Courageous Tim’s mid-life career change gives him the edge in Hitchin

Tim Keegan

Tim Keegan - Credit: Archant

Trapped in a frustrating job when all you want to do is something you love? Then take a leaf out of Tim Keegan’s book.

Tim Keegan

Tim Keegan - Credit: Archant

The 48-year-old from Hithcin has traded a career in ‘mucking around with numbers’ for that of a knife sharpener.

Tim, who lives on Bearton Road with his wife Deborah Segalini and their two children, tired of his ‘soul-destroying’ hour and a half commute to work as a manager and analyst for big retailers.

So when his head office moved – resulting in his travel to work becoming four hours long – he took redundancy and launched his own business called Hitchin Sharpening

With the support of Deborah, courageous Tim hasn’t looked back since. He told the Comet: “The temptation to switch to another retailer was strong. I thought: ‘Be sensible, you’re getting older, build the career. The kids are only going to get more expensive, what about your pension – why give all that up?’

“But my wife and children supported me – so I took the crazy step.”

Tim spent the summer in Italy, where his wife is from. He’d always liked working with his hands and it got him thinking.

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He said: “In the local market, every Friday, there was an arrotino – a travelling knife sharpener.

“I visited him often, as he sharpened my chisels and sold me a knife. He always struck me as happy when he gossiped and cheerfully grumbled with the old boys around his van.

“Then it struck me – I’ve never seen this in the UK. Not outside a storybook from the olden days. I thought – I’d like to do that. So I did.”

Busy Tim researched the trade, talked to experts, acquired machinery and undertook training. Before he knew it he was trading and sharpening knives for a whole range of people including chef Martin Burke, a restaurant, a farm – and neighbours looking for sharp knives to cut the Christmas turkey.

Customer feedback has been positive, and Tim can’t wait to introduce people to the joys of getting an edge.

Supportive wife Deborah added: “I’m so proud of him. If it’s got a blade he’ll sharpen it. He’s such a happy chap!”

Find Tim on Twitter @HitchinSharpen, or call 07887 564589.

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