Looking Back: Time goes by for Karen… and  for all of us

Jewellers’ shops often hold special memories for many of us as the place where we made an important purchase from an engagement ring to a watch marking long service.

Karen pictured by Chris in the store in 1981
Karen pictured by Chris in the store in 1981

But for one Peterborough woman, a jeweller’s shop has been her life.

Karen Gilbert has worked in one city store for all her adult life and she is the subject of this week’s recreation photograph from Chris Porsz

Karen Gilbert is seen putting a tray of watches back in the window at Ernest Jones Jewellers in Long Causeway in Peterborough in 1981.

Karen recreating the photo for Chris' book.

Karen started working at the shop in 1980 when she was 16 and helped to set it up for about a week before it opened.

She said: “It was my first job and I really enjoyed working there and made some good friends.”

She worked there for 18 months before getting a job at John Lewis when the Queensgate shopping centre opened.

Karen helped to set up the store before it officially opened in 1982 and has worked there for 39 years, during which she has been a manager and personal stylist.

Her husband is a retired police officer and she has two sons.

Chris Porsz, known as the Paramedic Paparazzo (his day job for many years was with the ambulance service), has become known across the world for his street photography featuring many Peterborough people and places.

His latest book is called Reunions II.