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Duo from H&T Pawnbrokers, at Stretford Mall clock up a total of 50 years' service
9:00am Saturday 1st September 2012 in News
A DAD-of-two is celebrating two silver anniversaries this year - at work and at home.
Paul Holt, deputy manager of H&T Pawnbrokers, at Stretford Mall shopping centre, has clocked up 25 years of service.
But he's also got another reason to celebrate this year - his silver wedding anniversary.
His boss, manager Tony Doyle, will also have been with the firm for a quarter of a century this year.
As a result they will both attend a high profile event with company directors this month on The Strand in London.
Paul, 57, who once helped a customer who brought in a full set of dentures wrapped in a handkerchief, said: “I have actually been in the industry since 1979 and it has radically changed since I started.
“At one time we took in absolutely anything – clothes, golf clubs, bedding, someone even brought in a full set of teeth once, wrapped in a handkerchief, and they were still able to borrow against it because it is effectively collateral and something they own.
“For those people, they were in a situation where they needed to borrow money, even small amounts, and we were often the only place they could turn to for financial help.
“We might not take in those sorts of things anymore but we are still an important service for some people who may not be able to access money lending in the same way as you or I.”
His close colleague and friend Tony, 46, a dad-of-one, agreed and added: “The reason why I have stayed in the job for so long is because it is not like working in a lot of stores where a customer will come in and buy something and it is quite likely that you will never see them again.
“We do have a lot of regular customers because of the nature of our business and we get to know them personally.
“I am now serving the children of my original customers who are now coming in pushing their own children so I have got to know several generations of the same family.
“We have built up a relationship of trust with these people and we do feel like a very important part of the community. People need cash and we are there for them.
“If there are ever any problems with paying the money back then we go out of our way to hold their possessions for them for as long as we can and find a suitable solution.
“This is because they are valued customers of ours and we have got to know them.”
Stretford Mall Manager, Colin McCrory, said: “Tony and Paul must be applauded and appreciated for the many dedicated years they have been looking after Stretford Mall customers.
“The shopping centre is such an incredibly valued part of the community and a big part of this is because our visitors come to us and see the same warm and welcoming faces.
“Tony and Paul are a prime example.”
The good friends have worked together for the entire time they have been with the company, which has been present in Stretford Mall since 1989, and the dedicated duo have led their team to the highest possible honour within H&T.
In 2007, the branch scooped the ‘top team’ award for the entire company and the Stretford Mall team was flown to Dubai for a holiday to celebrate. A year later and Tony was named manager of the year by the National Pawnbrokers Association which has more than 600 members.
Still striving to add more titles to their impressive haul, the Stretford Mall team has been shortlisted several times since for top team and both Paul and Tony are keen to win again.
Tony said: “We really do care about our customers, the level of service we give and making our store successful not just to achieve awards but also for the many people who have stayed with us over all these years.”
Find out more about H&T and other stores at the Stretford Mall by going to www.stretfordmall.co.uk