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Will gets career back on track with Diss record shop opening

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A Roydon man has embraced his love for music by taking a leap of faith and opening a record shop in Diss.

William Porteous threw open the doors to Wildflower Records – a name inspired by his love of Tom Petty – in Church Street yesterday in a move he puts down to a deep passion for music and an upbringing spent listening to vinyl.

The 40-year-old has been a gardener since the age of 17, but has made the jump to owning his own business after rediscovering one of his first loves during lockdown.

William Porteous inside Wildflower Records. Pictures by Mark Bullimore.
William Porteous inside Wildflower Records. Pictures by Mark Bullimore.

He said: “I was looking through my vinyl collection. I did not want to go back to my job as a gardener and, during Covid, I was a stay-at-home dad, so I just wanted to do something that I really liked.

“Taking this step has come out of nowhere and was all very sudden.

“Some people have plans that have been 20 years in the making. For me, it was just one of those ideas that has turned into me getting the keys.”

The shop, also influenced by his love of the great outdoors, stocks vinyl, cassettes and CDs – all split between different rooms.

The main one is home to genres such as rock, reggae and soul, then there is a cassette room, a Frank’s Room – inspired by Frank Sinatra – with easy listening and jazz, a classical music room and one for old school comedy, soundtracks and the spoken word.

A father to three-year-old Pearl and one-year-old Rae, Mr Porteous said he hopes the shop can offer a welcoming environment for music fans to enjoy and relax in.

The former Londoner, who is a Diss Express columnist, said he had received a positive response from friends and fellow traders.

“The whole community has been so sweet from the moment I first posted what I was doing on social media,” he said.

“People have been so interested and the feeling about it has been so very positive.

“I have always wanted to be part of the community and was worried that, as I come from out of town, they might not take me in, but they really have and that is great.”

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