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Long-serving Gilly leaves Boots in Stamford after 46 years

A long-serving Boots shop assistant has retired after 46 years of loyal service.

Gilly Welsh, who started working at the Stamford High Street branch of the chemist chain when she was 15, left the shop for the final time last Friday.

Becky Wardman, assistant manager with Gilly Welsh. Photo: Lee Hellwing
Becky Wardman, assistant manager with Gilly Welsh. Photo: Lee Hellwing

Just before she finished her final shift, colleagues both past and present enjoyed a farewell buffet and a glass of fizz to send her on her way.

Gilly, 61, from Tickencote, said: “It feels very strange really.

“This morning when I came into work, I didn’t feel any different but then I saw former colleagues and they put on the food and drink.

“I’m quite emotional about leaving.”

When Gilly started at the shop in January 1973, Britain had just joined the European Economic Community and Ted Heath was Prime Minister.

“I started out with a Saturday job in the January and a full-time job came up in April,” she explained.

“There was no technology when I started - everything was done manually and by hand.

“Nothing at all was done on a computer.

“It’s the end of an era for me.

“I’ve done everything really - I’m healthcare trained, I’ve dealt with orders, deliveries, credit.

“I’ll miss the staff and the customers who come in here.”

Gilly, a mother of two with one grandchild, said she now wants to spend more time with her husband Rab and also look after her parents, especially her dad who has alzheimers.

Becky Wardman, assistant manager at the Stamford branch, said: “Gilly helps keep this store going and it’s going to be really difficult without her.

“It’s not going to be the same without her and it’s always ‘ask Gilly, she’ll know’”

“She’s good with the staff and customers and always goes above and beyond.”

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