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As recounted by David Lightfoot 2013
Early Days at the Spar Foodliner

Poster about the Spar opening in 1970 Poster advertising the Spar Foodliner opening in 1970

David Lightfoot - Spar Butchery Manager 1970 David Lightfoot (left) Butchery Manager at the Spar Foodliner, Churchill Way, when it opened in 1970, has written this account of working there with its manager Gerry Bracey. David now lives Caloundra, Queensland, Australia.

Working for Gerry was one of the best working experiences.  It was a great team effort all round and the women he employed worked so well together also.

As Butchery Manager, Gerry and I had a good working relationship, helping each other with the business challenges to build up the shop’s turnover with the introduction of wines and spirits also clothes for babies and children.  People would bring empty bottles and we would fill them with either wine or sherry from a barrel, which at the time was very cheap. So that was very satisfying for the customers and me,  as I used to spend a lot of time in the shop helping fill shelves as well as customers’ needs after all the meat preparation was done. We were open two late nights in those days, Thursdays and Fridays. Gerry would do Thursdays and I would do Fridays. That used to work very well

It was most enjoyable working in a mostly female environment as you can imagine, lots of laughter and serious moments, too many to mention, but it was fun.

The two meat packers I had helping me were and Anna and Angela.  Some days I would ask them to make mince and rissoles which they enjoyed doing, also showing them some meat preparation. We had lots of cakes and nibbles for morning tea and birthdays were also on the menu as you can expect.

Other girls names that come to mind are Wendy Mitchell, Sheila Boyd (Veggie Department) and Julie Starsmore. Lots of others but I am not able to remember their names.  Lots of schoolgirls worked at weekends and late nights and a couple of boys helped in the warehouse and veggie department sometimes. It would be great to be able to catch up with some of them but it is a long time ago. Perhaps if you hear of anyone from Burton who worked there at it would be good to get in touch with them.

Click here to read about the story of Gerry Bracey and the launch of his business

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