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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Paul is boxing clever in new manager role

REPATRIATED Cumbrian Paul Swailes has started a new job back in his home county after 20 years in the USA, during which he survived having the roof of his house blown off by Hurricane Charley.

Whitehaven-born Paul, 49, has been appointed business manager at the Box Clever self-storage warehouse on Carlisle’s Kingstown industrial estate, a post which also sees him oversee the company’s other facility at Embleton near Cockermouth.

It’s a busy job, working with dozens of customers from throughout Cumbria and South West Scotland as they move their domestic items or business possessions in and out of temporary storage at either of the two secure lock-up facilities.

But it won’t phase Paul, who was living in Port Charlotte, Florida, in 2004 when it was devastated by Hurricane Charley’s winds of up to 150 mph, which caused $15 billion worth of damage and claimed 10 lives across the States.

Paul said: “It destroyed the whole town. I remember it was Friday the 13th of August. The roof of my house completely came off. You could actually look through the gaps between the walls.

“I used to think the weather in Cumbria was extreme but it’s nothing compared to that. My house was just destroyed. I’d never seen anything like it and hope I never will.”

Paul, who went to St Benedict’s School in Whitehaven, grew up in Bransty and had moved to the USA in 1986, living in New York, Maine and Florida before moving back to Cumbria in 2006.

He then got a job with Caterite, which supplies dozens of hotels, pubs and restaurants across Cumbria with food, drink and cleaning materials.

Caterite’s headquarters at Embleton near Cockermouth are also where Box Clever has a facility, which Paul has now started running, along with the Carlisle warehouse in Millbrook Road, Kingstown.

He added: “I’d only gone to the US for two weeks originally but I ended up staying 20 years, apart from a couple of years back here in the late 80s.

“Now I’m very settled into the new job with Box Clever and I’m looking to move into a house in Longtown.”

Paul is assisted by a part-time member of staff at both the Carlisle and Cockermouth facilities. The self-storage bases offer secure units of all sizes from just £5 a week, ranging from lockers to individual lock-ups of 25-150 sq ft plus covered spaces for vehicles, caravans or boats.

For further information, call 01228 595959 or 017687 76348 or visit www.boxcleverstoragecumbria.co.uk.

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