Feb 27 2012 BY JOHN NALDRETT
My Trade: Cliff Jones owns Oldfield Pets, Oldfiield Circus, Northolt
THE owner of Oldfield Pets in Northolt is being forced to close after 12 years due to the tough ecomony.
Family-man Cliff Jones has become a pillar of the community after running the shop for more than a decade and prides himself that many people come in to his shop, if only for a chat.
He said: "I get to meet so many people working here, people of all ages and nationalities. There's a real feel of community around here. We all use each others shops."
Cliff will not be renewing the lease when it expires in June but hopes to continue with his delivery service.
He said: "It's difficult for pet shops to survive these days. The business rates are too high. Hopefully I'll still be doing deliveries but I won't be based in the community anymore. I'll feel sorry for the people who use my shop."
Cliff’s deliveries cover a large area including Wembley, Pinner and Hayes as he says many pet stores have closed down due to the economic climate. His free delivery service is vital to his community’s pet lovers, especially elderly people and those with disabilities who cannot reach his shop.
Cliff’s passion for animals is reflected in his home life. He owns a six-year-old rottweiler named Roxy and keeps Coy Carp in the garden pond at his Ruislip home.
A former engineer at H J Heinz, he bought the business after being made redundant.
He said: "It’s difficult to say which job I’ve preferred. I suppose it comes down to what you think is more important, earning money or being in a job that you enjoy and getting to meet so many different people."
Cliff knew the shop well before taking over Oldfield Pet Shop in 2000, as he'd bought food for his dogs there for 8 years. It has existed at Oldfield Circus, Northolt, for 40 years and Cliff has taken care of a variety of animals during his time, including rabbits, kittens, budgerigars and fish.
Apart from chatting with the locals, Cliff's days are spent looking after the animals, cleaning out their cages, taking orders and serving the customers.