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Jespers of Harrogate manager celebrates 30th anniversary

Lynn Cummings, Manager at Jespers of Harrogate.

Jespers of Harrogate manager Lynn Cummings has celebrated 30 years at the shop.

Lynn marked her 30th year on Thursday (18th April) - three decades on since her first day in 1994.

She began as a sales assistant before being promoted to second assistant retail manager two-and-a-half years later.

In 1997, the lady running the Jespers shop in York was due to retire and Lynn was asked to take over as manager over there.

She returned to the Harrogate store in 1999 to become the manager, and has now held this position for the last 25 years.

Lynn said:

"It's a long time but I'm not the longest ever serving member of staff that I can remember - the lady I took over from was at Jespers for 36 years, and one of our sales assistants, Ann-Marie Smith, retired last year after 35 years."

When Lynn started at Jespers, the current basement that houses the art showroom was an office furniture showroom.

An engraver also still worked on site, continuing the service that the company had been founded on.

The company also had teams for sales, furniture and the warehouse.

Lynn added:

"I've seen a lot of changes at Jespers over the three decades; it was a lot different to what it is today.

"When I started my job, we had manual tills. There were typewriters in the window (as shown far right on the shop front photo). It was a different type of era, more traditional.

"Jespers had a lot of long-standing, well-known Harrogate customers such as Lord Mountgarrett and Sir Thomas Ingilby. We used to do printing, rubber stamps, and we had the pen counter, which was seen as a privilege to be asked to work on."

After 118 years and four generations, the Jesper family sold the business in 2019.

Jespers is now owned by the Vickers family, who are also from Yorkshire.

Lynn said:

"After working for the Jesper family for 25 years, it was quite a change when they sold the business, but the new owners are taking us forward to a new chapter."

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