Working at Sainsbury's

Edward Kitchingham

Edward Kitchingham joined Sainsbury's in 1943. He remembers living in a company hostel and his first duties cleaning the shop.

‘I lived in accommodation provided by the firm on the shop premises. This particular shop was very old and therefore everything about the accommodation was very old and austere. Housekeepers were like Gold Dust. I remember one there was an ex showgirl (at least 40 years earlier). She must have been 70 years old.

‘My jobs being the new boy and being very young, included emery clothing the metal rails…then the wall tiles would be cleaned and polished every Sat pm and Mon am.’

(Edward Kitchingham, written reminiscence, 2006)

Alma Clark

Alma Clark worked as a housekeeper, looking after staff who lived in the hostel accommodation provided by the company.

‘At Watford the hostel looked towards the window of a furniture shop – one of the boys had an air gun – the manager of the furniture store was not amused to find his store of eiderdowns peppered with shots.

‘At Amersham our district supervisor told myself and the Gerard’s Cross supervisor… one thing to remember.  If you cook 365 lunches and one goes wrong, that is the only one they will remember.

‘One boarder at Gerrard’s Cross put his electric trouser press in his bed so that it was warm when he returned from his evening out. The smell of burning wool and mattress lasted for a long time.’

(Alma Clark, written reminiscence, 2006)

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