Two staff members at a Wiltshire vet practice are celebrating 40 years of dedicated service.

Denise Knott and Janice Parker have been working at the Chippenham branch of Hale Veterinary Group since November 1983 and 1984 respectively.

The pair are now being celebrated by the practice for their significant career milestones.

When Denise joined the team as an accounts clerk, the firm had yet to install its first computer, which would arrive shortly after and was nicknamed Humphrey.

She said: “In those days, all of the invoices were handwritten.

“I’ve enjoyed every minute of my time here.

“I love helping clients and it has also been a real pleasure to have worked with such a lovely team of people over the years, who are all dedicated to giving pets the best possible care.”

Just months later, Janice joined her at the practice, and went on to fulfil many roles before finally becoming a pet travel advisor.

This includes ensuring clients have the correct documentation and advice for taking their pets abroad.

When they first started working together, Denise and Janice were the branch’s only full-time support staff.

Janice Parker (left) and Denise Knott (right)Janice Parker (left) and Denise Knott (right) (Image: Hale Veterinary Group)

Janice said: “Between us, we covered all phone calls and reception, typed letters and dealt with the mail, counted out tablets, and mixed up lotions and potions in the pharmacy.

“There were 12 vets and three nurses covering the main surgery at Chippenham and three small animal branch surgeries.”

Over the last 40 years, the practice has grown rapidly, and the pair are now part of a team of 80.

Janice added: “We have seen many changes.

“The Chippenham surgery is now a fully-equipped veterinary hospital, the number of vets has more than doubled and we now have a team of around 80, including a dedicated night team so the premises is manned 24 hours a day.

“The level of service and high-quality care we are able to offer is incredible.”

Janice says she feels lucky to have experienced the “variety” of 40 years helping to care for other people’s pets.

She said: “No two days are the same in a veterinary practice and I love the variety it offers.

“I feel very lucky to have spent most of my working life here, surrounded by like-minded people, and I have made many good friends among colleagues and clients.”

Hale Veterinary Group has been offering its services to Wiltshire pet owners for over a century and, as well as the Chippenham animal hospital, has branch surgeries in Calne, Corsham, and Melksham.