Shirley clocks up a quarter century

Shirley Sprary, holding cakes, with colleagues Helen Gower, Lee Appleyard, Rosie Watson, Linda Maclaughin, Shane Smith and Linda Cole. 
Picture Mark Westley
Shirley Sprary, holding cakes, with colleagues Helen Gower, Lee Appleyard, Rosie Watson, Linda Maclaughin, Shane Smith and Linda Cole. Picture Mark Westley
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Sainsbury’s in Mildenhall has just celebrated Shirley Sprary’s 25 years service though they have only been in the town for eight years.

That is because Shirley, 72, who cycles to the store from Downing Close, worked for 17 years at Budgens and was taken on to Sainsbury’s staff when it took over the shop while its superstore was built nearby.

Shirley’s career has gone full circle because she began on Budgen’s bread counter, changed to evening cleaning when her mum was ill, and has also looked after the deli and newspapers before returning to the in-store bakery.

She said: “In Budgens the bread was brought in and we just put it in the ovens but they do it all here – all the rolls and everything are made in store. They’re actually bakers.

“I don’t intend to retire yet – I’m still healthy. A lot of customers know me because I’m very active and do a lot of stuff round the town.”

Sainsbury’s marked her quarter century with a cake and flowers in the store, a regional long service lunch in Milton Keynes and the gift of a video camera.