The county town of Bedford is enjoying a regeneration of its centre right now, having been selected as a Portas Pilot development when TV retail guru Mary Portas was working as a government consultant.

It is actually a very competitive town for jewellers, but John Bull Jewellers has been there longest, and will be celebrating its 200th anniversary in just three years time. It is also enjoying a hugely successful year, says its current custodian and owner Keith Peryer. “At the end of the current financial year, we are on target to achieve our best results for a number of years.  I am very proud of my team; without them, we would not be prospering in this tough retail market,” he says.

John Bull Jewellers prides itself on remaining an archetypal county jeweller, but it has jumped on the current trend for pre-owned watches, and the strategy is working. “We made a decision to invest in the pre-owned watch market and achieved tremendous results,” Keith explains.

Outside of work, Keith’s passion is road running with the Bedford Harriers. “Hopefully these old bones will let me do this for a few more years yet, knees willing!” he says. He is also hugely proud of his children and step-children, who have their own successful careers.