Time for vet George to put his feet up

George Robin.
George Robin.

A Lancaster vet has retired after 43 years in practice – 33 of those at the same surgery.

George Robin qualified from Glasgow University in 1971, and then spent several years in mixed but mainly farm practices in Scotland, Derbyshire – where he met his wife Mary – and North Yorkshire, before moving to Lancaster in 1981.

There, George started work in China Street with Harrison and Russell, which later moved to a new site at the Pointer roundabout and became Baldrand veterinary practice.

In 2000 Baldrands amalgamated with Bay Vets, and 10 years later the farming and small animals sides split, 
with the farming side moving to Lancaster Auction Mart and becoming known as Farm Gate Veterinary Services Ltd.

For the last 10 years George has worked exclusively with livestock, and has a very keen interest in cattle fertility.

He said: “I got the interest from working as a schoolboy on a farm.

“I enjoy the outdoor life. I have always liked the farming community and working with them and preferred to be hands on out on the farm.

“That’s where I was happiest.”

George, 65, said the job has changed considerably since he first started, particularly where numbers are concerned.

When he began, 75 per cent of vets were involved with farm work. Now, just four per cent of vets deal exclusively with farm animals.

Technology has also drastically altered, with advancements having been made in many important areas including fertility and pregnancy.

George said: “If I could have my time again I would probably prefer to start around 1950, where there was much more of a farming community.”

A retirement party attended by around 250 people was held at Lancaster Brewery, and George was presented with a specially made cake by one of his clients.

George is now looking forward to spending some time taking it easy, although any travel plans will be put on hold until Mary retires.

She has previously worked at a vets, but now runs her own driving school, Bay School of Motoring.

The couple have three children – a son who is a doctor, another son who followed in his father’s footsteps to train as a vet and now works at Liverpool University researching cattle fertility, and a daughter studying for a PhD in history at Lancaster University.

George said: “I do a fair bit of walking and cycling and will hopefully be doing a bit more of that. Seeing all the lambs around and knowing I have had nothing to do with it for the first time in 44 years was a bit strange though.”

Helen McKinstry, events and deliveries co-ordinator at Farm Gate, said: “George’s laid back demeanour and exceptional clinical skill endeared him to many a client of both large and small animals.

“George’s love is of cattle and we are sure he’ll miss donning his scanner and long glove, not to mention the cups of coffee on his farms!

“George will be missed by his clients and colleagues alike and we would all like to wish him the best in his well deserved retirement.”