Why the Broads suits James

Just Regional
Aug 7, 2013 3 mins read

He has brought a wealth of experience to Norfolk to work in an area he describes as a “special and magical” place.

And James Bradbury has wasted no time in getting involved in community life as he enjoys settling into his new role managing the department store at Roys of Wroxham.

This has seen him this week taking part as a competitor in the annual regatta at Wroxham Broads Yacht Club, a hobby he has revisited with the help of top sailor and “legend” in James’s words, Carl Brady.

He’s always been a fan of the Broads since the days he visited as a child on family holidays, a familiar story. “My parents had a cottage at Upton and then they retired to Norfolk so we used to come up to see them. And as a child I sailed with my father on river cruisers.”

The death of his father was one of the three reasons he decided to take the plunge and base himself in Norfolk, along with a divorce and the job opportunity at Roys.

“It was a case of taking a sad song and making it better,” he said, quoting the Beatles lyrics. “And it was a chance for me to do something I really wanted for myself for the first time.

“And Roys of Wroxham is a special and unique business, the world’s largest village store,” he added.

The theme of working in a world’s biggest or first has followed him through his career, which has seen him overseeing the opening of Bloomingdales in Dubai, the first outside the US, a 16-year stint at Harrods under Mohamed Al Fayed at the time when there was speculation about the death of Dodi and Princess Diana, working for the Ambassador Theatre for the Tussauds group, which included the London Eye, Alton Towers and the famous waxworks, which he was instrumental in rebranding to include celebrities, appealing to a whole new audience.

That particular role saw him meeting the likes of the Beckhams, Peter Andre and Jordan and Pamela Anderson, with whom he was pictured for Hello magazine. He was also responsible for getting David Beckham’s waxwork sited on the fourth plinth in the centre of London.

But despite working all over the world, he is full of praise for his colleagues at Roys, saying they are “some of the best retailers” he has worked with.

For the full interview, see Just Wroxham & Coltishall.

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