For Jonathan, the best thing about owning Intense Records is that it was where he met his wife Jen.
She had been a customer of the shop for more than three years, but always came in with a guy called Pete. One day Jen came in on her own and Jonathan enquired if she was still with Pete.
The next day when walking to work, he noticed the less-than-flattering picture on a lamp post.
Soon he was to see dozens more as, unbeknown to him, his mates had printed off 50 posters and fly-posted them all over Chelmsford.
He thus resolved to find his own site where he could play drum & bass to his heart’s content. On a memorable first day he played Santa, wrapping 50 packages of 12-inch singles in Christmas paper and giving them away to his first 50 customers.
He held a launch party that was a huge triumph, with more than 500 people attending.The trains pass directly overhead so the constant rumbles mix in with the music.Jonathan Smith was always going to open a record shop.Unfortunately, they both had a set of decks resulting in “counter wars” as they both vied to play their own records.It soon became clear that Jonathan was attracting a greater share of the customers and that he had outgrown the shared premises.He moved into a house with four fellow DJs and there was great competition among them to be the first to get their hands on the latest vinyl releases. He decided to open accounts with record companies, informing them he was a mail order company.The problem was that record companies would only ship orders if they reached their minimum order level, which was normally around £50-£75.He was organising dance parties, running a website, working in the shop and even set up a separate company running coaches to house parties, although they were never hired to transport the local Women’s Institute for a day trip to Clacton.Jonathan also became a DJ on various pirate radio stations producing a two hour show each week featuring his own Top 10 dance chart.This shop is easy to visit by public transport, being located under the viaduct of Chelmsford railway station, which in turn is next to the bus station.It is an atmospheric location as the shop roof is constructed of corrugated iron within two arches.