London was full of festive cheer and the Rigby team were looking forward to their annual Christmas dinner when we ventured into the workshop to speak to Steve Bignell. Steve recently started working for Rigby in administrative and logistics support, so we wanted to see how he’s getting on.
Could you tell us a little bit about when you joined Rigby and what you were doing before that?
I joined Rigby in the middle of October this year, so just over two months ago. Before that I had been working at Holland & Holland for around 15 years, so it’s safe to say I’ve got plenty of experience in the gun trade. I knew Rigby’s head of engraving, Ed Workman from his days at Holland & Holland and he mentioned in passing that there was an opportunity opening at Pensbury Place. I had plans to shake things up anyway, so I jumped at the chance to join the Rigby team.
What got you into the gun trade, was it something you always planned?
My father worked at Holland & Holland long before I did; he was responsible for crafting the tubing for the barrels. He had an engineering background and loved gunmaking, whereas I initially wanted to take a different path. That path led me to owning my own auto parts business for a decade, which I loved. After that I lived in Malta for a time until I got rather bored and decided to return to the UK and look for a job. At that point, I joined Holland & Holland and learnt everything about how the gunmaking trade works.
How have you found life at Pensbury Place so far?
I think I joined at the wrong time because it’s very, very busy! My feet haven’t touched the ground… But all joking aside, it’s fantastic to see the business thriving and the fact that it’s busy means there’s a lot to get my teeth into. The team have all been great to work with and very welcoming – it’s more like a family than a group of co-workers. Everything is carefully planned and meticulously made, but the atmosphere is supportive and relaxed, which is ideal for helping people find their confidence and thrive.
What have you been working on since you joined Rigby?
This job is so varied, it’s hard to describe a normal day or remember it all. I’ve just taken over the responsibility for all Rigby’s dealings with the ammunition register, and that’s something that of course it’s very important to get right. I also work closely with Tony to ensure our customers’ orders are dispatched when they are complete, which I find interesting. I’ve been very busy in the warehouse picking clothing and gift orders for the Rigby Shikar Store, no doubt lots of which are for Christmas presents for Rigby aficionados. We’re also ramping up plans for some big US-based shows at the start of next year, including the Dallas Safari Club Convention in January. I have long lists of kit and products that need to be shipped to the USA in advance so that the stand can be built and equipped. If you’ve never seen photos of the stand, which looks like a safari tent and is very impressive, make sure you keep a close eye on social media in the new year.
What do you like to do when you’re not busy at work?
I used to clay pigeon shoot in my spare time, but I’ve let that fall by the wayside a little. Oddly enough, that’s been the case since I joined the gun trade. Maybe it’s too much like a busman’s holiday? I still love to travel whenever I can and watch plenty of live music. I’m also a keen scuba diver, but at the moment I have a few health issues which prohibit me diving. Hopefully when those are sorted, I will be back under the sea and able to enjoy my hobby again.