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INTERVIEW: Lancaster solicitors keeps it in the family while celebrating 75th birthday

Gary Rycroft, Joseph A Jones, and Mr Jones' daughter Carol Turver who works at the firm her father founded 75 years ago

A Lancaster solicitors is celebrating 75 years of providing legal services while still keeping a strong family connection to its founding father.

Joseph A. Jones was set up in 1949 and marks its three-quarters-of-a-century in business this month.

The firm was founded by the late Joseph A. Jones on Northumberland Street in Morecambe, later moving above the old Martin's Bank (later Barclays) on the corner of New Street and Market Street in Lancaster city centre, before settling in its current home on Fenton Street in 2007.

Mr Jones had four daughters, including Sue Hodgson, who became a partner and worked there for more than 40 years, and Carol Turver who still works at Joseph A. Jones as a receptionist.

Carol spoke to Beyond Radio to share some memories of her dad's firm, alongside Joseph A. Jones partner, TV legal expert Gary Rycroft.

LISTEN to our interview with Gary Rycroft and Carol Turver from Joseph A. Jones

"He was the best dad you could wish for," said Carol.

"From being quite young we used to go to the office on a Saturday where he'd be doing some extra work, to give my mum a break.

"We'd go to the library whilst my dad was at the offiice and then once we'd finished we'd be sitting on the office chairs, whizzing around!

"We once had a terrible flood in the offices on New Street and we all mucked in with the fire brigade, getting all the documents from the strongroom to save those from being damaged. So I've always had an input with the firm and it feels like a second home, really.

"I went into teaching but when I retired I became part-time receptionist here at the office. And I know a lot of the clients who still come into the office from when my dad was alive.

"He'd be very proud indeed (at the 75th anniversary) and Gary has a good, conscientious and knowledgable (team of) staff behind him, carrying on the name of Joseph A. Jones."

Mr Rycroft said Sue Hodgson had a huge impact on the firm and remains connected to her father's company today.

"Even though Sue has retired from the firm, we often say 'what would Sue do' because Sue's values are the benchmark for us and those values in turn I think came from her father," said Mr Rycroft.

"Sue is still around and we see her very regularly, and unofficially she is still very much part of the firm."

The other partners at Joseph A. Jones today are Jennifer Sammons and Olivia Egdell-Page.

Mr Rycroft, a former pupil at Morecambe High School, appears regularly as a legal expert on TV consumer rights show Rip Off Britain on BBC1, hosted by Julia Somerville, Angela Rippon and Gloria Hunniford.

"I'm grateful to Olivia and Jennifer for letting me indulge my showbiz gene and go off and pretend to be a TV person every now and again!" he said.

Speaking about the anniversary, he said: "We're all really pleased, we've been very much part of the community in Lancaster and Morecambe for 75 years.

"We really value being part of the Lancaster business community. It's very supportive and I wouldn't want to live and work anywhere else."

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