A NORTHWICH pet store with tales of monkeys stealing customer’s glasses and parrots becoming local celebrities is celebrating 60 years of serving the community.

Firthfield Pet Store was founded in 1962 by Joseph Egerton in Witton Street – where it can still be found today, offering customers a range of items and services for all their pet needs.

Thelma Egerton, owner, said: “We cater for all sorts of small animals, reptiles, and fish, and we also do dog grooming.

“We’re doing a raffle to mark our 60th anniversary until Thursday.

“We’ve got various suppliers who have given us prizes and we hope to donate the money to a local animal charity.”

The shop has an impressive history and has been a constant presence in Northwich town centre for many years.

The Firthfield name originally came from a street name in Davenham where Joseph Egerton had lived with his wife Ellen and their son Philip.

Joseph was an international dog show judge and the family opened Firthfield Kennels in King Street, Rudheath, in 1959 where they boarded, bred and groomed dogs.

In 1962, Firthfield Pet Store was opened in Witton Street, and Thelma – the store’s current owner - joined shortly afterwards and married Philip.

Northwich Guardian: Katie Tew, Jade Bonnett and Kitty the catKatie Tew, Jade Bonnett and Kitty the cat

In the 1960s Firthfield Pet Store stocked cats, dogs, monkeys, rabbits, guinea pigs, gerbils, hamsters, mice and rats.

They also offered exotic birds including parrots, cockatiels, budgies and finches, as well as goldfish and tropical fish.

Food, accessories, treats, and bedding were sold too.

An interesting story from the store’s past includes Emma and Honna – two of the store’s monkeys – who kept snatching and breaking people’s glasses, meaning a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ had to be set up with a local optician.

More recently, in 2004, two African grey parrots – Arnie and Polly – were stolen from the premises, but were returned three months later, earning them local celebrity status.

Sadly, Joseph died in 1984 and his wife a few years later in 1989.

Philip died in 1997, leaving Thelma in charge.

Although there are no longer incidents of monkeys stealing glasses, the store does have feline resident Kitty.

Thelma says she is a firm favourite with shoppers, is very affectionate and loves children.