16:34 Wednesday 11 December 2013

No retirement plans for Barbara after 36 years

Written byHELEN KREFT

10/12/13 80 yr old been at sainsburys for 38 years - sainsbury's, Union St,, burton Barbara Simpson is celebrating her 80th birthday and has worked for Sainsbury's in Burton for over 38 years 10/12/13 80 yr old been at sainsburys for 38 years - sainsbury's, Union St,, burton Barbara Simpson is celebrating her 80th birthday and has worked for Sainsbury's in Burton for over 38 years

A SUPERMARKET worker who has spent 36 years serving the people of Burton says she has no plans to hang up her uniform despite turning 80.

Barbara Simpson started off on the tills when she applied to work at Sainsbury’s in 1977, and while all her original colleagues have long since left the company, Barbara can still be seen serving the customers on the deli counter.

Barbara, who turned 80 on December 6, was treated to a party with balloons with her current colleagues, which include her two grandsons who also work at the superstore, in Union Street.

Mrs Simpson, who works part time, said: “I thought I would retire at 60, then came 70 and I laughed I said at this rate I shall be here until I am 80. If I couldn’t cope anymore, than I shall give it up, but I am still kicking.

“I just love working and love my job. I really enjoy it and my colleagues are nice and friendly, we all get on really well.”

In the beginning, the 80-year-old had 14 years off to have her children and decided to apply to Sainsbury’s when they became teenagers.

“I started work for 10 hours a week when it was closed on Sundays and Mondays and I covered the lunchtime shift on the checkout.

At that time Sainsbury’s was in the former Woolworths store, now B&M Bargains, before she moved with the store to where BHS now stands, and is now serving customers from its relatively new store in Union Street.

Despite her long-serving record, Barbara hasn’t seen a big change, and said: “In the beginning, there was only Tesco and Sainsbury’s, so the queues would be right down the street, now there are more supermarkets.

“Obviously we only recently started selling clothes too.”

Her family believes Barbara has Sainsbury’s running through her veins, as she goes into work on her days off and when she is on holiday both to shop and help with the organisation of events such as Comic Relief.

It was her grandson, Jonathan Tanser, who found the spotlight after winning a Sainbury’s nationwide competition to help design a T-shirt for the London Paralympics as the official sponsors.

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