The Nidderdale Voices column with Ann Walker

Although Ann Walker misses the rugged coastline of Cornwall, she happily followed her husband David when he decided that he wanted to return to his Pateley roots. David’s family were all here and well established in the town and she had suddenly to make new friends and find a whole new way of life.

Tuesday, 29th October 2019, 2:57 pm
Ann Walker, manager of the Cards and Gifts shop in Pateley Bridge.

Ann was not going to be homesick.

She had to make friends and the best way to get to know people in Nidderdale was to find a job. Darley Mill offered work and when this closed another opportunity came up at the Bridgeway in Pateley High Street.

It was from there that Ann moved to the Post Office when it was present on the High Street.

Her job in the Post Office was looking after the cards and so when the Post Office closed its gift and card department Richard Shillito saw the opportunity to develop his storage space into the interesting and attractive shop that GGO Ltd is today.

Ann was the ideal person to help him run his new venture as she was familiar with cards and her present work was finishing.

Describe a typical day

David wakes me in the morning with a cup of tea and after breakfast it is down the hill to the shop.

Each day brings in someone different and in the two years that I have worked there I have got to know the likes and requirements of so many of my customers.

Birthdays are happening all the year round and then there are special cards to buy for the different seasons of the year.

So many people ask for advice and for speciality cards and we are now able to add numbers to personalise them.

Reps visit us about every six weeks and it is always exciting to see their collections. So many decisions have to be made well in advance and cards for Christmas have to be ordered in January.

The shop has to be rearranged to accommodate various promotions - Mothers’ Day, Valentine’s Day etc. We are now enlarging our stock to attractive gifts and Richard has been buying interesting articles from the Gift Fairs. Look out for our Christmas display. Many interesting articles have already arrived.

I am in the shop from 9am to 5pm five days a week. Fortunately, when I arrive home I am completely spoiled as David always has a meal waiting for me. Thursday is Richard’s traditional closing day, so David and I like to go to Ripon market and Sunday is of course spent just enjoying one another’s company and finishing off the chores that we have not been able to do during the week.

What would be your perfect day out?

Anywhere by the sea. We love Bridlington and a walk on the beach on a breezy day blows the cobwebs away. It makes you hungry for a meal of fish and chips.

What is your favourite part of the dale?

Home. Sitting in my garden on the St Mary’s and looking over towards the moors when the heather is in bloom.

What is your favourite business?

I frequent both the charity shops in Pateley looking for books as I am an avid reader.

What is the biggest change you have experienced?

Moving from the sea to the countryside.

What makes Nidderdale special?

Good neighbours. Being made so welcome in a new environment.

If there is one thing that you could change what would it be?

It would be lovely to have my husband back in good health and my Cornish family living nearer.