WHEN David May hangs up his dentist drill tomorrow, he will bring to an end a long association with Hughes and Owen dental practice.
For not only has he worked at the practice for more than 30 years, it is where his initial love of dentistry was sparked as a boy.
But as he nears his 70th birthday, after 33 years in the practice, he has decided the time has come to give it up and enjoy his retirement.
Mr May told the Mail: “I will really miss all of my patients; they have been really good and very loyal.
“I’ve been here long enough to see up to four generations of families in my time here.
“I love the people and I have always loved dentistry. That’s why I’ve been here so long.”
Mr May was a little boy living in Midway Road when he first went to the practice.
During his treatment he became the first person in the town to have a brace, and developed an interest in the profession through follow-up appointments with his dentist. After a while, he started helping out on a Saturday morning – and things were very different then.
“Those were the days we used the black gas to put people out for treatments, and these burly miners would start fighting and swaering as they came out of it. We had to pin them down.
“A lot has changed even since I started in 1980. The materials have been one of the biggest changes, and health and safety. We used to have a kettle of boiling water to sterilise instruments.”
Mr May, who got into dentistry as a career after initially starting out as a cattle auctioneer.
He said he was not worried about filling his time when he was retired, adding: “I’ve got a bucket list, which I’ve started ticking off. I want to build a model railway, and I have four daughter and five grandchildren, who will take up a lot of my retirement.”