A VET is set to bid a fond farewell to the community as he retires after 25 years at his practice.

Henry Feilden will be hanging up his stethoscope after more than 40 years’ experience, as he and his wife Geraldine will say goodbye to Poole Road Veterinary Surgery in Branksome.

The practice will have its final day on Friday, December 1.

Henry said the couple, who run the practice together, had loved their work there.

“It’s a difficult decision, in a way, but it comes to us all because we’re all getting older,” he said.

“It’s been a great privilege to do what we’ve done. We’ve worked single handed throughout the whole period.

“It’s not a job you can do forever, although you probably want to in some ways.

“It is very demanding and it is more and more demanding because of the shortages of staff to help you run the practice.”

Bournemouth Echo: Kate Parker-Smith, owner of Peggy the chicken with Veterinary Surgeon, Harry Feilden with Peggy who has recovered miraculously after being mauled by a fox.

The vet said his claim to fame was his appearance on Come Dine With Me in 2016.

“Come Dine With Me was a great highlight, the choir sang outside the practice,” he said.

“That was lovely.”

Henry said he will miss the animals in his retirement, but that he had ‘very much enjoyed’ his 25 years at the community practice.

“What’s been nice is being able to serve the community and offer for some people a little bit of a place for them to come and take solace in a difficult world,” he said. “The animals have provided comfort for them, and increasingly so over the last three years.

“They’ve taken solace from their animals, they’ve taken solace from coming to see me and being able to chat.”

Looking forward into the couple’s retirement, Henry said he’d like to write, sing, and spend time with his family and their dogs.

He has a deep interest in military history, so he is hoping to travel to some First World War battlefields and carry out research, as he had family who served.

He added he would also like to give something back to the community in retirement, too.

Henry said: “I’m very interested in the environment, and if there’s anything I can do towards the eco story, I would like to get involved with that, maybe at council level but who knows.”

The Poole Road Veterinary Surgery will close its doors for the final time on Friday, December 1.