Heather Smith

A DEPARTMENT store buyer is hanging up her catalogues after 46 years.Heather Smith, stores housewares buyer at Williams & Griffin in Colchester retires on Friday, July 18, after joining the store at the age of 15.

A DEPARTMENT store buyer is hanging up her catalogues after 46 years.

Heather Smith, stores housewares buyer at Williams & Griffin in Colchester retires on Friday, July 18, after joining the store at the age of 15.

“When I first started, I had to take on the dusting, cleaning, washing the floor and making the tea,” she recalls.

“I had to learn and take notes for three months before I was even allowed to serve a customer.”


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She had to wear a brown pinafore, and recalls that the store sold kitchens, paint, wallpaper and even farm accessories such as pig troughs when she joined.

After 10 years at the housewares department, she trained as a floor supervisor and worked her way up to a floor manager post.

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She has been the housewares buyer for the store for more than 33 years.

Merchandise director Julie Hayward said: “Heather has been a very hard working and loyal member of the team. Her energy and enthusiasm have never waned over the years. She is a shining example to people half her age. She has a great sense of humour and will be greatly missed by all her colleagues.”

Dean Hawes, the current stores housewares manager, will take over the post of housewares buyer from July 21.

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