Couple retires after combined 110 years in jewellery shops
PUBLISHED: 06:30 17 September 2020 | UPDATED: 13:06 21 September 2020
A couple who between them have dedicated a century to the jewellery trade are stepping back for a well-earned retirement.
Rodney and Angela Ellis have worked at Dipples Family Jewellers, which has shops in Norwich and Dereham, for a combined 110 years, with Mr Ellis joining the business in 1958 and his wife in 1972.
Mrs Ellis still manages the Norwich Road branch in Dereham, while Mr Ellis, despite having recently turned 80, still serves as company chairman.
However, the pair are now planning to take a step away from the business, passing the torch to the fifth generation of the family, son Chris Ellis, who is already managing director of the Norwich branch.
Mrs Ellis said during their time in the business they had seen wholesale change in the industry and the world around them, surviving an armed robbery and making lifelong friends along the way.
She said: “In our time we have sold engagement rings to couples who have since returned to buy rubies for their anniversaries. We’ve lived through the decimal system, three-day weeks and are now seeing the coronavirus pandemic, so it’s safe to say, we have seen a lot.
“We had an armed robbery in the 1980s, that nobody really heard about at the time, and have worked with such wonderful people across the years.”
Founded in Essex in 1878 by George Henry Dipple, the brand has been in Norfolk since the 1800s, with the first Norfolk branch opening around 1894 in Swan Lane, where it has remained ever since.
The Dereham branch, which was founded by Mr Ellis, great grandson of George Henry, opened in 1963.
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Mrs Ellis added: “We will miss the customers the most, their loyalty has been greatly appreciated and our colleagues look forward to continuing to welcome them in the future.
“Although we leave with a heavy heart, we look forward to spending more time together, travelling around the beautiful British countryside and indulging in our passion for photography.
“We also owe such thanks to all of our staff over the years, some of whom have been working for us for 30 years themselves.”
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