Happy Families (2006)

Location : Norwich

Myra had already helped her father Ken with his contribution. Her mother’s name was Violet. Ken had been a dispatch worker at Jarrolds. She had a sister Beryl Rosemary. After attending the Hewett School she began working there herself whilst living with her parents in Lakenham. She was 20 at the time and had been caring for her baby daughter. Initially it was an opportunity to earn money for Christmas at a place where her father enjoyed working. it enabled me to go out & socialise and be more independent of my parents.

She began in the toy department & her main duties were maintaining stock levels on the shop floor, helping & serving customers and demonstrating: battery toys; talking dolls; rocking horses & building Lego constructions. The children loved it.

There were about 7 staff each had their own special areas. Her hours were between 5 & 9.

I became the main cashier on the till ensuring all moneys handled were correct and ensuring that all (customer) accounts were kept up to date. Also I had to deal with customers complaints about goods and returns. There were usually returns after Christmas. It was company policy to give a refund.

I had to learn to handle large sums of cash & bag it up at end of trading. It was usually alright.

Christmases on the toy floor were always very busy and I gained a lot of pleasure seeing the children getting very excited! Mr Richard Jarrold often helped out in the department when we were busy

I met many Norwich City footballers and their families: Kevin Keelan, Graham Paddon.

Times changed in the short time I was there with the old lift being removed and the new ones installed. I think the biggest changes were improving and modernising the store and of course the introduction of decimalisation. I found it so much easier especially giving receipts for staff discount.

I really enjoyed the friendliness of all, from the owners to the cleaners. We all worked as one big family. I occasionally met my colleagues at a local café or pub but they were very occasional. I did make friends but failed to stay in contact although have bumped into them since

The things I didn’t like so much were the very early lunch break at 11.30am and getting stock from the old stock room above the lift.

Jarrolds is as much a part of Norwich as the castle. Speaking to people who live away they always mention Jarrolds and what a lovely store it is!

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