Angela began her time at Scarsdale Vets 31 years ago as a receptionist, before the practice had even moved to their Markeaton Lane building.
“It was my dream job to work with animals and when this job came up, I applied and got it. There was no computer system as such back then and the other receptionist I worked with, Nancy, used to type up all the bills manually. A computer was installed not long after I started, and I knew a bit about how they worked, but it was a bit of a learning curve for me.”
Angela and Vet, Sandy, began working for the practice at a similar time. “Sandy and I go way back, we both started more or less together. I have to say Sandy has taught me a lot about farming along the way. When we first came to Markeaton Lane, Sandy and I operated on a sheep. Sandy had got a book propped up with all the instructions of the procedures and I had to stop the sheep from moving!”
“I’ve been involved in farming all my life, my father comes from a farming family in Kent. I had an uncle that had a farm near where I used to live, and I spent 99%of my childhood on that farm.”
One thing that stands out to Angela is market day, which fell on a Friday. “All farmers used to come in, pay their bills and collect their drugs and there was a lady that stood out to the team who used to bring all her money in the same biscuit tin every week. So, from then on Sid named her ‘Biscuit Tin’ and still refers to her as that now!”
Scarsdale Vets then moved to Markeaton Lane however, it was a lot smaller than it is now. Over the years all teams have expanded which means that they are able to do more varied procedures. As such, the practice is a lot busier than when Angela first started. Angela explained that the practice also mainly saw farm clients when she began her time at Scarsdale Vets, but this has since changed dramatically as equine is a big part of the business.
The team like to joke around, one funny memory that stands out to Angela was a joke she played on a local farmer:
“A huge marquee had been erected at Locko Hall next door to a farm. The farmer’s wife was our then practice manager at Markeaton. Rumour had it that it was for the wedding reception of a Bollywood actress (not true). I wrote a script and got a colleague to ring the farmer up and pose as the manager of the actress and ask him if he would be willing (for a large remuneration) to allow two elephants being used at the wedding to graze overnight in his fields. If he was, could he ring Sanjeev Kumar, and we gave him my mobile no. Within minutes my phone was ringing, and he asked to speak to Sanjeev (who was actually me). He was asking me questions about height of fences how much dung there would be. Then he asked about the money and at that point I laughed, he realised it was me. We have laughed a lot over this, and he can laugh at himself.”
Despite the laughs there are a couple of things Angela won’t miss, which include the sadness when animals are put to sleep. Oh, and the cashing up! Even though Angela is apprehensive, she is very much excited for her retirement
“It’s a bit daunting but I feel now that I have given Scarsdale Vets 31 years, it’s now time to do things I want to do for myself.
“I have a lot of interests, I’m quite crafty and I make bags out of fabric as well as toys and quilts. One of our clients is having a baby in January and I am going to make them a little cot quilt.”
“I have joined Rock Choir; I am really loving this, and I will be enjoying partaking in ladies that lunch with my friends who are also retired. I’ve recently got in touch with an old school friend, so we have planned to meet monthly and see more of the country.”
Angela sums up her time at Scarsdale Vets: “It’s a great place and I’ve been honoured to work with such a great bunch of people. It is like a big family and I have always referred to them as my Markeaton family. I don’t live far away so I’ll certainly be popping back in and will keep in touch with everyone.”
We’ll miss you!