“Much loved” BBR Optometry dispensing optician to retire after 39 years
“People say I’m part of the furniture here but actually I’ve been here longer than every single bit of furniture in the building,” Ruth Kettel said
07 February 2023
A “much loved” dispensing optician is preparing for retirement after almost four decades serving her local community.
Ruth Kettel, 68, who lives in Leominster and also volunteers for Samaritans, has worked at BBR Optometry in Hereford for 39 years.
To mark her retirement, colleagues have clubbed together to buy her a bright blue Raleigh electric bike.
Current and former BBR Optometry staff also gathered for a celebratory afternoon tea at Aylestone Court hotel in Hereford in her honour.
Optometrist and practice director, Nicholas Rumney, said: “Ruth has been part of the Hereford community for many decades and is a much-loved figure in the High Street.
“She is 100% fully engaged in her patients and has served them diligently for nearly 40 years. She brought to BBR a genuine love of people.”
He added that Kettel “will be sorely missed.”
Prior to starting her role at BBR Optometry, Kettel worked for nine years at Barraclough Opticians, in Sussex. Both BBR Optometry and Barraclough Opticians are now Hakim Group independent practices.
Her father had also worked as an optometrist in Hereford.
Speaking ahead of her retirement from BBR Optometry, Kettel said: “People say I’m part of the furniture here but actually I’ve been here longer than every single bit of furniture in the building. The only thing that pre-dates me is an old manual pupilometer, which is at least 50 years old. I still use it to this day.”
She added: “I first came here as a locum on an initial month placement. I was invited back for a second month but nothing more was ever said. I just kept coming back and they kept paying me. Almost 40 years later I’m still here.
“I have absolutely loved my job and I’ve been very lucky to have so many wonderful patients over the years who have been very loyal and always wanted to come back and see me.
“Since I announced I would be retiring I have had countless cards and presents from patients who over the years have become very good friends.”