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90 year old Ilkley bookshop worker retires

This week the Grove Bookshop in Ilkley said goodbye to two of its staff, Barbara Steel and Stephen Boyd.

90 year old Barbara was their longest-serving member of staff and well-known Ilkley resident. Barbara first came in 1993, took off her jacket to help out, and stayed for 27 Years!  Looking after Ilkley Book Club and manning the Playhouse book stall at the Ilkley Literature Festival just two of her many duties over the years. 

Barbara said “I’m very sad to leave, but have been so happy to work in such a wonderful bookshop, where many customers have become good friends.”

Also leaving is Stephen Boyd, Stephen was with the shop for nine years, and was very well-known in Grove Music which is in the basement of the bookshop. 

Manager Mike Sansbury commented: “Stephen and Barbara will be greatly missed here at the Grove Bookshop. Steve’s patience, sense of humour and encyclopaedic knowledge of music made him a vital member of the team and he will be remembered fondly by colleagues and customers alike. 

“Barbara began working here at an age when most people are retiring, and to go on to the age of 90 is testament to her enthusiasm, energy and determination. She was part of our public persona, making a memorable impression on customers, authors and anyone who met her. We wish them both well and hope to see them often.”

Mike added: “Despite the current difficult trading environment, the bookshop is busy and we are happy to see so many customers new and old through the summer. In view of the pandemic, we have improved online ordering, so you can get what you need without coming in or have it ready to collect.”


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