Popular Fakenham dentist retires after 37 years

Thirty seven years of staring into people's mouths in Norfolk and Suffolk has provided John Plummer with many amusing anecdotes.

But on Friday Mr Plummer retired from his 'hugely enjoyable' career as a dentist.

Originally from Hellesdon, near Norwich, Mr Plummer worked in Fakenham for 34 years and Lowestoft for three years.

He spent the last 10 years Wensum Dental Practice, Norwich Road, Fakenham and before that he was at a practice on Oak Street, Fakenham.

He came to Fakenham in 1978 having worked at Fox & Wilson dental surgery in Lowestoft.

Before that he worked in Manchester for three years after completing his dentistry studies at Manchester University.

Mr Plummer, 64, who lives on Hayes Lane, Fakenham, said: 'It has been a very difficult job but I have had a hugely enjoyable career working with wonderful staff. It has been a privilege to treat people and for them to put so much trust in me.'

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Mr Plummer said one of the most enjoyable parts of his job has been the banter he has had with patients.

He said: 'One time, I was focusing on my work and didn't realise my mirror had been going up a patient's nose.

'The patient didn't want to be an inconvenience so lay there quietly and didn't say anything. One man I treated would get so relaxed that he used to always fall asleep on the chair.'

While at Lowestoft Mr Plummer treated then Ipswich Town goalkeeper Laurie Sivell after he had been kicked in the face by Andy Gray.

Mr Plummer said: 'It was funny because sometimes when I was doing something uncomplicated I would often drift off and think of other things. Laurie told me he was the same when he was playing football. He would be playing at somewhere like Old Trafford and would start day dreaming when the ball was at the other end of the pitch. Then, suddenly, players were running at him and 60,000 people were cheering.'

Kelly Hole, who worked with Mr Plummer for more than 23 years, said: 'He would joke with some of the elderly ladies and say 'come on ladies I haven't got all day' when they came in using walking sticks. It was good natured fun and they found it hilarious. John will be missed.'

Mr Plummer said he is grateful to have received more than 100 cards from well-wishers.

One card read: 'have a fabulous retirement (still seems a bit extreme to have taken this move to avoid my decaying gnashers.)

'Thanks for all your skill, care and above all banter over the 34 years. You'll be missed.'

Mr Plummer intends to spend his retirement travelling with his wife Pat, playing golf, watching cricket overseas, gardening and learning to play piano.

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