After 43 years of undaunting service at Woolworths, Rye, Sandra Mills and her coworkers celebrated with a party at The Hope Anchor Hotel on the 8th of March.
Sandra was born in Pe a sma r sh. She moved to Rye when she was two years old and lived with her grandparents in Wish Street, then, with her mother and step father Mr Lou Webb in the Nissan hut s unt il t hey moved to the New Estate where her half brother Alan was born in the same house that she lives in today with her partner Doug Smith.
Sandra attended Rye Primary School and the Secondary Modern School which she left when she was fifteen. Her first job which was mainly seasonal was at The Hope Anchor in the kitchen.
Worked at Woolworths Since 1959
In 1959 she then started working at Woolworths. “That was it,” she said, “and I have been there ever since. I have seen a lot of changes, worked with a lot of managers, some good, and some bad.
I remember when we had to weigh up all the sweets and add everything up on a little note pad, and draw little lines underneath and how difficult it was to stretch my fingers across the old fashioned type cash register to record a total of ,say, threepounds, nine shillings, sixpence, halfpenny, and three farthings.” Sandra’s fingers were outstretched to the maximum in a gesture to demonstrate the activity as well as a grimace of discomfort on her face after all these years as she relived the memory. “It was really hard, not only that, we sold green groceries which all had to be weighed up,regular groceries, and anything from frozen foods to hair nets. And talking of hair nets, they were a real problem as they came stretched over a frame. If your hands were the slightest bit rough the hair net would get hooked on your fingers so you had to literally stuff it in the bag, only to pull it out again as you withdrew your hand”! she explained laughingly now but at the time she remembers feeling very embarrassed in front of her customers.
Sandra became an Assistant Supervisor and for the last several years was in the accounting department. She had the unique ability to take the busiest times of the year, namely from Easter, through Summer and Christmas all in her stride.” There was so much money I had to handle but I never looked at it as money but as part of my job”, she said.
In recent years Sandra has worked with less staff due to cut backs. “The worst part about it is there is not as much time for laughs but we still have them, I have always worked with a good crowd, “she said fondly.
When asked what she had planned to do in her retirement, she said, “As little as possible,” but then added that she loves to garden, to travel, and to keep in touch with friends. “We plan to go on holiday when we want to and already have a trip planned to go to Oxford and the New Forest.
Sandra stated that she had a lovely retirementt party and proudly displayed the presents she was given by her coworkers and friends. She surely will be missed.
Happy retirement Sandra.
Rye’s Own April 2003
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