Orwell Vets's home page
Grange Farm Vet Hospital 01473 333677
Berners Street Vet Practice 01473 257557
Stutton Vet Practice 01473 257557

Practice History

Where it all began

Orwell Veterinary Group came into being when brothers, Charles and James Bagnall, bought the long standing vet practice on Berners Street from John Kendrick. There has been a vet practice on Berners Street since the 1960’s, but before that the practice was based down at Ipswich Docks (close to all the working horses) with a history dating back to the 1930’s. It was formerly known as Leeson Griffith and Kendrick. Both Charles and James went to school with Mr Kendrick’s son’s and spent time at Berners Street seeing practice as vet students. Originally the practice was a large animal practice but by the 1980’s there were an increasing number of domestic pets visiting the practice and Mr Kendrick was responsible for developing the small animal services. Charles and James both have very fond memories of time spent with John Kendrick learning their profession very much in the ‘James Herriot’ style and tradition. When Charles and James took over the practice they continued to provide a large animal service - seeing predominantly cattle and pigs with the odd sheep. This fitted in with their upbringing on a small holding with cows, pigs, sheep and various other farmyard animals. If you visit the Berners Street you will see many of the old large animal instruments on display at reception.

Once Charles and James had settled in and Mr Kendrick had retired, Berners Street underwent a major refurbishment in the late 90’s with the addition of new kennels, a new operating theatre and a prep room. At the same time we opened a branch surgery on the Shotley Penninsula, in Stutton, to replace the part time surgery that Mr Kendrick ran in his summerhouse at his home. By the late 90’s another branch practice was opened on a new housing development in Kesgrave called Grange Farm. The farm house pub on grange farm was indeed the original farm house for Grange Farm (an actual farm!) and the practice used to provide the Veterinary care for the farm animal. Times change and Charles and James quickly recognised that the future was to specialise in domestic pets, so they reluctantly ceased providing large animal veterinary services when the branch was opened on Grange Farm. Over the following few years as Grange farm grew, it became clear that the branch surgery located in one of the shop units next to Tesco was too small. So in 2005, a purpose built veterinary hospital was opened that met all standards to be an Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Accredited Small Animal Veterinary Hospital. The scale of services was reduced at Berners Street and now all in patient services are carried out at the Hospital. In 2008 Orwell Veterinary Group was the proud winner of the PetPlan Vet practice of the Year Award. Since then the practice has continued to develop particularly with respect to the range of services we provide and the facilities. Each year there is continued investment in new equipment and perhaps more importantly staff training - so that all the staff keep up to date with the latest techniques and treatments.

At the heart of Orwell Vet Group is the caring personal service we strive to provide, that stems from the traditional values forged from Charles and James’ early years working with some great Vets.

Achievements and Awards

At Orwell Veterinary Group we believe in continual development of our staff and facilities so that we can provide the best possible clinical and customer care.

  • Best Student Nurse of The Year Maria Corcoran 2006
  • Best Assessor of The Year Alison Devonshire 2006
  • Pet Plan Practice of the year 2008 
  • Nurse of the year runner up Alison Devonshire 2008
  • Practice manager of the year Estelle Busby 2010 
  • Petplan Advisor of The Year runner up Vickie Sadler 2010
  • Vet nurse of the year Maria Corcoran 2011
  • Vet of the year runner up Charles Bagnall 2011
  • Vet Marketing Customer Experience Award 2011
  • Trainee Vet Nurse Outstanding Achievement Award 2011