications for BT he checked the local jobs pages for opportunities.

During the recession jobs in IT were few and far between, so he took a complete change in direction.

Now he is building up a successful business selling home products, for Kleeneze, in Ipswich and surrounding villages.

“I hated being out of work,” said Mr Williamson.

“I was working in IT, after leaving university. I worked for a company and then, from 1998 until 2008, under contract to BT, testing broadband products.”

When the recession hit, BT stopped renewing contracts, he said.

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“My job was out-sourced to India and I had to find something new.”

Last year he saw an advert for Kleeneze salesmen and decided to find out more.

“I started last February and absolutely love it. We are giving a real personal service. I wish I had known about it and done it before.”

He is self-employed and so organises his rounds, delivering catalogues and the ordered products to the door, to suit his customers.

His patch includes North Ipswich, Castle Hill and the Norwich Road area, as well as some of the outlying villages.

In the past there were plenty of street traders who toured the towns and villages. There were general stores in vans, fruit and vegetable carts, knife grinders and toffee apple salesmen.

Most have gone though there are still daily milk rounds and ice cream floats, in season.

These days you are more likely to see a Tesco or Asda van, delivering orders that customers have placed online.

Mr Williamson added: “Many small businesses struggled last year when the big national brands and supermarkets continue to undercut them on price and dominate the market.

“It's more important than ever to support small businesses and make sure the money earned in the community is spent here.”

Do you know a successful business? If so write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to

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