For this October’s insider view of Pensbury Place, we get chatting to one of the newer members of the Rigby team, Max Quigley.
How long have you been working for Rigby and what is your role?
I am into my fourth month now, so still trying to shake the new guy label. The main part of my role is sales, but I also keep an eye on the gunroom.
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I’m originally from Oxford, so intelligent only by association. At the moment, I live in the Peckham area of South London (though if I were trying to impress someone I might describe it as Dulwich…). My degree is in ancient history from the University of Manchester, but I’ve managed to extend my studies to more modern periods of European history, which comes in handy at Rigby.
I first got a taste for the guntrade while working for Bonham’s auctioneers, where I spent a number of years in the sporting arms department. More recently, in the past couple of years, I set myself up as an exterior carpenter and landscaper, which made me very popular with friends who had recently purchased houses in need of TLC.
How did you first come across Rigby?
While working at Bonham’s auctioneers. I always knew it was going to be a good day when a client was bringing in a Rigby for me to spend the afternoon poring over. The records being as complete as they are meant that when I was finished with the rifle, there was always in an interesting provenance to pursue.
Have your always been interested in gun making and sporting firearms?
Yes, particularly in gunmaking, a book on which would always be a sure thing for a Christmas present even in my teens. British service rifles from the Peninsular Campaign (1808 – 1814) to the modern day are of a particular interest to me, along with early handguns, which I find fascinating. The collection of vintage rifles and pistols held in the Rigby Museum really caught my eye when I first started, especially as they signpost so many important historical events and technical achievements. The history of the UK can be seen so clearly in the history of its firearms and Rigby is a great place to study both.
What do you like most about being part of the Rigby team?
Working with fun people who also happen to be the very best in their field. I will listen to anyone who is a master of their art, no matter what the subject is. To have so many experts under one roof is incredible. The odd day at the range doesn’t go amiss either, plus it sounds great when someone asks what you do at a party…
What are your ambitions?
To be invited on BBC Radio 4’s historical discussion programme, In Our Time as an expert on the Duke of Wellington (though I might have to do a bit of homework first).
Outside of work, how do you like to spend your time?
Being in my 30s, most of my weekends are taken up with other people’s weddings, but when I am free I still enjoy some carpentry. I have knocked up the odd table or bench for a friend now and again. Otherwise, I like restoring old tools and tracking down early editions of James Bond novels. I’m also slowly trying to visit every major castle in the UK. When it’s raining, I bake: my flat is never short of focaccia.