Bob’s bowed out after 18 years at Vine House

Bob on his final day at Vine House with colleagues Nancy, Lillian and Betty.
Bob on his final day at Vine House with colleagues Nancy, Lillian and Betty.

Tuesdays won’t be quite the same any more at the Vine House Cancer Care shop in Longridge.

For at 10am each Tuesday, almost every week since he started there 18 years ago when the shop opened, Bob Booth has welcomed customers and donors through the door.

He was there when it opened as the first charity shop in Longridge in 1997, with the ribbon cut by two mayors, Longridge’s Coun Rose Croasdale (now Adamson) and Ribble Valley’s Coun Jenny Grimes, and the charity’s chairman, Eddie Topping, also present.

And he was there on Tuesday last week on the dot to greet and, as it was his last day, to also say farewell to customers and his colleagues, Nancy Umpleby, Lillian Conway and Betty Wells.

He felt it was “just a bit of a sad day”, but at 82 and travelling from his home in Lea being quite a journey he has decided to call it a day.

He looked back to his first day, saying he had seen the town’s many changes through the shop’s windows, and at his 18 years enjoyment of meeting and helping people for the charity.

Bob joined Vine House after being administrative officer with Chorley, Preston and Ribble Valley borough councils. Schooling was at Longridge CE Junior and Preston Grammar schools, he was in Cubs and Scouts, and after being in Longridge Band for 40 years was with Leyland DAF and Blackpool Brass bands.

He will be back in Longridge soon to treat his three colleagues – Nancy, Lillian and Betty – with a celebratory meal.