How it all started ........ in 1945 when
Mr. W.S.Marshall came down from Scotland to take over a Large Animal Veterinary Practice in Derby.
Mr. Marshall had trained at Edinburgh University and as a veterinary surgeon was in a reserved occupation during the war. He brought with him his wife of a few months, he says he only married her because he would need a receptionist but anyone who has ever seen them together will know how untrue that statement must be. There is no doubt that they were a formidable team and this was demonstrated by the rapid expansion of the Practice, which occurred in tandem with the expansion of the family. We have been Belper vets since a branch surgery was also opened in Belper in 1953.
Fast forward to 1974.
As part of their training, Veterinary Students are required to spend their holidays working to gain practical experience. In this way a youngster called Roger Till came to ‘see practice’, as it is called, with Mr. Marshall: Roger enjoyed it so much that he came back and back. When he qualified from Cambridge in 1976 and Mr. Marshall was needing a replacement Vet it seemed inevitable that they should join forces.
It seemed just as inevitable 2 years later that they should become partners.
When Mr. Marshall retired Roger Till became the sole proprietor of Marshall and Till, and ran the business single handed ( if you don’t count all the other people who worked there ) until his son Matthew qualified from Edinburgh University and another partnership was formed. Mr Marshall and Mr Till.
As administrative needs have changed, with business growth and government regulations, our clerical team became larger and eventually there was enough work of a purely financial nature to need a full time worker. We are fortunate that Matthew has a special interest in this area and has taken control of the finances, giving up his veterinary duties in order to do so.
Just before Matthew qualified we gained a new member of the Administrative team; Dominica Ward, generally known as Dom. She came to us from a high ranking secretarial position in a multi-national business and was appointed to the very important position of Co-Ordinator within the Practice. She was responsible for maintaining an overview of the running of the two surgeries, and was a lowly third below Roger and Matthew in the overall organising of the business! We are very fortunate that Dom with all her experience has joined us. It is even nicer because she has been a friend of the family of Roger’s wife Mary for more years than we are willing to disclose, but we will say that it is since Dom was 11.
By 2007 due to hard work, and a certain amount of good luck, Marshall and Till was still developing but the two surgeries were finding that clients’ requirements were becoming increasingly different between Derby and Belper.
We found that moving staff between the two surgeries had become a disadvantage rather than an advantage and so we split the two surgeries in order to better serve the needs of our Belper clients. A year later it was decided to concentrate solely on the Belper surgery and sell the Derby surgery. The Belper surgery retains the name Marshall and Till. The old Derby surgery has been renamed and is now a separate business in which neither Roger nor Matthew have any interest.
In 2008 we were joined by Katherine Reynolds (now Baines, by marriage in August 2012) as an assistant veterinary surgeon, and in 2010 she repeated Roger’s early meteoric rise through the ranks when she became a director of the company.
October 2012 sees the retirement of Roger and Mary, leaving Katherine as the ultimate ‘authoritiy’ at Belper, supported by Dom as Practice Administrator and of course the rest of the able staff.
This surgery is now staffed by three Veterinary Surgeons, three Veterinary Nurses, two Receptionists and Dom our Practice Administrator.
Our Vets are Katherine, Vanessa Miller (who has worked for Marshall and Till almost as long as Roger did) and Louise Kirk.
Mrs Katherine Baines (ne้ Reynolds) joined us in July 2008 from the University of Liverpool. She was brought up in Melton Mowbray (rather like Belper she says, but a tad South and a tad East) but has now happily adapted to living in Belper. She has a knack of attracting, and solving, unusual cases. She is interested in Veterinary Acupuncture and is a member of the Association of British Veterinary Acupuncturists and the Western Veterinary Acupuncture Group. She became a director in October 2010 (and got married to a Belper lad in August 2012!). Find out about M&T Acupuncture here
Mrs. Vanessa Miller has a particular interest in dermatology (problems of the skin). She has been with us since she qualified from Bristol in 1978, although she has only worked part-time for some considerable years (we let her have two days off every week). She is a Past Chairman of The British Veterinary Dermatology Study Group. Vanessa has also developed a particular expertise with rabbit dental work.
Miss Louise Kirk joined us in July 2015, replacing her predecessor Jason Bestwick. Like Jason, she has spent many weeks here ‘seeing practice’ during her university career. Having graduated with Distinction during summer 2015, we were lucky enough to be in a position to offer her a job and she seemed pleased to accept! During her spare time she likes to wield a cricket bat on the pitch.
We have three veterinary nurses, all of whom are “locally grown”. Since we have the welfare of our patients in mind at all times, it is important to us that our nurses are qualified and keep up to date with the latest veterinary developments, we think it is important for them to be “Registered Veterinary Nurses”. Although many people work as “nurses” in veterinary practice not all of them have gained their qualifications, and as you can see from the link above not all qualified nurses take the step to become registered. As registered nurses they are bound by strict standards of professional ethics and are committed to undertaking continuing professional development.
June Easom is the Head Nurse and has never worked anywhere else since she joined us as a young girl. Being the wife of a farmer she of course works very hard in that capacity too.
Ros joined us in 2014, she has settled in very quickly and is now part of the furniture. Out of work she keeps fit by cycling up hill and down dale, she also enjoys long distance horse riding.
Emma started in August 2015 as a full time addition to our nursing team. Like our other 2 nurses, she has a great deal of experience and specifically she has an interest in cardiology. When we allow her any spare time she enjoys walking with her dog Sam.
Both of our Receptionists have been with us for years. They were both our clients before later becoming employees so have a good understanding of what clients find important!
They are Jan Harrison and Jane Thwaites.
We are all local people, we have all lived in this area for 30 years or more, except Katherine, and we believe this helps us understand what the community needs.
We are happy that we can provide such stability for our clients because we firmly believe that the best care can only be provided when continuity of care can be established.
And finally the one member of staff who keeps everyone else cheerful
Walter. As our regular clients will know, sadly we lost our previous budgie, Steve, in July 2011. The waiting room was just too quiet without him, so, after a rigorous interview process (just kidding) we ‘employed’ Walter.