Article from 2002 edition of The Bridge
Cliffords Chemist - reverting to a home in 2002, but the business continues along The Causeway
other Pharmacy is the Drop-Off Point for Motor Racing Spares!
Most Godmanchester residents are familiar with the Olde Worlde Chemists shop that was on The Causeway until a few months ago. In April of this year Doris Anderson (nee Clifford) retired following the sale of the business and having celebrated the business' 50th Anniversary.
The building itself dates back to 1597 and has been a Chemists since 1951, when Mr Clifford (Doris' father) bought the building.
It is only by chance that this happened, as the family had moved from this area to London but in 1941, during the Blitz, a flying bomb destroyed their shop and Mr Clifford crawled from the rubble with a few scratches. So it was that Doris and family came back to Huntingdon where Mrs Clifford's family had run Poples Bakery. Mr Clifford went to work for Turners Chemists in St Ives so that Peter Turner could go into active service. There was a 'gentleman's agreement' that upon cessation of hostilities Mr Turner would return to his business and Mr Clifford would move on but Peter Turner did not return to St Ives until 1951 when Mr Clifford purchased The Causeway premises and became the first Chemist in Godmanchester. Doris went on to University (with a Huntingdonshire County Major Scholarship for which she is, to this day, grateful), worked in research in Hertfordshire, and at Papworth Hospital, married John (a fellow Pharmacist) and became pregnant.
Whilst in Mill Road Maternity Hospital and with Tossy just 8 days old her husband, John, told her that her father was ill and she needed to come home to run the shop. So, rather unwillingly, Doris and Tossy vacated their beds and came hot foot back to Godmanchester with Doris saying "I'll do this for a fortnight and not a minute longer" - what a long minute that has been, Sadly Mr Clifford died one night and the following morning Doris opened the doors to the waiting customers and has been doing so until 30th April 2002. During this time Doris has weighed 3 generations of babies in her baby scales.
At the age of 65 (who would ever have guessed?) Doris has been grateful to find a purchaser for her business who will not only offer the same unfailing service and common-sense advice that she will be remembered for, but who has allowed her to keep her home as he has taken premises just a few doors away. This will allow Doris to spend time with her family and to indulge in her interest in Motor Racing watching son-in-law Mark flying around the track in his Mini.
Finally, on behalf of Doris, she extends her thanks to her customers and to her long-serving staff who she is delighted will be staying with the business which has moved a few doors away.
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