Three generations of same family celebrate agency’s 40th anniversary

Three generations of the same family have celebrated the 40th anniversary of travel agency Pole Travel.

Jean Ivell, 79, set up the travel agency in 1984 in the same premises in Failsworth, Greater Manchester, that it trades in today and went to college to pass the specific travel qualifications needed at the time to set up the business.

Her daughter Jill Waite, the current owner, came in to help out at the business for a couple of weeks when she was 18 – and ended up staying.

“I wasn’t planning to be a travel agent,” admitted Waite, who said: “I just came in for two weeks and ended up staying 36 years!”

Ivell retired from the agency in 2007 and Waite has been running the agency since. The agency had a second branch in Openshaw, Manchester, which it took over in 1996, but has since reverted to the just the original branch.

In a repeat of history, Waite’s daughter Jasmin, 27, also joined the agency when she was 18.

“She came in to cover for a maternity leave. She had a place at university and I said come and work in the shop for a few weeks,” said Waite, adding: “We all love travel.”

The agency has four staff in total including Waite and her daughter, who works in the shop as a travel consultant.

To mark the 40th anniversary, the agency set up a bar in the branch and hosted loyal customers and suppliers. It put brochures from the last 40 years up on display in the agency’s window.

“We have got customers who have been with us for all those years and we decided to have a little party with them and the reps, and we got drinks, cake and balloons to celebrate,” said Waite.

Pictured left to right: Owner Jill Waite, daughter Jasmin, and mother Jean Ivell, and below with The Travel Network Group membership services manager Suzanne Sheldon-Brown

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