A local pharmacist who has served the community for 27 years is leaving for pastures new.
Robert Davis and his wife Sue came to Knowle West in 1988 and became a local fixture in the area, running their own business on Filwood Broadway. They are finally moving on and have handed over to Hamed Amin, who is working for Badham Pharmacy.
Robert says: “What I will miss most is the people I have come to know over the years… The hardest thing about going is to lose that personal relationship you have built up…”
The couple have seen a lot of changes during their time in Knowle West – and also served generations of the same family.
Robert explains: “You see people come in and remember them as young children – and see their children having children!”
He also has fond memories of Filwood Broadway when it was filled with other traders and was a “thriving area”.
He remembers: “When we came the garage was still there, the local supermarket was next door and generally all the units were occupied… When the supermarket shut down around 92 it was the beginning of the end and then it gradually dwindled away.”
Robert has been keen to see the regeneration of Filwood and says he has attended around 100 meetings since he has been in the area.
But despite the lack of other shops, he feels the area has become safer and more pleasant to work in since he started.
He says: “I have good memories of working with the other traders, Christmas was fun and people would dress up and shopkeepers make an effort, it was a good atmosphere…There was a sense of people working together ……
“Sue and I worked as a partnership at the beginning but as the pharmacy grew and we had more staff, she covered for staff who were off.”
Robert is now taking some time out and hoping to work again after Christmas but is not sure where. His advice to Hamed is: “Get involved and get to know the people you are helping to serve …You have to be a people person and that’s been one of the successes of this pharmacy. People like to know the pharmacist personally.”
Hamed – who has worked previously in pharmacies in Oxford and Portishead – says he is looking forward to “the challenge, the excitement and the business and getting to know the local people”.
He says: “It has been great so far, everyone is very friendly. We shall carry on Robert’s legacy and I’m working on getting to know everyone’s name.
“We have the same level of friendliness and approachability and plenty of energy and enthusiasm.”