We ended our financial year last Saturday, the day after the Royal Wedding. Although we had been advised that the newspaper cut off time at Smiths News at Crawley had been extended by 30 minutes their delivery van arrived before 5 am as normal. Our stock taker arrived at 6.30 am so that he could count the stock displayed behind our counter.

The day was remarkable as it turned out to be our busiest day of the year. The Royal Wedding caused a huge demand for newspapers. Most titles produced great souvenir editions with wonderful photographs depicting the previous days events in London and elsewhere around the world. All the copies of our three top-selling titles, the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail and Times had sold out by midday and we could have sold dozens more. It wasn’t just newspapers, the extra customers increased demand across our store.

While we were managing the trade of the day John our stock taker continued his journey around the store – calculator and clipboard in hand – counting and valuing our stock. He has visited us on an annual basis for many years and he always provides us with a professional service. By 11 am he was able to give us an estimate of the stock value that we held on the day. The speed that he deals with the count always amazes me as does the way that he causes the minimal impact on our customers. Brilliant!

By the end of the day I had listed our unpaid invoices, recorded our HND book debt and check that I had not missed any other year-end information that our accountant will need.

The most memorable thing about the day was of course the many conversations with customers who spoke about how wonderfully the Royal Wedding had been celebrated.

PS. When I set our answer phone for the night I discovered a missed call about a newspaper that had been damaged on delivery. As we had sold out I phoned Smiths News at Crawley to find out if they could help. Their Night Manager, Malcolm answered and told me he would see what they had. To my delight and that of our customer a copy in perfect condition arrived with the Sunday papers. Thanks, Malcolm.