This Sheffield pharmacy has been open every single day for 70 years

A Sheffield pharmacy has been open every day for 70 years despite floods, budget cuts and a pandemic - and its director says ‘the staff are our greatest asset.’

Tuesday, 25th January 2022, 8:24 pm

Wicker pharmacy in Sheffield centre has served the people of Sheffield for longer than the Queen has reigned over the UK, and has been open every single day for 70 years.

Since opening on January 21 1952, Wicker has dispensed over 10 million prescriptions, and in the last eight months it has delivered 25,000 vaccinations.

Martin Bennett MBE, Chairman of Wicker, said: “We have changed massively since first opening. When it first opened there was just one small cupboard that was tablets and capsules. Medicine didn’t used to have the name on it in those days so you didn’t know what you were taking.

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The pharmacy first opened on January 21 1952, and has not closed for a day since.

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"It is part of the heart of Sheffield, going back Wicker was the place. I think that’s the mentality of a lot of Sheffield folk.”

The pharmacy has been open at extended hours – 8.30am-10pm Monday-Saturday, and 10.00am-8.00pm on Sundays – since day one. The last seven decades brought some major challenges to the pharmacy, not the least of which was the Sheffield flood of 2007.

Martin said: “The staff on duty had to be evacuated by boat. The flood killed all the ground floor and the cellars and there was about £700,000 worth of damage. But, we were open again by 9.00am the next morning, we didn’t break our streak.”

Wicker pharmacy opened in Sheffield on January 21, 1952.

More recently, the pandemic has presented a challenge to the pharmacy, with an increase in demand for deliveries and people stayed home and staff shortages due to self-isolation rules.

Martin added: “We have not been helped by austerity cuts. We were probably in the worst situation possible to cope with the pandemic. We have had to cut a lot of staff and we have been running at a minimal level.

“The finances are still a problem now. Austerity has been at least as much of a problem as the pandemic.

Staff were rescued from the pharmacy during the 2007 flood. The pharmacy was open again the next morning.

“Three things have remained the same throughout our 70 years - the position of the pharmacy on The Wicker, the fact that the pharmacy is open extended hours every day and that all-pervading company ethos to provide the best possible service to patients.”

Martin Bennett, director of Wicker, joined the pharmacy in 1973.
Martin said that the staff are the pharmacy's greatest asset.