Bid to save much-loved Chesterfield photographic business which has traded in town for 116 years

Calls have been made to secure the future of a much-loved photographic business which has traded in Chesterfield for more than a century.

Wednesday, 3rd March 2021, 9:00 am

The photo section at historic pharmacy John Dent has recorded family portraits, holidays and celebrations for the community from its base on New Square since 1905.

Acting manager Mark Ludbrook said the team of three staff on the department, who have clocked up between 15 and 38 years of service, were disappointed but had their fingers crossed a new owner could be found.

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The photo section at John Dent Pharmacy is facing an uncertain future.
The photo section at John Dent Pharmacy is facing an uncertain future.

"We are disappointed not only for ourselves and the company but also to those customers that have been loyal, supportive and provided us with such wonderful stories behind their photos over the years,” Mark said.

"We all have made friends and acquaintances from some of our customers and each one of us will be sorry to see this come to a close."

The photo section opened in 1905, two years after the pharmacy was launched.

John Dent Pharmacy staff Jayne Boyer, Helen McConnachie and Lynne Steele.

Mark is proud that Dents has always been a little bit different.

“Dents was always slightly unique in the fact that we did get lots of holiday, celebration and family event photos coming through but also we got a lot of historic images and events, photos with fascinating stories behind them,” he said.

"We even had a lady from Australia send us a photo of her dad on the roof of Dents after fitting the star for Christmas.

"She went on to tell us that he got stuck up there after the roof door blew shut behind him. Thankfully he did eventually make it back down.”

Mark says he hopes an owner can be found to create a new chapter at Dents but continue its proud history.

"Dents have always been big on customer service and would look for this to continue in any new chapter,” he said.

"We know we offer a good and competitive service. We know our staff are not only knowledgeable but also interested in both the work presented to us and also the customers and their projects.”

Mark hopes to continue working with Chesterfield Art College, photographic societies and local camera clubs.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.