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Brundall florist still blooming at 80

PUBLISHED: 09:25 29 December 2009 | UPDATED: 16:02 03 July 2010

At her age, many people might be content just tending the gladioli in their own gardens, but Yvonne Clark busily makes hundreds of bouquets for other people as a florist and has no plans to give up work.

At her age, many people might be content just tending the gladioli in their own gardens, but Yvonne Clark busily makes hundreds of bouquets for other people as a florist and has no plans to give up work.

Christmas was a double celebration for Mrs Clark, from Lingwood, who marked her 80th birthday at the Brundall Pet and Hardware store where she still works six days a week. She started there after giving up her business, Homestead Nursery and Florist, at Strumpshaw after her husband's death.

Mrs Clark has helped build up the floristry business at the Links Avenue store and says she will continue for the foreseeable future.

She said: “I couldn't settle down to domestic bliss, so, when Andrew Bevan gave me the opportunity at the garden centre, I took it. I thoroughly enjoy it. The girls are like daughters to me. They all look after me, and there's a lovely atmosphere in this business; we work together as a team. It gives me a terrific boost still to be able to work at this age.”

Mrs Clark had run Homestead with husband Ashley for about 30 years. She had always been involved with gardening ever since childhood and used to help people with their gar-dens during the second world war.

She started working at Brundall Pet and Hardware three-and-a-half years ago and still does half a day six days a week, sometimes a bit longer if she is needed. She is also training her “junior”, Ann Cator - a mere 68.

Mrs Clark, who has three daugh-ters, said: “I adore flowers. I love going to the wholesalers and picking and buying the flowers and bringing them back. My trainee has the same love of flowers and she's doing some beautiful work now, but I'm going to keep going for the foreseeable future.”

A celebration was held at the store to mark her birthday. Mr Bevan, who runs the business, said: “We wanted to mark the fact that she is still an active member of the team.

“She's highly regarded by all the staff and lots of people in this commu-nity, not just in Brundall but also Lingwood.”

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