It is a little known fact that Roker is the birthplace of veterinary practice as you know it. The original ‘Yorkshire vet’, Alf Wright, better known as ‘James Herriot’, was born on Brandling Street in Roker, just a couple of streets away from Roker Park Vets in 1916. He subsequently grew up in Glasgow, studied veterinary medicine and then spent his life in Thirsk, North Yorkshire. The practice he worked at in Thirsk, Skeldale vets is now the home to the popular television series, The Yorkshire Vet.
While Roker Park Vets has not been established as long as Skeldale vets, Roker Park Vets has managed to maintain its independence. Unlike James Herriot’s old practice, which is now part of a larger corporate chain, Roker Park Vets prides itself in being Sunderland’s longest established independently owned and run small animal veterinary practice. We are dedicated to providing an individually tailored treatment plan to the client and their pet with a primary focus on the welfare of the individual pet rather than corporate financial targets. We can therefore offer the same friendly, compassionate service James Herriot was famous for at a competitive price.
Things have changed from the days of James Herriot. We don’t see any farm animals or horses. Also we now have a specialist dedicated emergency care provider out of hours. This enables us to ensure your pet receives an excellent level of care throughout the day and night. Science has progressed so far and so quickly since the James Herriot days. By focusing our efforts solely on companion animals, we can ensure our knowledge and skills are as up to date as possible.
The owner of Roker Park Vets, Rory Thomson has followed James Herriot’s life in reverse. He grew up in North Yorkshire, less than 25 miles from the practice James Herriot worked at. He studied veterinary medicine in Glasgow before moving back to the Sunderland area to work in Roker. Although he has published a few articles in the veterinary press and had a regular ‘ask the vet’ column in the Chronicle newspaper, his writing skills will never match up to that of James Herriot!