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New owners of Shifnal opticians keep all staff after sudden closure last month

By Rory Smith | Shifnal | News | Published: | Last Updated:

An opticians in Shifnal that suddenly closed, leaving a backlog of orders, has reopened under new ownership with all staff being retained.

Harvey Douley, Moira O'Toole, Jude Bassinder and Carla Seaward

SR Drinnan Opticians has taken over Tim Vanes Opticians which closed after its owner, Timothy Guy Vanes, admitted possessing extreme pornography in court.

A notice was put in the window on Friday, January 17, notifying customers it had closed with immediate effect, but by the following Monday it had been taken over, refurbished and reopened by its new owners.

Indy Douley and his younger brother Harvey, who also run opticians in Baschurch, Whitchurch, Oswestry, Ellesmere and Llangollen, said all three admin staff have been kept on and two of the three optometrists who previously conducted tests are expected to return in the coming weeks.

Optician Harvey Douley

Mr Douley said all previous patient records were safe and secure, and that his team would honour all orders and care plans already in place.

"We were aware that the opticians was closing the day after a sign went up in the door," he said.

"We've kept all the staff on and we've retained all patient records which are safe – and is one of the most commonly asked questions we've had.

"We're also honouring all patient orders and promises. There were quite a few orders that were placed in the weeks leading up to the practice closing with no notice, so since we've taken over a big priority has been ensuring these are sorted."

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SR Drinnan Opticians

Mr Douley added while unaware of the initial reasons for closure, it was a credit to his staff the business has been able to run so efficiently since reopening, and it aims to continue the good service of its other branches across the county. The opticians in Park Street is set to start eye tests again on Tuesday.

"Everything came to light once we got the ball rolling so it wasn't a contributing factor," added Mr Douley.

"We officially had ownership on Saturday before opening on the Monday. We had to turn things around quite quickly and over that weekend we refurbished the practice which was a busy time for us.

"Primarily it's been getting everything in place before we start testing again from Tuesday."

Previous owner Timothy Vanes pleaded guilty to one count of possession of extreme animal porn images earlier this month, having previously pleaded guilty to three counts of possession of indecent photographs of children and is due to be sentenced on March 6.

Rory Smith

By Rory Smith
Reporter - @rorysmith_star

Senior reporter based at the Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley, Telford.

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