Sunday 4 December 2016

Shop worker hangs up apron, aged 96

Published 02/11/2011 | 17:06

B&Q paid tribuite to shop worker Syd Prior, who is retiring just before his 97th birthday
B&Q paid tribuite to shop worker Syd Prior, who is retiring just before his 97th birthday

A shop worker has hung up his apron just before his 97th birthday after deciding to retire from his job as a "greeter" at DIY giant B&Q.

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Syd Prior, who is 97 on Thursday, worked at the firm's store in New Malden, Greater London, after starting his career at B&Q at the sprightly age of 76.

He was one of the oldest workers in the country and was believed to be the oldest retail employee.

Euan Sutherland, chief executive of B&Q parent firm Kingfisher, said everyone at the company was sorry to hear of his retirement, adding: "He certainly deserves a very well earned rest and second retirement."

Syd retired for the first time in 1979 from a job as a salesman for a machinery company before joining B&Q at its store in Wimbledon, thinking it would be a nice hobby "for a year or two".

He worked one day a week at New Malden, once saying: "Working at B&Q gives me the chance to put my knowledge and experience to good use, advising customers on where they can find exactly what they are looking for in the store.

"Working with people of all ages gives youngsters the chance to learn a little from an old timer like myself, and they help to keep me young at heart."

B&Q's eldest employee is now 88-year-old Albert Billington in Bristol, followed closely by Clifford Sarjeant, 87, from Kettering, and Stanley Collins, 86, from Guildford.

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