Tamworth Chemist Harry Eason - measuring up 50 years in pharmacy


Harry Eason

Chemists Golden Milestone

From the Tamworth Herald and written by Liz Swift

When 16 year old Derbyshire schoolboy Harry Eason was called into his headmasters office and asked if he was interested in a job at a nearby pharmacy, it was the start of a career which was to span half a century and lead him to becoming one of Tamworth's best known chemists.

Mr Eason has reached his golden milestone as a pharmacist. Over the last 50 years he has progressed from apprentice chemist in a little village shop, to the owner of three local pharmacy businesses.

Through his job he has also witnessed many of the steps forward made in medicine during the 20th century. He well remembers the days when customers came in to buy substances by the penny to make up remedies their grandmothers had passed onto them.

Today the shelves of his shops are lined with dozens of different brands and varieties of goods behind the counters are stacked a huge selection of drugs. Even the old fashioned chemists scaled have been replaced by electronic tablet counters.

Mr Eason, aged 70 of Ashby Road, Tamworth, was born in Derbyshire. His first job was as an apprentice at a village chemist. "I had to bicycle to work each day and then in the evening I had to bike to night school and back" said Mr Eason, who did part of his training at what was then University College of Nottingham.

Mr Eason started work in Tamworth in April, 1936. He was taken on by local pharmacist Thomas Perkin in the shop on Colehill that later became Eason Chemist.

"In those days pharmacy was a lot simpler. Being a small town there were only eight doctors. There was a lot less choice and people would come in and buy a penny worth of this and a penny worth of that" he said.

"We had three varieties of shampoo. One for blonde hair, one for dark hair and a dry shampoo. Brylcream had just come out and it was all the rage".

Mr Eason married a local girl and had a son and daughter. Seventeen years after coming to Tamworth he started up his own chemists shop in Wilnecote. His business grew and he took on another shop in Glascote. In 1972 he took over they pharmacy he had first started at in Tamworth.

The three local chemists have become something of an Eason family institution. For both Mr Eason's son and daughter followed him into pharmacy. Today his daughter works at the Glascote shop with her chemist husband and his son works with him in the Wilnecote and Tamworth shops.

"We all have to be very careful not to talk too much at home or my wife complains she gets left out" he joked.

Throughout his career Mr Eason has witnessed many revolutionary changes in the world of medicine like the introduction of "new" drugs such as penicillin and the start of the national health service.

One of the aspects of the job he enjoys the most is being able to give advice to his customers.

"My work has always been interesting with a lot of job satisfaction and I wouldn't have changed it for anything, he said.

On December 30th 1990, Henry Walker Eason, MRPHarmS, of Lister house, Ashby road, Tamworth passed away aged 76 years. Mr Eason Registered in 1936 after studying at University college, Nottingham. At one time he was the proprietor of three pharmacies, working with his son, daughter and son-in-law. He worked occasional afternoons until a few weeks before he died.

  • Kieran Eason

April 17th, 2019