Our Lives of Vets & Pets
Bryan and Renee came to Sheffield in 1958 when Bryan went into partnership with vet Charles Hallam and became a senior partner in the Hallam & Martin Veterinary Centre on Holme Lane at Hillsborough until 1990. Bryan said, “Our practice was a mixed one, treating both farm animals – which Charles mostly dealt with – and people’s pets.”
Born on September 26th 1926 in Wiltshire, Bryan joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve on his 18th birthday. With the outbreak of World War II, Bryan served off the coasts of Iceland and Northern Ireland aboard Minesweepers, working his way up to sub-lieutenant. He began studying veterinary science at the University of Liverpool in 1947, which was where he met Renee, who was studying modern history.
“I met Bryan during a university dance,” says Renee, “and we married a few years later at the registry office in Epsom. It was a very cold and snowy day – March 19th, 1955.”
Rene was born on June 1st 1928 in the Baltic seaport of Danzig, a semi-autonomous state carved from German territory after World War I, which is now known as Gdansk and part of Poland. Her family moved to Epsom, Surrey, in 1938 following the rising anti-Semitic tensions in Europe. Renee recalled that “Our Jewish heritage made us realise the danger we would be in if the Nazis invaded Poland, which they were expected to do.” On September 1st 1939, only a year after Renee, her parents and brother had moved, Germany’s invasion of Poland marked the start of World War II and within days Danzig was under Adolf Hitler’s control.
After six years of studying, which included two summers’ work experience at Charles Hallam’s Hillsborough practice in Sheffield, Bryan graduated and set about finding a veterinary practice where he could become a partner. During his search, the pair lived at Stowe-on-the-World in Gloucestershire, Oxford and then Gravesend before Bryan learned of some good news back in Sheffield; “I had heard that Charles’ business partner had emigrated to Australia, so I got in touch”.
Following this good news, Bryan and Renee moved to Sheffield and the Hallam & Martin Veterinary Centre was formed. Bryan worked there until his retirement in 1990 when the practice was renamed to Hallam Veterinary Centre.
Bryan and Renee have two children, Nicholas and Susan, and three granddaughters. The two now share a two-bed apartment at our home following a two-week trial stay. “The staff here are wonderful,” says Bryan. “We couldn’t have found a better place to live.”
Many thanks to Grapevine for sharing this wonderful story of Bryan and Renee.