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Long Melford Osteopaths finds new lease of life at family business after contemplating closing during coronavirus crisis





A businessman, who contemplated retiring in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, has renewed optimism for the future of his company after his daughter pledged her support.

Established in 1983, Phillip Tanswell has been operating Long Melford Osteopaths in Hall Street for almost four decades.

Having come to the difficult decision to let his secretary go during the UK-wide lockdown, Mr Tanswell agonised over whether to shut the practice permanently.

Phillip Tasnwell and his daughter, Thecla, have become joint owners of Long Melford Osteopaths. (39366509)
Phillip Tasnwell and his daughter, Thecla, have become joint owners of Long Melford Osteopaths. (39366509)

“I didn’t want to work on my own without any support at all,” he said.

Keen to help her father, Mr Tanswell’s daughter, Thecla, who has worked at the practice for three years, offered to take on further responsibilities.

The move will see the 28-year-old, who is a qualified osteopath, run the business alongside her father as a joint owner.

LONG MELFORD.Long Melford Osteopaths, Lime Tree House, Hall Street..Phillip Tanswell owns Long Melford Osteopaths..His daughter, Thecla, has joined the practice as a co-owner after offering to help her father run the business. Picture by Mark Westley. (39440220)
LONG MELFORD.Long Melford Osteopaths, Lime Tree House, Hall Street..Phillip Tanswell owns Long Melford Osteopaths..His daughter, Thecla, has joined the practice as a co-owner after offering to help her father run the business. Picture by Mark Westley. (39440220)

“She said that as long as I was still enjoying working as an osteopath, then she could come and help me,” said Mr Tanswell. “She has been a whirlwind of energy.”

Before becoming an osteopath, Mr Tanswell worked as a nurse at a hospital in London.

The 67-year-old recalls feeling inspired by the prospect of joining the profession after an elderly patient shared his fond memories of working in the role.

“It attracted me; it was almost like a calling,” said the father-of-two.

After gaining qualifications in osteopathy, Mr Tanswell worked in the capital, before opening his own business in Long Melford, where he spent his teenage years.

While living in the village with his mother, Rose, Mr Tanswell attended Sudbury Modern School before continuing his studies at Sudbury Grammar School.

“I think it’s a lovely place to have grown up in,” he said. “It’s a pleasant area and a nice part of the country.”

Praising the strength of the partnership with his daughter, Mr Tanswell said: “I think we work extraordinary well together; we have always been close.”

Since reopening in June, Mr Tanswell said he was delighted to see that appointments had almost returned to full capacity.