After 60 years behind the chemist counter, George prescribes himself a rest

RETIRING George Blagg, right, with Keith Seston, owner of the Leigh Park Pharmacy.  Picture: Malcolm Wells (114421-2478)
RETIRING George Blagg, right, with Keith Seston, owner of the Leigh Park Pharmacy. Picture: Malcolm Wells (114421-2478)

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HE’S been a pharmacist for no less than 60 years.

But, at the age of 85, big-hearted George Blagg has finally decided to hang up his white coat.

The grandfather-of-four, who has worked at Leigh Park Pharmacy for the last nine years, says he would love to carry on, but feels he needs to put his feet up after having a heart bypass during the summer.

George, who lives in Chichester, said: ‘I have enjoyed it all my life.

‘I have never had one day when I woke up and didn’t want to go to work.

‘I have been very fortunate to be able to dabble in different sides of pharmacy.’

George was born in Bolton and grew up in Lancashire before spending three years in the RAF.

After an apprenticeship at the local chemists, George knew the career he wanted to pursue, eventually studying at Manchester University.

After qualifying in 1951, he worked his way up to distribution manager for the UK for ICI Pharmaceuticals.

However, fed up of travelling up and down the country, he decided to open his own pharmacy shop in Parklands, Chichester, a business he ran for 10 years.

After several years of locum work, he has worked at the chemist in Park Parade every Saturday until his last shift on Christmas Eve.

George said: ‘It’s been enjoyable.

‘The only reason I am retiring is on medical grounds as I had a cardiac bypass during the summer.

‘It’s not because I don’t like the pharmacy or the people!

‘The people have been absolutely wonderful to me.’

Goerge said the highlights of his career have been working with scientists and learning about new aspects of pharmacy.

He said: ‘There’s always something new coming along and new things to be considered.’

He now plans to spend more time enjoying life, playing golf, swimming and riding his bike.

He laughed: ‘I am doing all the things I was doing when I was 50!’

Keith Seston, pharmacist at Leigh Park Pharmacy, said: ‘When George started, most of what we do was formulation, making things up with pestle and mortar.

‘Now we are more clinically orientated and deal with healthcare.

‘George is very popular with the staff and very popular with the customers. He’s always got time for people.’

He added: ‘He’s seen the launch of some very important drugs.

‘I think it’s quite remarkable that he qualified in the same year I was born – that kind of puts it all in perspective!’