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Antique seller Paul's 25 years of service at great grandfather's former cotton mill site

Paul Shinkfield with a portrait of his ancestor and manager Paul Hamlet
Paul Shinkfield with a portrait of his ancestor and manager Paul Hamlet
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One of Chorley’s popular antique shops has marked a milestone date with its longest serving employee celebrating 25 years of service.

Cash office manager Paul Shinkfield started at Bygone Times in Eccleston in 1993 at the age of 15 after receiving a work experience placement through Wellfield High School in Leyland.

Paul Hamlet, General Manager and Paul Shinkfield, Cash Office Manager

Paul Hamlet, General Manager and Paul Shinkfield, Cash Office Manager

Unknown to the school was that Paul’s connection to the retail destination ran deeper than just living locally.

The business is based at Grove Mill in Langton Brow, a former cotton mill dating back to the 1840s. In 1884 it was sold to Ibzan Sagar – the great, great grandfather of Paul.

Paul, a former University of Lancashire student, said: “It is a special place for me, not just because of my family connections but also because of the excellent team of people I work with, there is a strong sense of community among the staff as well as the customers.”

The 40-year-old added: “A lot has changed since I started at Bygone Times, with the most noticeable difference being how much it has grown. It is now more than twice the size it was when I was 15 and it has been an honour to have been a part of such a good business for so long.”

General manager at Bygone Times, Paul Hamlet, said: ““Paul is a fantastic asset to the business, he is a great guy who is willing to go the extra mile, such as volunteering his days off to provide emergency cover and coming in early to ensure the work gets done.

“His work ethic is second to none and I have complete confidence in everything he does.”

The business organised a celebration event to mark Paul’s 25 years of service at Bygone Times, with the presentation of a commemorative gift; a bottle of Paul’s favourite vodka and an engraved glass.