Family at your service for 90 years

MOST people would consider 10 years at the same company as an achievement, but Linda Page and her family have clocked up an impressive 90 years of service to Sainsbury's.

MOST people would consider 10 years at the same company as an achievement, but Linda Page and her family have clocked up an impressive 90 years of service to Sainsbury's.

Linda Page, 46, of Penshurst Road, Ipswich, and her family seem to reject Sainsbury's well known slogan “Try Something New Today” in favour of long-term dedicated service.

Linda, who has worked for the supermarket chain in Ipswich for 30 years, first joined the Upper Brook Street store in 1977 as an office junior.

After taking some time off in 1991 and 1993 to have her children, she transferred to the Warren Heath branch on Felixstowe Road, Ipswich, where she has stayed ever since.

She and her husband Colin had known each other since childhood but started dating when they both worked at the Upper Brook Street store. He stayed 20 years before moving on 10 years ago.

However it was Linda's father, Derek Bell, who died four years ago, that kick-started the trend. He gave a total of 40 years of service, initially at a branch in London and then in Ipswich, when the family moved here in 1964.

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Linda, 46, said: “My dad was the one who encouraged me to go for a job interview at Sainsbury's. If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be working here now.

“I will be eligible to retire in 10 years time after 40 years of service and then me and my family would have worked a total of 100 years between us.”

Linda added that her two sons, Jonathan, 13, and James, 15, may follow in the family's footsteps and get part time work at the store, but are planning to pursue other careers in the long term.

Linda's close friend, Liz Whincop , also recently celebrated her 30th anniversary at the supermarket. She started six months before Linda at the Upper Brook Street branch and now also works at Warren Heath.

Liz, 50, of Bell Lane, who has a 13-year-old daughter Megan, also attributes her long service to the supermarket's flexibility.

She said: “It took me 16 years to a child and eventually I had to have my daughter by IVF. I had a really good working relationship with everyone and they were very supportive.

“I was fortunate that when I first joined there was a lovely bunch of people there. A group of us still meet up every two months or so for a meal.”

N Do you know anyone who has given long service to their company? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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