A sparkling chip off the old gold block is bringing added lustre to one of Exeter’s best known shops.
Nancy Doble, the 21-year-old granddaughter of Ivor Doble, has just walked off with a top national jewellery award.
Miss Doble, whose father John runs the Doble family’s three jewellery stores in Torquay and Brixham, has beaten hundreds of hopefuls to take the coveted Bransom Award in the Jewellery and Education Training (Jet) course.
Ivor, who started the business shortly after the Second World War from a small shop in Cowick Street, still runs that store and the premises in Sidwell Street. He said: “I am really proud of Nancy, she is bright and intelligent young woman and she will be a wonderful asset. She has a real sparkle about her and she loves the business and she wants to join in.”
Miss Doble, who is now starting the final year of her fine art studies at Wimbledon College of Arts, won the trophy after being judged to have produced the best coursework in the country, covering five separate assignments and 15 essays over a six-month period.
The wide-ranging course included diamond grading, gem testing and sales.
She said: “I really enjoy the course and the work.
“I started working in my father’s shop when I was about 14, helping out. I really do love it and I am really looking forward to joining in and helping.
“When I have finished my studies my plan is to come to Exeter to live and work in the shops here.
“I have a brother and three sisters and they have all worked in the shops and are happy to help but they have other things in mind just now.”
Her father, John Doble, said: “I am proud of Nancy but then I am proud of all my children. They are all at university and very bright.”
Ivor Doble left Exeter’s John Stocker School as a 14-year-old and, as he had mended watches as a hobby, went on to St Loye’s College to turn that interest into a money-making trade.
In fact, he was so good at it that he was soon ahead of the class and was taking in watches at the college for repair.
His first shop, 154 Cowick Street, was formerly a condemned house that Mr Doble managed to secure by borrowing £200 from the seller and paying him back as his business took off.
In the early days he repaired watches, going from door-to-door. He then moved to the current shop further up the road.
He and his wife Vera still live in Exeter and Mr Doble plays an active role in the business and has no intention of retiring.