It goes without saying that England going back into lockdown on 2 November was less than ideal, but the measures you put in place during lockdown one must be standing you in good stead now. How is the Rigby spirit helping everyone stay positive this time?
By living here at the factory for those seven weeks during spring, we bought ourselves a great deal of time for the end of the year. We like to get guns out for the new year for clients and keeping things going during that first lockdown really did help with that. The second lockdown is a little bit different because we’re able to keep our production facilities open and, whilst the team were eager to move back if need be to keep things going, we’re keeping things Covid secure on a shop-closed, workshop-open basis.
The spirit here definitely helps at difficult times. The sense of comradeship here at Rigby really is like a family. I can’t put into words how special this place is and the people in it are: it’s practically a living, breathing entity in its own right and generates its own positivity.
This year has produced some unprecedented challenges; do you think they have made Rigby stronger?
Definitely. It reminds me of old sayings like steel sharpens steel. You don’t get to where you’re going without difficulties along the way. Any challenge that comes along you can look at in two ways: negatively or positively. I always try and look at them as something to learn from or something to further develop the calibre of the team. Overcoming challenges is how you become the best. I think the whole team here feels exactly the same.
What’s on the benches this month?
We’re finishing a great deal of Rising Bite double rifles, shotguns and London Bests for the end of the year. There’s some really spectacular stuff going through with some relatively new styles of engraving that I haven’t previously seen on Best guns. People will be able to see photos in the coming weeks and months on social media.
We’re not out of the woods yet when it comes to Covid, but there is light on the horizon. If you could go anywhere to celebrate the end of the pandemic, where would you go and who would you go with?
I would probably go back to Africa. There’s something so romantic about it and the place just feeds your soul. It’s an incredible part of the world: the people, the animals, everything. I would go back with my daughter, albeit when she’s a little bit older, and with my wife. We would spend some time in the bush hunting some of the many wonderful species you find there, but trophies wouldn’t be the priority. I’d really love to spend time teaching my daughter why we hunt these things, how we hunt them, and then spend time with the skinners, preparing meat for the table, preparing biltong and so on – that process is what I’d really love to enjoy with my family and to do so after all these months of lockdown and no traveling would be even more meaningful.