After a lifetime of service selling special moments to the people of the High Peak one jeweller is getting ready to say goodbye.
Pat Holland, from J Sidebothams Jewellers, will be turning 70 in the summer and felt the time was right to step away from the business and spend more time with her family and exploring the British Isles.
She said: “Every bit of jewellery is bought for a special occasion, be that for engagements, weddings, birthdays or even to celebrate a divorce and jewellery like that is never forgotten and always treasured.
“It has been a great privilege to be part of people’s lives and I have some families who are now third generation visitors which is really special.”
As Buxton is a tourist town Pat says her customers come from all over the country as people want to mark their trip with jewellery. The Grove Parade business started trading as a jewellers in 1911 and Pat’s late husband, Ivan Hill, bought it in 1979 when Pat was working as a teaching assistant for pupils with additional needs.
She said: “For a while I was working part-time in both jobs but when my daughter was born in 1987 I made the move and worked here full time. Pat, who has six children, says she has learnt a lot over the years about the carat system and all the different gems on the market.
She said: “I have got an inquisitive nature and wanted to learn more about my trade so I can pass on my information. Whether people are buying a simple chain or something more elaborate my job is to guide them through their purchase.
“It can be very daunting for a gentleman to come into a jewellers and pick out something for his loved one. Although even in my three decades of work only around 20 per cent of men pick the engagement rings first as most couples want to pick it out together.
“Over the years I have seen more people stepping away from gold coloured jewellery and buying white gold, silver or platinum.
“I feel I have always been fair and honest with my customers which is one of the reasons I think so many people comeback.”
Pat is looking forward to her retirement and says she has a family holiday for 25 planned to Cornwall to mark her milestone birthday.
She said: “I have worked most weekends since 1987 so I’m looking forward to having some free time.
“I’m lucky to have been to many different countries but I don’t know what’s on my doorstep and want to take some time exploring the British Isles as there are parts of the country I have never been too.”
There is a sale on at Sidebotham’s and pat says she will not close until all the stock has gone.
“I would love another jeweller to take it on as it is in a prime location and with the opening of The Crescent re-opening next year this would be the prime time to take it on.”
Saying goodbye to her customers Pat added: “Thank you for your warmth, loyalty and friendship over the years as well as your sense of humours and for making me smile.”