Old Street Dental Clinic after five decades: ‘Like a comfortable pair of slippers’
PUBLISHED: 11:18 14 September 2017
Relocation is often bad news for long established Islington businesses.
The impending closure of famous pie ‘n’ mash stalwart M. Manze in Chapel Market – its replacement shop is in Braintree – is a case in point of how traditional independents are struggling to cope with increased rates in the borough.
It’s better news for patients at Old Street Dental Clinic, though. The practice has moved to new premises – but only a few hundred metres away on the same road.
The clinic was previously next to Argos near the Old Street roundabout, and is now a couple of minutes’ walk away near the Look Mum No Hands! cyclists’ cafe.
It originally opened more than 50 years ago, and retains some of its original patients.
One of those is Brian Andrews, who said after the clinic’s relaunch party on Friday: “It was originally run by an Australian dentist called Kevin Gardner, who went on to become Lord Mayor of Westminster.
“He was a real character, very engaging. I remember that he loved talking about cricket while he was drilling holes in your teeth!”
Brian, who lives in Grays, Essex, added: “I’ve never seen the need to go anywhere else. I was born in the Old Street area and worked there until I retired, so the clinic is like a comfortable pair of slippers and an excuse to go and see some old faces.
“It’s gone all upmarket now with the new building, and it really is top drawer.”
Shelley Chopra has run the clinic since 2002, and said: “I think it’s been around so long because we are still a community-focused practice. We are truly a part of the community. We have patients who have always lived in the area, and whose children and grandchildren live in the area.
“We see all types of patients, from children having check-ups to adults with really complex cases.
“We want to be able to serve the community better and the new practice is on a different level.”
Even in the relatively short period since Shelley joined, Old Street has undergone massive change, becoming one of the country’s leading technology hubs.
But he said: “There are a lot more people working around here now, but at the end of the day we are still a family practice – we don’t believe in a corporate image.”