Golden Valley Vets have treated more pets for more years than any other practice in North Somerset. The practice can also trace its history back to the end of the 19th century.
In those days veterinary practice was very much a ‘smoke and mirrors’ affair and definitely more of an art than a science! Early veterinary work was largely concerned with farm animals, and it was not until later that companion animals began to be included.
The practice, then called Cox and Peat, was for a time based at a house called “Ulvik”, which disappeared under the new post office, after the Nailsea town development started. Shortly after the war, the practice moved to 146 Old Church Road, Clevedon where a purpose built extension provided facilities – which were in those days – considered as state-of-the-art!
By the early 1960’s the practice had outgrown these premises. Dogs and cats were becoming more important and although the agricultural side of the practice could still be accommodated, the demands of modern veterinary treatment necessitated more room and better facilities.
In 1966 the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons introduced a special title – Veterinary Hospital – for those practices which met certain criteria and rigid standards of equipment, staffing and facilities.
Although the title “Veterinary Clinic”, “Animal Hospital” or “Veterinary Surgery” could be used by any veterinary premises, only those practices which met the standards for a hospital status, set by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons could use the title “Veterinary Hospital”.
This accreditation quickly became the standard to aspire to and recognition of the best veterinary care available.
In 1967 the current Nailsea Veterinary Hospital site was acquired, as the premises offered room to expand. The buildings converted easily into what was then a spacious veterinary hospital.
A new Clevedon branch surgery was then built behind the old house at 8A Knowles Road. This allowed the surgery to provide the best range of veterinary services to an ever expanding number of clients.
In 1989 Golden Valley Vets extended their specialist small animal services to the Chew Valley by merging with the Clark & Warden practice.
The surgery premises at 2 The Vinery, set in the heart of Chew Magna village, now offers all of our clients in the area the opportunity to receive top quality first opinion veterinary advice.
If our clients require emergency care out-of-hours, or any other specialist service, our vets can easily access their records from the Nailsea Hospital at any time.
Our convenient and local routine services were then extended in 1997 to a surgery situated at the heart of Long Ashton village. In 1999 an additional surgery occupied the Wrington area, with the purchase of Glebe House.
Then in October 2001, Neal King – who is recognised in the profession for pushing excellent veterinary standards – and Bob Gore – who was responsible for the farming side of the Hospital – both retired.
The practice was then formed into a limited company to be run by the remaining partner, David Holmes. David took over the largest practice in the area, with the intention of pursuing the standards of veterinary excellence that had been demonstrated in the past
Spring 2003 saw the beginning of this major development plan. The demand for quality veterinary care continued to grow, and more space was needed to accommodate new diagnostic and laboratory equipment. This was something that secured our position as one of the forefront, first opinion practices in the country.
Golden Valley also ‘benchmarked’ other large practices looking for other ways to improve. Although, the only time we got really excited was when we were lucky enough to be shown around the new Bristol Children’s Hospital. The hospital had introduced some ground breaking ideas from around the world.
The facility still stands out as almost unique in the veterinary world and one of which we are very proud.
In January 2004, with more and more of our farm clients opting for housing development rather than a continuation of their farming activities, the decision was taken to concentrate on the small animal side of the business.
This decision has seen the practice go from strength to strength in recent years.
Today, the only thing that could be described as ‘old fashioned’ is our level of service and commitment of care to our clients.