Man comes out of retirement age 85 to head up new showroom - now it's exceeding sales targets

EYG salesman Trevor Bottomley who returned to work at the age of 85
EYG salesman Trevor Bottomley who returned to work at the age of 85 -Credit:EYG

A home improvement company says its new showroom in a garden centre has been a huge success and thanked the 85-year-old employee who came out of retirement to head up the venture.

Hull-based EYG opened up its latest new showroom at Langlands Garden Centre, in Shiptonthorpe near York, last autumn. It attracted widespread media coverage as former sales consultant Trevor Bottomley came out of retirement following the death of his wife, Maureen.

Trevor's employment led to an appearance on Channel Four’s ‘Steph’s Packed Lunch’ where he was interviewed about his return to work. He was also invited to be a contestant on ITV ’s The Chase which is due to be broadcast later this year.


EYG said sales were exceeding expectations and surpassed £250,000 in the first six months on site. Trevor’s story helped attract many new visitors to the site, and the showroom has been such a success.

Speaking at the time he took on the job, Trevor said he had been a full-time carer for Maureen from when she suffered a stroke in 2017 up until the point of her death in 2023. He said being in their house alone after she passed away was "horrible" and he was glad to be back at work.

EYG's new base at Langlands Garden Centre
EYG's new base at Langlands Garden Centre -Credit:EYG

He said: "I was taking my car in to the garage a few months after Maureen died, and I thought I’d pop in and say 'hi'. I got chatting to the sales manager and he told me they were opening a new branch, and he asked if I fancied a job.

“I couldn’t believe it. I talked it over with my two daughters and they said ‘Go for it Dad’. So I accepted the job, and I start on Friday, working five days a week.

EYG sales team member Sharon Armitstead
EYG sales team member Sharon Armitstead -Credit:EYG

"It’s my choice to work five days, I feel totally able to do the job. I have kept up-to-date with technology and have no trouble working my laptop, email, and social media."

A second member of staff has since been added to the team to ensure demand is met as the busy summer months approach. “We’ve been absolutely thrilled with the success of our showroom at Langlands Garden Centre, it has already proved to be a great new home for us and we’ve exceeded expectations,” said John Waugh, sales and marketing director at EYG.

“Trevor of course has been central to that, having come out of retirement to help us launch the new venture last year as he was keen to keep himself busy and give himself a new lease of life following the sad passing of his wife.

“His story seemed to catch the imagination of many people, and we know there have been many visit the centre simply just to meet Trevor, have a chat to him, and congratulate him on returning to work and to wish him well.

“Significantly, being based at Langlands has opened the door to us reaching new customers who perhaps travel from out towards the York, who were not previously aware of EYG, and the fact that we are a business with more than 50 years of experience in the home improvements market.”

Since opening at Langlands, EYG has added another member to its sales team on the site, Sharon Armitstead, with demand expected to increase over the coming months. “This is the time of the year where our garden centre sites get particularly busy, especially given we now have some excellent offers available,” added Mr Waugh.

“We have already seen demand rising for our garden rooms, with many people looking to take advantage of the fact that they are usually fitted in around six weeks from order, and so can be installed and ready for a full summer of use."

EYG recently celebrated 15 years of trading at Pennells Garden Centre, in Lincoln, and also has a showroom at Walkers Nurseries Garden Centre in Doncaster.

EYG is a family-owned home improvements business based in Hull that was founded in 1971. The business employs over 300 people nationwide, most of which are based at the facilities in Hull.