Robert Paynter’s 64 Years of Service with Armagh – Armagh I

Those who visit Armagh City Center know that Robert Paynter Menswear has been a staple of the town for many, many years, as the one stop shop for the men in need of their next suit.

Robert Paynter, the man behind it all, has recently been commended for his contribution to the city, with a certificate of recognition and achievement.

The award was presented to Robert by Armagh City Center Management for more than 60 years of service to the local community.

Robert Paynter Menswear was founded in 1982 by Robert and his wife Audrey, who opened the shop at 34 Scotch Street in the town.

Thirty-six years later, in 2018, the company moved into its new premises across the street and continues to serve the local community.

Armagh i spoke to Robert about his career and how the company has evolved over the four decades since its doors were open.

Robert – who turns 80 this weekend – opened the business 40 years ago with his wife Audrey, who has been by his side ever since.

In addition, Robert previously has 24 years of retail experience, serving the local community in Armagh for a total of 64 years.

Starting from humble beginnings, Robert worked at Lennox as a teenager before moving on to start his own company.

“I started in Lennox’s, at age 14,” he said. “First of all, I had to borrow a suit. I didn’t have a suit myself. I then went from that to the hardware cart in Fane Valley.

From then on, Robert held a few more jobs before finally taking the plunge and opening Robert Paynter Menswear.

The store – which Robert and his wife Audrey opened in the early 1980s – continues to serve the community.

“I’ve always had the idea of ​​starting my own business,” says Robert, who has fond memories of his time in the company.

“I was very happy, what more can you say? I was very happy.”

He adds that since the business opened on Scotch Street in Armagh, the local community has been very supportive.

“They’ve been very, very good,” Robert is quick to point out. “Since I opened here, we have had many lovely customers. We’ve been here for 40 years and they keep coming back.

“It’s a family shop and I think we serve the public quite well. They are very good to us.”

It was through this resonance and high appreciation by the local community that Robert was awarded a Certificate of Recognition and Achievement by Armagh City Center Management, a testament to his more than 60 years of service to the city’s retail industry.

“I was proud to receive it and I didn’t expect it at all,” he admits.

Over the years, Paynter’s on Scotch Street has really been a family affair, with Robert’s wife Audrey and his son and daughter, Jeremy and Julie, helping to maintain the fort. Robert would like to point out the contribution and team effort that the family has put into the business.

“My wife was with me from the very beginning,” said Robert. “Julie has been here for 30 years, and then Jeremy came in and he has been here for 20 years.

“They run the company now. They all do it.”

Despite taking a step back from the day-to-day business, Robert still enters the shop each morning with great interest in its operation.

When asked if he’s had many remarkable experiences in his 64-year career, Robert laughs and simply replies, “Enough.”

Recalling a story from his childhood, Robert continued: “I remember going to work at Lennox, and I bought two calves and put them in the back of the van and took them home.”

This story, which he fondly remembered, hints at Robert’s other passion in life: farming.

Robert has been a farmer for 50 years and currently runs a farm in Richhill; farming, he shares, is his passion in life.

Despite a stroke, Robert continues to work on the farm to this day.

“I’m still enjoying it and still going,” he says. “I feed the cattle every evening. I will continue as long as I am fit.”

Robert added that the Armagh company helped him build the farm, and it’s clear from talking to him that he put his heart and soul into both.

“When he wasn’t here, he was on the farm,” notes daughter Julie.

It would be remiss if anyone talking about Robert’s life and affairs did not mention the family’s strong faith, which has helped them through good times and bad.

Robert is a staunch member of the Armagh Baptist Church and says his faith has helped him through his many years in business.

“Our faith is very important to us,” he says, with his wife Audrey adding that it has undoubtedly kept the family going. She likes to emphasize that they are not proud of what they have achieved, but grateful for everything that has happened.

“We are not proud, we are grateful. God has been good to us,” she said.

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