Peter Howard read pharmacy at Chelsea Polytechnic but had to put his studies temporarily on hold to complete his National Service with the Royal Air Force. He joined the Register of Pharmaceutical Chemists on 10 March 1954 and took a job as pharmacy manager for a private pharmacy, followed by his managerial role with Timothy Whites & Taylors of London. It was here where he met his lovely wife and life-long partner, Betty. The couple had a long marriage and happy life together for almost 50 years and they enjoyed travelling the world.
In 1959, with his wife Betty at his side, Peter opened his very first business; his own pharmacy in Penlan, Swansea. It wasn’t easy to begin with and baked-bean suppers were reported during those very early days! Peter successfully produced his own range of products; “Howard’s Honey Linctus” and “Howard’s Hand Cream” being two of these that were sold for more than 20 years in his pharmacy. This was just the beginning of Peter’s successful pharmacy empire. He joined in partnership with the late Philip Palmer and the Swansea brand of ‘Howard & Palmer’ was born.
Peter strongly believed that he should return some of his success to his profession and local community. Throughout the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, he was generous with his time as an active Local Pharmaceutical Committee member and generous with his work as a governor of the local school in Penlan (a role that he handed over to me on his retirement!). Peter was an active member of the ‘Swansea Sportsman’s Club’ right up to his death and he held the position of vice president at Swansea City Football Club, working alongside John Toshack in the early 1980s. He was also a member of Mensa.
The Howard & Palmer partnership traded over a period of about 30 years and grew to become the largest group of pharmacies in Swansea and Llanelli. Although Peter decided to retire in 1990 and spend time travelling and pursuing his other interests, he remained as a mentor to the Howard & Palmer brand which continued to grow to become the largest independent pharmacy group in Wales.