Could you be our oldest customer?

In 2008, as part of our 60th birthday celebrations, we thought it would be an interesting piece of fun to try to track down our earliest customers. We invited customers of over 30 years standing to write in describing when they first visited us and something of their experience here then.

We turned the process into a competition and promised free tea and coffee for two to our earliest customer. We were very surprised and touched to receive so many entries and it was very heart warming to read the many nice things our most loyal customers had to say about us. All the entrants were rewarded with a £20 gift voucher to thank them for their loyal custom. However, once we realised just how long some of our customers had been visiting we felt we had to offer some more exciting prizes.

To our amazement, our second earliest customers, Mr and Mrs Ashcroft of Scarisbrick, have been visiting us for 50 years and thus earned the prize of free tea and coffee for two for the rest of the year. However, more astonishing still was to discover a customer who had been visiting for 60 years. Mrs Calvert, who now lives in Southport and had recently celebrated her 90th birthday, remembered seeing the garden centre and bungalows being built and used to buy her lettuce and tomatoes here (we started life as a market garden). She also persuaded Margaret Vickers to join her as a Guider to help set up the Tarleton and Hesketh Bank Guide group. To reward this extraordinary length of custom we awarded Mrs Calvert free tea and coffee for two for life and presented her with a Neptune Provence Tea For Two furniture set. Sadly Mrs Calvert is no longer with us.

We will be 65 before we know it and would again be interested in hearing from our earliest customers and to publish some reminiscences of their visits to the centre in the 50s and 60s. Please share your experiences with us in writing or by email and we will reward you with a free gift voucher.