A property manager, retiring after 53 years, says he has loved every minute of his job - especially when he was given the chance to find homes for his Formula One racing heroes.
Nick Brunning, 72, of Oakley, started working at family-owned lettings and property management company Goymour Homes in May 1963 when he was just 21.
I feel sorry for the youngsters these days because since the crash banks are not lending money willy-nilly so they have to come up with a huge deposit to buy a home
Nick said he had seen a lot change over the years, with property prices, both for buying and letting, growing each year. When he started, a fully furnished property in Bury St Edmunds would set you back the equivalent of around £20 a week in today’s money.
“Up the scale were properties somewhere in the region of £50-100 per calendar month,” he said, “but that was the high end properties.”
Nick said he has found a home for some fascinating people over the years, including a number of F1 racecar drivers. Among his speedy tenants were Brazilian F1 champion Emerson Fittipaldi and his brother Wilson, motorcyle road racer Mike Hailwood, F1 racer Carlos Pace and McLaren test driver Gary Paffett.
Nick said as a fan of Formula 1 he was first in line when he heard who needed a viewing, finding them homes close to the Snetterton race track in south Norfolk.
Nick said he felt bad for young people trying to get their foot on the property ladder today saying they have to jump through many more hoops to get a loan from the bank than they used to.
“The prices have just increased year by year,” he said.
“I feel sorry for the youngsters these days because since the crash banks are not lending money willy-nilly so they have to come up with a huge deposit to buy a home.
“Therefore they can’t afford to buy - and rents are high. Years ago we didn’t have credit checks - we interviewed clients, did references and had a look at wage slips but most of it was done on gut instinct.”
Nick now plans to take life a bit easier - playing the odd round of golf and looking after his garden.
He said: “I play a bit of golf and used to do match fishing but I think I’m too old for that now.”
“I think I will do a bit of pleasure fishing from now on.
“I have a big garden to take care of.
“We’ve got lots of friends so will entertain a bit as well I think.”