Suffolk woman celebrates retirement after 67 years working at the same Spar


Margaret Want has retired from the shop she started working at in the 1950s - Credit: Paul Wiltshire

A Halesworth woman has retired at the age of 82 after spending 67 years working at the same Spar.

Margaret Want first began working at the shop in 1954 at the age of 15, right after she left school and since then she's never had any urges to leave.

Halesworth Spar

People gathered at the Halesworth Spar to say goodbye to Margaret - Credit: Justin Hatcher

"No," said Margaret in response to the question of whether she'd ever wanted to work at another job or even at another store.

She added: "I didn't want to do nothing else, I was just so happy.

"I loved it. I didn't want to leave, they didn't want me to leave, so I never left."

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Colleagues, friends and family all gathered outside the store to say goodbye to Margaret on Thursday, who described the event as "overwhelming".

She said she: "Just loved my work from day one until the last day.

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"I do miss everybody, not just my work mates but all the customers as well."

Halesworth Spar

Margaret isn't sure what she will do with her retirement, but will come back to visit the shop - Credit: Paul Wiltshire

Margaret's connection to the store stretches even further back than 67 years - next door is the Boutique shop which was her nanny's house and the Focus Foods used to be her grandfather's butcher shop.

When she was just two years old, she would sit outside her nanny's house and watch people go by.

Born in Halesworth, Margaret never wanted to travel too far having never been abroad and only moved a few miles up the road to Spexhall when she got married.

Halesworth Spar

Margaret and Paul, who collectively have worked for the Halesworth Spar for more than 100 years - Credit: Justin Hatcher

Margaret's manager Paul was also celebrating his 45 years' service milestone - the pair of them have worked for 112 years combined.

During that time Margaret said Paul helped her when the job became modernised

She said: "I didn't know how to switch a computer on, let alone use it."

When she first started the job involved packing sugar into bags and slicing up bacon, not understanding what Microsoft Windows is, but thankfully Paul and her other colleagues helped her learn.

Halesworth Spar

Pictures of Margaret throughout the years - Credit: Paul Wiltshire

One of the highlights of her career would be selling cakes she baked for charity - in one year she managed to raise £5,000 from cake sales alone.

Looking to the future Margaret doesn't have any big plans for her retirement, but she has been on furlough since the pandemic began which she says has helped her adjust to post-work life.

Although she is planning to return and visit the shop whenever she can.

Halesworth Spar

Margaret has said she will miss the job, her colleagues and the customers - Credit: Justin Hatcher

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