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1972 - the Year of Poodles, Bell Bottoms, Ford Cortinas and.................

7th November 2022


Cliverton’s golden journey started the year that the average salary was £1,351, a loaf of bread cost 20p, a pint of milk 5p and a first-class stamp 3p. You could get a gallon of petrol for 36p and a pint of beer for 16p. How times have changed.

Donny Osmond was topping the charts with Puppy Love and Emmerdale Farm was the nation’s favourite TV show (obviously both favourites of the animal loving Cliverton team!)

Back in 1972, the most popular dog breed was the Poodle – made popular by celebrities, including Jackie Kennedy and Barbara Streisand when dogs first became as much of an essential fashion accessory as bell-bottoms and mini-skirts. However, not to be outdone by the chic Poodle, Crufts ‘Best in Show 1972’ was Abraxas Audacity, a Bull Terrier owned by Violet Drummond-Dick.

Meanwhile, Philip Woodley was busy setting up Cliverton in 1972 as a one-man band from his ‘luxury’ HQ caravan perched on a cliff on the beautiful Norfolk coast. His ‘client database’ was a set of index cards and his ‘computer’ was a pen and paper!

50 years ago, Cliverton was mainly dealing with livestock risks but then moved into the dog insurance world providing specialist cover for kennels and catteries and then expanded into groomers, breeders, pet shops, dog walkers, equestrian businesses, and other animal-related trades – all of which remain integral to our business today.

Mentioning no names, we are also very proud to insure some famous animal stars who have featured in well-known TV bank adverts and period dramas…not that we ever get star struck by their celebrity co-stars!

50 years of dedication to animal business and welfare

Once Phillip retired, Lycetts acquired Cliverton in 2003 and moved the headquarters to a real bricks and mortar office in Fakenham. Cliverton is now a dedicated and passionate team of 21 dog nuts, crazy cat ladies, bunny buffs and horse enthusiasts with a few ferret fanatics and smallholders thrown in! Most staff stay with us until they retire to spend their days with their beloved animals – and families of course!

Katy Gross our Office Manager, one of the longest-standing members of staff says that the biggest change she has seen over the years has been the removal of filing cabinets that stored all the paperwork and policies. Now everything is online, there is much more office space and less clutter – and more room for the office dogs to run around!

Happy Golden Anniversary to all our clients and partners

We’re proud of how far we’ve travelled since our humble beginnings in a clifftop caravan. Here’s to the next 50 years of growing the Cliverton team of animal enthusiasts – who also happen to be pretty good at arranging animal business insurance too!

In another 50 years, we reckon that bell bottoms will be back in, and the Poodle will top the pooch charts again!

Thank you to everyone who has been part of our 50-year journey!

Click here to see our new video.


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