Staff old and new came together at Marks and Spencer in Bury St Edmunds last week to celebrate a woman’s 50th year working in the store.
Jackie Cook was presented with a certificate and flowers by the director of retail for Marks and Spencer, Sacha Berendji, at a special celebration on Friday morning in front of her current and retired workmates.
“It was so lovely to see the retired girls here because I didn’t know they were going to come. It means a lot to see everyone gather here for me. I got quite emotional when I walked in,” said the 67-year-old customer assistant.
Jackie, who has always lived in Bury, started working at the store as a shorthand typist when she was 17, after a teacher at Silver Jubilee Girls School – now King Edward VI – told her it would be a good career move.
During her time at the store, she has dealt with many life events, including the birth of her son, Stefan, in 1980 and her father’s illness. She also welcomed her second grandson last Thursday.
“I’ve had so much support from the team, the store and the customers, too. Once you’ve worked somewhere for 50 years, they start to know your life and your history and they care. They’re with you for the good and the bad,” she said. Jackie intends to keep working at the store for as long as she can, calling it her ‘second home’.
“I’ve made lots of friends, had good fun and been paid for it, so I can’t complain. I’m very lucky,” she said.
Store manager Garry Easter, said: “This is a remarkable achievement. What’s lovely about Jackie is that she remembers small things so the customers trust her. She’s still as passionate about the store now as she was when she first started.”