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In the spotlight

PUBLISHED: 16:17 15 March 2009 | UPDATED: 14:11 05 October 2010

Bob Blowes is in the spotlight

Bob Blowes is in the spotlight

Olivia Harris, oliviaharris@mac.com 07881 810 878

BOB Blowes, 58, has owned the Jewel Box in Bow for 26 years. About 15 years ago Bob started the pawnbroker side of the business at the jewellers on Roman Road. Where are you from? I was brought up in Greenwich, where still I live with my wife Julie. I

BOB Blowes, 58, has owned the Jewel Box in Bow for 26 years. About 15 years ago Bob started the pawnbroker side of the business at the jewellers on Roman Road.

Where are you from?

I was brought up in Greenwich, where still I live with my wife Julie. I drive through the Blackwall Tunnel to get to work in the morning. My four children are grown up now and I also have four grandchildren.

What do you like about the East End?

I like the vibrancy of the place and the people. But Roman Road has been missing a supermarket for about three years. But now Iceland is moving in at the former Woolworth store and more importantly Tesco is coming (at the former Safeway site) - that should bring more people down here.

People who have moved away from the East End still come back, I like that.

Some people call me Uncle - they remember their mum sending them down here (to the pawnbrokers) to collect their dad's suit before he came home so dad could go out for a few drinks with the lads.

What don't you like about the East End?

It's got to be parking - it's a nightmare! There is not enough car parks and it's too dear. I would like to see the council introduce the same system as we have in Greenwich, where residents share their bays with visitors to the area. When people go to work I think it's only fair that they share their parking spaces. It makes for good use of facilities.

I don't like that the gangways between the market stalls are not kept clear here on Roman Road. I think the council is turning a blind eye to it. It puts people in wheelchairs, or even mums with buggies, off coming here.

What do you do to relax?

I go out for something to eat with the missus, we like a good Italian. We like it round Spitalfields and Columbia Road Market. My wife is obsessed with buying flower pots and I get to dig the holes in the garden - if she allows me.

What are you doing this weekend?

The grand kids are coming and I'm taking them to the London Aquarium by the London Eye.


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