FOR all her working life, Marj Hawkins has been in Crediton or Sandford where she was born and grew up. Marj is now starting a new life having retired on Friday, December 30.

She had worked at Crediton Pharmacy in the High Street for 15 years but before then had twice worked at Boots, the first time in the shop which was opened as a chemist’s by Ernest Jackson where Evans Newsagents now is and then at the “new” shop in its current home.

Marj went to school in Sandford and Crediton, leaving as many did at the age of 15.

Her first job was at Boots for two years, followed by 11 and-a-half years at Western Lodge when it was a hospital and care home, a job Marj had loved and made lifelong friends.

By then Josie Hooper had opened Summerhayes as a residential home at Sandford and asked Marj to join her which she did for several years. Marj then went back to work at Boots until she and Phil adopted their son, Shaun.

When she returned to work, Marj joined the staff of Town and Country, the Mole Avon-owned shop in the High Street, now Revive Beauty and Hair salon.

Marj then did part-time jobs, joining Tony and Rose Palmer at Chinn’s, working at Adams and St Lawrence on Churchill Drive when it was a care home before going to Crediton Pharmacy 15 years ago.

In that time Marj has seen changes on the High Street, shops closing, others opening, still keeping its character of individual shops and specialist shops.

She and Phil were married at Sandford in that hot summer of 1976, living in Sandford and in Crediton, where they are now living. Marj is delighted that they became grandparents last year.

As for beginning a new life, Marj said: “We have three beautiful Labradors, there is the garden, and I have made some good friends.

“We have had many good and funny times here in the shop and I shall miss lots of the customers but am also looking forward to a bit of time for me.”

Sue Read