Hemswell Antique Centres

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Farewell and Good Luck, Esme!


Esme moved to Hemswell in December 1985, as her husband Keith, who was in the Armed Forces, had just been posted to Kirton Lindsey. They were living in army quarters on Hemswell Camp, the former RAF Hemswell, and their children attended Hemswell Cliff Primary School.

Needing to find employment Esme approached businesses within the area when someone suggested that she speak to Nepi Milller. At the time, Nepi and her husband, Rex Miller, were making plans to launch a new business venture. After a brief interview and an informal chat with Nepi and Rex, Esme started work at Hemswell Antique Centres in May-June 1986, in Building 1.

Working at Hemswell was very different in the early day – there were no tills (just a tin box!) and the front counters were crafted from room doors. Rex’s pet spaniel, Brandy used to make itself at home under the desk, and in the foyer a large porter’s chair was home to a stuffed bear whose job was to meet and greet customers!

The Coffee Shop in 1986, which was upstairs in Building 1, room 7, was a far cry from the coffee shop as it is today; customers used to call down when they required service, but Esme recalls that Penny Gleadel made fabulous chocolate cakes.

The following year Building 2 opened but at this point was more of a furniture storeroom than the busy building it is today. As it was unmanned, Esme would run between Buildings 1 & 2 whenever a customer requested a viewing a year later, a trend that started her passion for fitness.

Building 2 officially opened from 10am until 5pm and to begin with, there were not so many customers, giving Esme the time to knit jumpers for her young children.

When Building 3 opened Esme spent most of her time working in there a few days a week. At the same time, she also rented her own NCO Room dealer space and specialised in kitchenalia, a little side line to boost her pay packet. Unfortunately, looking after a young family and working full time made it difficult to get out and purchase stock, so Esme decided to leave the dealing up to the antique dealers.

The enormous success of Rex and Nepi’s antiques business meant that positions became available for Building Managers. Esme applied and became the manager of Building 1, covering Building 3 when required.

When Robert Miller took over the business, he asked Esme to Manage Building 2, which she has made her own over the past 20 years.

During her 36 years at Hemswell Antique Centres, Esme has seen many changes and has witnessed people from all walks of life coming through the doors. She has formed great friendships with her work colleagues, regular customers, and dealers at the centres.

Over the years, the centres have evolved and grown and through it all Esme has embraced the changes to become the supportive and valued member of our team that she is today.

Esme’s smile will be greatly missed in Building 2, now that she has made the decision to retire. However, the entire team wishes her well for her next chapter. The Hemswell teams, past and present and all our dealers look forward to celebrating with her on the 27th of October 2022.

Good luck Esme, we shall raise a glass to you for a happy and enjoyable retirement, and enough spare time to get your knitting done!

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