A POPULAR dentist in Thornbury is retiring after 50 years working in the town.

When he arrived in Thornbury in 1970, Robin Cole-Morgan expected to stay there for around six months. Instead, he clocked up five decades working at Bank Cottage Dental.

Although Robin had been thinking of slowing down a little, the 74-year-old had had no intentions of hanging up his gloves for the last time before the coronavirus pandemic.

He had been keen to return to the practice and learn to adapt to the ‘new normal’ like the rest of the profession, but was given medical advice that he should not do so at this stage.

With the situation unlikely to change for the foreseeable future, Robin made the difficult decision to reluctantly retire.

The decision was a devastating blow to the staff at Bank Cottage, many of whom have worked with him for years.

Many patients have since become friends and he has seen and treated generations of families during those years. Some who left the area have continued to travel miles to see him for treatment.

“Dentistry has never been a job to my dad, it has been his hobby,” said Robin’s daughter, Becky, who wanted this article to be a surprise for him. “Those who know him well would say that being a dentist defined him. This was perhaps best underlined when heckled during his speech at my wedding when he was reminded that my marriage should be seen merely as, ‘just another extraction!’

“The practice in Castle Street became his second home, and my mum would often have to phone him to see if he was actually coming back. Weekends were often filled with dad scooting off to the surgery to sort out an emergency and he was always on duty to help those with a dental problem.

“Growing up in Thornbury, I couldn’t get away with anything because everyone seemed to know my dad and worse than that, often knew embarrassing stories about me that he’d recounted to them whilst they were in the dental chair. This pandemic has somewhat forced the issue of him retiring. I know he has been very touched by the amount of cards and messages he has received.”