Mrs Muriel Taylor, pictured with the British Veterinary Receptionist Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award
Muriel Celebrates Seven Decades Of Service At Pennard Vets
22nd December, 2022 12h17
A grandmother from Sevenoaks, Kent has achieved a monumental, long service award, having worked for more than 70 years at the same company.
Mrs Muriel Taylor joined Pennard Vets on 7th January 1950, when she was just 15 years old, and retired on 30th October 2020, amassing more than 70 years of dedicated service. She was presented with the British Veterinary Receptionist Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award at a celebration at Penshurst Place in Tonbridge, in front of Pennard Vets’ team of more than 100.
Muriel began her career at Pennard Vets as an office junior on a weekly wage of £1 10 shillings, which is equivalent to £1.50 in today’s money.
Director, Andy Green, from Pennard Vets, which now has seven practices in Kent, said: “Few people in this country have achieved what Muriel has. Pennard Vets has been around for over 125 years and Muriel’s journey with us has encompassed a staggering 70 years of that, making her one of only a handful of people in the UK who have completed 70 years with a single employer!
“Muriel is ever-present, reliable, caring, dependable and she makes the best biscuits around! She started work at our Sevenoaks practice as a 16-year-old in 1950, when it was just as likely a client would be bringing in a sheep, goat or horse as a dog or cat, and we used loose boxes outside for examinations, treatments isolation and even post-mortems!
“During the subsequent 70 years she was part of the growth in the practice from a single site to multiple sites. She was also fantastic at embracing the latest technology as the practice went from handwritten ledgers, double entry bookkeeping and dealing with the terribly difficult to decipher handwritten notes of the vets, to digitalisation, computers, online systems, email, mobile phones and a host of other technological advances.
“Throughout the years her role changed dramatically, and she learned new skills, adapted, and moved with the times, demonstrating our core values of continuous improvement, client focus, compassion and clarity every step of the way.
“When Muriel retired in 2020, sadly lockdown rules denied us the chance for a proper celebration, so we are very pleased to have been able to celebrate together with such a fabulous party.”
Muriel said: “When I started at Pennard Vets, the practice cared for large animals including horses, sheep and cattle on the local farms, but we also had some more unusual clients! A special highlight was fielding telephone calls from former Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill, who lived at Chartwell country house, near Westerham, in Kent and employed the practice to look after the health of the black swans living on the estate’s lake!
“Two of the biggest changes I saw during my seven decades at the practice were the business giving up farm work to focus on small animal work as dogs and cats became a bigger part of our families, and the transition from my handwritten notes in ledgers to modern computer systems, but I have always embraced change and enjoyed learning new skills. I miss everyone at Pennard Vets but will keep in touch and keep baking for them!”
Pennard Vets, has seven practices in Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Maidstone, Allington, Borough Green, Langley Park and West Malling. In 2021 Pennard Vets became the largest veterinary practice in the world to become employee owned, through an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT), meaning its entire team are now practice owners and shareholders in the business.
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