On my way back from Coventry last month I took a slight detour to see H Preston Media in Malvern. I was met by Mrs Preston and Graham, John and the two Andy’s were still packing the van at the end of ProVideo 2010. I have known John Preston for the best part of twenty years and have been buying and exchanging kit all that time.
It’s important to realise that Preston’s are a Sony Specialist Dealer and hold a Panasonic Broadcast account, this takes Preston’s miles above the internet box pushers as Preston’s only sell UK/European stock. Many of the substandard box pushers sell American or Japanese camcorders and that’s important if anything goes wrong…NO ONE will entertain you if you buy a camcorder that is not UK/European in origin. Preston’s will only give technical assistance to genuine customers and I can personally vouch for this…many end users are only too grateful for a person on the other end of the phone at 7pm at night going over a technical problem with them…you do not get that level of service from saving a few pounds at the box pushers web site !
I had never been to the Preston shop in all that time and decided this was the year to do so. Preston’s as it is known affectionately is tucked away under the Malvern Hills and is a lot posher than I was expecting, I had envisaged a wee grungy shop in the middle of a busy high street with boxes and kit all over the place.
It is a very clean, modern shop and lots of bits and pieces to look at with a 65″ Panasonic 3D Plasma television sitting proud at the front of the shop. Up until October I had mainly delt with the shop staff over the telephone with two people in particular, Mrs Preston and Graeme of whom I had never seen in all my 20 years of trading with them, though Graeme being one of the newer members has only been around for about 6 years.
I case many of you don’t know the letter “H” stands for Horace, John’s late father who was a television repair man and started the ball rolling. Mr Preston by all accounts was a character and a good laugh, he was always joking with John and Andy Davis the two lads at that time, unfortunately Mr Preston died when he was a young man at 50 leaving Mrs Preston to run the shop with John. Times must have been hard for both of them but they carried on making the business the success that you see today…a family business in the true meaning of the word “family”.
The Malvern team consists of John, Mrs Preston, Andy Davis, Andy Guest and Graeme…John man’s the London branch at least 3 days a week when time allows…I am the newest member of the team in our Glasgow office and I am part time due to work commitments and serve as their technical and web manager.
Working as a DP/Editor allows customers to have the confidence they can speak to someone who knows the game from the coalface and my 25 years professional experience in the video industry won’t go to waste.
I had a lovely 2 hours at Malvern meeting Mrs Preston, Chelsea and Graeme…Preston’s is unique in video retail as they have a great work ethic and a great family run business, I know of no other video retailer that has been around for well over 20 years and still employ the same friendly staff as Preston’s do and that’s to be commended in these hard times.