Paul McKnight

“Everyone knows everyone”

I’m from Essex originally, and have lived all over the country, moving to the area 15 years ago, and then to Watlington about 5 years ago. I liked Watlington because it was a small town, rather than being completely out in the sticks. I really like the friendly atmosphere and the way people look out for each other without being nosy or intrusive. Something quite funny happened recently. I was standing in for Bob, the road sweeper. It was 7 in the morning, and by the time I had got from the Rec to the High Street, two people had given me the same message – that I had a parcel in the Post Office. That kind of illustrates what life is like here, everyone knows everyone. Another example recently is that there was a cyclist who’d damaged his bike. Within minutes the call had gone out on Facebook. The cyclist was amazed that without asking for help, it popped up through the Watlington “gossip network”. There is good gossip and bad gossip isn’t there!

I started childminding 13 years ago. Then a couple of years ago Pam was a bit fed up with her work as an IT Engineer and suggested that we develop something that has been a long term interest of ours into a business. “Sprocket Science” was born. We started in a tentative way to see if there was any demand for bicycle repairs – nearly 1,000 bicycles later we can say yes, there is a demand. It’s now almost impossible for us to walk into town without having some bike related conversation with somebody!

Pam and I also work part time at The Granary. It has a great atmosphere and has become a conversational hub of the town…. And it’s also a great place to meet cyclists!

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