CHESTERFIELD: Probus club is entertained by tales about Atkinson’s store

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At the September meeting of Nightingale Probus president Chris Smith welcomed 41 members to the Olde House. She told members that £100 had been sent to Ashgate Hospice, the proceeds from the club’s strawberry tea and a quiz about Derbyshire.

In the Inter-Probus bowls singles competition, Mrs Winifred Slack and Mrs Wendy Halsall had given creditable performances.

Last month’s trip to Scarborough had been enjoyed by the ladies (and some men). The weather was perfect and the president gave special thanks to the social secretaries who had organised the event.

Final details of the ing tea at East Lodge on September 12 were given out.

The raffle made £36 for the club funds.

The speaker Graham Frith gave a talk on the history of Atkinson’s department store in Sheffield. In 1846 John Atkinson founded the store on the Moor in Sheffield. The present MD is the great-grandson of John. Atkinson’s has remained a family firm and is 141 years old this year. The staff are trained to give the utmost satisfaction to customers. This was illustrated by an incident when a woman asked for a knitting pattern for a coat for her dog. The assistant, wishing to be as helpful as possible, asked the kind of dog, as they had no actual patterns but she could compile one. The customer replied it was a mongrel and she could not describe him. The assistant then suggested the customer bring the animal to the store entrance and then she could see for herself. “Oh I couldn’t possibly do that”, replied the lady, “its a surprise for him! Mrs Irene Brophy gave a vote of thanks.