Steyning shopworker retires from The Co-op after 64 years of serving customers in the town

Steyning shopworker Marge Barry has retired at the age of 78, after 64 years of serving customers in the town.

She was born and bred in Steyning and has been working at The Co-op, formerly Somerfield, in High Street for 25½ years.

Marge Barry, 78, retiring from The Co-op in Steyning. Picture: Steve Robards SR1909632

Marge Barry, 78, retiring from The Co-op in Steyning. Picture: Steve Robards SR1909632

Customers popped in with flowers and cards on Friday, her last day, and staff presented her with gifts including a hamper.

Marge said: “I have seen a lot of managers here and they have all been fine. Everyone I have worked with, we get on all right together.

“I started with a Saturday job at the age of 14 and left school at 15. Now, I will be doing all the jobs I have put off, I can get cracking.”

Marge was born into the Manvell family, a well-respected family in the town that has lived there for generations and is believed to be one of the oldest families still in the area.

She said she had always done shopwork and she started on £4 a week in 1956.

Anthony Walker, store manager, said: “The amount of customers who have signed cards for her is unreal and their contributions to the collection have been really, really nice.

“One of the ladies had a card at the till and we ended up having to get three or four in total, as so many people wanted to sign.

“She has just been such a big part of the community.

“We have seen a lot of people come and go but it is amazing she has been with us as a business for so long.

“She started in the little one down the road originally, then came up here when it was sold.”

Marge always worked on the till at the front of the shop, so was well known to the many regular customers.

She used to do five days a week but had reduced to three days then three mornings a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. in recent years.

Daughter Angela Hobson said: “My mum has worked all her life, from 14 years old, with various jobs over the years, travelled everywhere by bus and still does now.

“She has three children, seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Now she is retired, she hopes to spend a lot more time with all her family.

“She always likes a laugh and a joke and is up for trying any drink when we go out, even got her to try jägerbombs, haha. I wouldn’t be without my mum I love her very much.

“I hope she enjoys a well-deserved retirement. She will miss chatting to the customers every day and they will miss her, too.”