by MARY MAGEE
Jean Logan who has retired after 53 years in Crumlin Pharmacy being presented with a bottle of champagne by pharmacist Philip Cartmill. U55211-101AO
AS Jean Logan began a well deserved retirement last week after an incredible 53 years as a sales assistant in Crumlin Pharmacy, she recalled one customer who really stood out.
And what else should the 60s singing icon Dusty Springfield, as famous for her heavy eye make up as her voice, want but eye make up remover!
Jean can still remember the day in the 60s when Dusty and her friend Mary Bell just walked in the door. They had just got off a plane at Aldergrove and stopped off in Crumlin.
An awe-struck Jean remembers thinking one packet of eye make up remover was never going to be enough: "I just thought to myself they would have needed a lot more to take away all that eye make-up" she laughed.
Jean began her long career as a sales assistant at the chemist in June 1958 after she left Antrim Tech. She had worked at SW McMahon in Bow Street in Lisburn for just three months before she was approached by Mr James McConnell senior who was looking for a reliable sales assistant.
At that time she worked alongside Charlie Gibb and Mr McConnell the pharmacist and owner of the chemist. Over the years Jean has noticed many changes including the renovation many times of the chemist - which at one time saw a post office next door. When Mr McConnell senior died, his son John took over the chemist and another pharmacist was employed. The pharmacy has changed hands several times since and has been owned by Dundees, Primrose and is now currently owned by Medicare with a staff of eight.
"I have seen babies coming into the shop who are now grandparents themselves," she said. "I loved working in the chemist. I never left because I never felt the need to leave. I enjoyed meeting people and enjoyed talking to people. Most of all I enjoyed my work.
"I especially enjoyed the adrenaline that Christmas time would bring because it was always a very busy time of the year. And people really appreciated the work that you did. They would leave some really lovely presents in. They were unbelievable."
Jean also gets a mention in a book written by a former railway worker Robert Alexander,
"I used to go to work on a bike and I would park it outside the shop," she said. "It was at a time when we would have got parcels from the train. The man from the railway station, Robert, would cycle down to the chemist with the parcels for delivery.
"One day he lifted my bike by mistake and someone else took his bike which was later found at Wilson pub. But by then I had reported it stolen. Robert wrote about it in his book.
Jean does not plan to put her feet up in retirement. She admits she will miss the friendly banter and her work colleagues and wants to continue helping out in a local shop.
"I loved the people I worked with," said Jean. "They were always lovely friendly staff. I will really miss my friends but I plan to call in from time to time to see them. I like to keep myself busy working."
On her last day at the pharmacy, just before Christmas, staff put up posters of her retirement around the shop and she was presented with beautiful Galway crystal wine glasses and a bottle of champagne. The staff plan to take her out for a well deserved dinner in the NewYear.