AN ILKLEY bookshop has bid a fond farewell to two long-serving members of staff.

Stephen Boyd and Barbara Steel worked a combined total of 36 years at The Grove Bookshop.

Ninety year old Barbara was actually the business’s longest-serving employee, clocking up 27 years after starting there back in 1993. Her many tasks since have included looking after Ilkley Book Club and running the Playhouse book stall at the Ilkley Literature Festival. Stephen, meanwhile, was with the bookshop for nine years and was very well-known in Grove Music.

Barbara said: “I’m very sad to leave but have been so happy to work in such a wonderful bookshop where many customers have become good friends.”

Manager Mike Sansbury said: “Stephen and Barbara will be greatly missed here at the Grove Bookshop. Steve’s patience, sense of humour and encyclopaedic knowledge of music made him a vital member of the team and he will be remembered fondly by colleagues and customers alike.

“Barbara began working here at an age when most people are retiring - and to go on to the age of 90 is testament to her enthusiasm, energy and determination.

“She was part of our public persona, making a memorable impression on customers, authors and anyone who met her.

“We wish them both well and hope to see them often.

“Despite the current difficult trading environment, the bookshop is busy and we are happy to see so many customers new and old through the summer.

“There are lots of exciting titles in stock and people are already Christmas shopping! In view of the pandemic, we have improved online ordering, so you can get what you need without coming in or have it ready to collect.”

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