Anna Gatward 1943 - Present
When her father died aged only 59, Anna was still at school and at that time had no intention of going into the family business. She loved dancing and had always intended to pursue a theatrical career. The unexpected loss of her father saw her return to school for a further year to pursue foreign languages on a part time basis so that she could begin working in the shop. A brief spell on the professional stage followed but she soon returned to Hitchin to take her place in the family business in earnest.
The 1960's were eventful years, President Kennedy was assassinated and in 1969, the first man landed on the moon. The Beatles had taken the world by storm, but despite the "external temptations" of the Swinging Sixties, Anna, who had become fascinated with the world of gemstones, decided to study further and gained her Fellowship of the Gemmological Association with Destinction.
In 1974 she married Terry Playle, an industrialist, business consultant and designer. Terry is largely responsible for the interior design of the present shop. On the death of her mother in 1991, Anna became Chairman of Gatwards and continues to work in the family business as the 7th generation.
This information has been taken from the Gatward book celebrating 250 years 1760-2010 with the permission of the Gatward family). Acknowledgements to Susan Robinson (nee Gatward), Hitchin Historical Society and Hitchin Museum