Fond farewell for Frances

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IT’S the end of an era for Peterhead holidaymakers as PD Travel’s Frances Pelkey announces her retirement.

A travel agent in the town for more than 35 years, Frances has seen it all when it comes to holidays.

From exotic far flung destinations and luxury cruises, to Spanish getaways and European city breaks, Frances has booked them all.

Starting off at Broad Street’s AT May’s, which went on to become Nairn Travel and later Thomas Cook, in 1975, Frances said: “When I first started, booking holidays was all done over the phone.

“I remember when the first computer came in. It was very basic and we all received training on how to use it but it was really exciting.”

Frances has dedicated her career to ensuring that people get the best breaks for the best prices. In the early days, says Frances, Spanish holidays were the most popular and flights usually left from Glasgow, before Aberdeen’s runways could accommodate the planes.

But far flung destinations were always popular, she says, with folk jetting off to Australia and Canada all the way back in the 1970s.

She has had some strange requests, however, once being asked back in the 1980s to phone a Chinese takeaway in Birmingham and have a British Airways stewardess courier it all the way to Aberdeen.

Together with husband Len, Frances set up the Back Street agency six years ago, continuing in her dedication to Peterhead holidaymakers.

Len retired three years ago due to ill health and Frances looks forward to spending her retirement holidaying with friends and family and spending time in her garden at her house in Gask.