Lynn Calladine is retiring from Wards Shoe Shop in Belper after almost 46 years!

Lynn started working at the shop in October 1977 when it was owned by Wearra Shoes and traded as ‘David Scott’. Customers may remember that it later became ‘James Baker’ before joining the Wards family in 1988. Today the store is run by Alison & Justin who are the third generation to run Wards Shoes. They are proud to still be an independent, family run business serving Belper and wider afield with their High Street stores and website.

Things have changed so much in the time Lynn has worked in the store. When she started shops didn’t open on Sundays, there were no shopping centres and the internet didn’t exist! Lynn recalls how they didn’t have a till and had to hand write receipts. They had to order their stock by posting stamped cards back to the suppliers once per week - she says Saturday was a very busy day and there were 5 staff members rushed off their feet all day long! At the time the shop mainly sold Clarks shoes, but today it offers footwear & accessories from a wide choice of brands including Rieker, Skechers, Gabor, Josef Seibel, Tamaris, Fly London and many more. Always looking for new and exciting products for all the family, the shop goes from strength to strength.

When asked what she has enjoyed most about her job, Lynn replied quickly “talking to the lovely customers & seeing families grow up!” She is now fitting shoes for the grandchildren of her very first customers & said it has been a real joy to serve multiple generations over the years. “I love the fact that no two days are the same, we’re always busy with deliveries and customers”.

Lynn also enjoys keeping the stockroom in order and putting shoes away - a big challenge at the start of the season when all the new styles arrive at the same time, or in August when there are school shoes everywhere! Lynn said she will miss serving customers and working with her colleagues Carole, Suzanne, Sarah, Claire & Gill, “its been a pleasure to work alongside some lovely ladies over the years”, but she is excited for a new chapter and looking forward to having some well deserved time for herself. She plans to visit Fairground Model Shows in the Summer with her husband Neil, and spend more time with her family and friends.

Anyone who knows Lynn will tell you she is the most positive, happy person you could ever meet. She always wears a big smile and doesn’t let anything get her down! Her enthusiasm and hard work will be greatly missed. The Wards team say they don’t know what they are going to do without her. Lynn’s final day in the store will be Friday 31st March, but she promises to pop in every week & keep her eye on things!