Barbara checks out of Grantham Morrisons after 35 years
One of the first employees to work at a Grantham supermarket has retired after 35 years’ service.
Barbara Gibbons, 74, bid farewell to her colleagues at Morrisons on Tuesday after being employed at the store since it opened in the Isaac Newton Shopping Centre on February 28, 1984.
Over the years, the grandmother has became a regular face in almost all the departments, including produce, grocery, butchers, deli, the warehouse and in the cash office, but was best known for chatting to all her loyal customers on the checkouts.
She said: “I will miss my customers immensely. They are what help you get through the day. I made some great friendships with some of them.”
Barbara, who has two sons, Mark and Justin, and three grandchildren, was looking for more hours to work when she first heard that Morrisons was coming to Grantham in the ’80s.
She added: “I was working part-time at The Beauty Clinic in Grantham. I had two young sons and needed more hours so was pleased to be invited for an interview for Morrisons, which was held at the job centre.
“I was delighted when I got offered a job and I have never looked back. I got my feet in and just didn’t want to move.
“We didn’t have as many supermarkets back then so Morrisons brought something quite special to town.”
Barbara has many fond memories from her years at the store, including meeting the late Ken Morrison, the former chairman of Morrisons and son of William Morrison, who founded the company.
She added: “Ken would come to the store on a regular basis.
“When it was my 25th anniversary of working at the store, he presented me with a gift and a weekend away to Bradford with my husband.”
Barbara said that her colleagues have helped her through difficult times too.
She added: “Work kept me going when I lost my husband, Alfie, in 2011.”
But the store has not been without its changes since it opened 35 years ago, many of which were witnessed by Barbara.
She added: “There have been many, many changes. I think one of the biggest changes is when there is a new store refit.
“I also liked when they introduced the street market but, like anyone that gets older, sometimes it’s difficult trying to keep up with the changes.”
After deciding to finally check out, Barbara was inundated with cards and gifts during her last shift on Tuesday.
She said: “I received vouchers, flowers, balloons, a necklace and a cake. It was very overwhelming. I had a really easy shift and enjoyed every minute.”
Barbara is now looking forward to her future, adding: “I certainly won’t be putting my feet up any time soon. I intend to enjoy every minute of what time I have leftin my garden and with all my family and friends.”
Enjoy retirement, Barbara.