IN the same year that breakfast TV was launched in the UK, the Austin Metro was the country’s best selling car and Culture Club’s Karma Chameleon topped the charts, Margaret Berry was ringing up some of her first sales at Boots.

That was way back at the end of 1983 and now Margaret has just celebrated 30 years of unbroken service with the company with presentations of flowers and chocolates from colleagues and friends at the busy Stretford Mall branch.

Margaret, 57, actually worked at Boots’ Manchester city centre store for a couple of years in the late 1970s before leaving to have her three children.

But when son Mark, now 35, and daughters Katrina, 32, and Kimberley, 31, were a few years older she returned to a shopfloor role at Boots in Manchester. Then, after a spell at the Chorlton branch, she moved to the Stretford Mall store six years ago.

She now splits her time between the retail and health care departments.

Margaret, who lives in Chorlton, said: “Things have certainly changed quite a lot since I starting working for Boots 30 years ago.

“Everything is now computerised and far easier to do than it was in 1983. During my time we’ve seen the electronic tills come in to replace the old ones where you had to ring up the sales and we’ve also got electronic delivery systems. But I think all the changes have been for the better and have benefited the staff and our customers.

“I’ve obviously worked with lots of people over the past 30 years but everyone has been very nice and easy to get on with.

“The Stretford Mall store has been a great place to work over the past six years. There are 35 other staff members here and they are all lovely people. I think that’s one of the things that’s so special about working at Boots.

“I also get on very well with the customers. Many of them are regulars and it’s nice to have a little chat with them when they come in."

Colin McCrory, Stretford Mall Manager, offered his congratulations to Margaret and said: “Margaret is obviously a very well thought of and dedicated member of the team at the Stretford Mall branch of Boots.

“She is one of so many pleasant people we have working at Stretford Mall who are always keen to offer our shoppers a warm welcome and her long service to the company means she is a familiar face too.

“I wish her many congratulations on reaching her 30th anniversary with Boots.”

Margaret added: “Over the years, we’ve had quite a few famous people coming into the store and I have seen the comedian Jason Manford and Anne Hegerty, who lives in Manchester and is one of the Chasers on the television quiz show The Chase, being served at the tills quite a few times.”

To mark her big 30th anniversary with the company, a special ceremony was held recently at which she was presented with a big bouquet of flowers and chocolates by the store’s management team and £250 worth of high street vouchers from the company.

Margaret added: “It was very nice to get these presents for my 30th anniversary. I can honestly say I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with Boots and hope to be here for another few years yet.

“I’m certainly not planning to retire just yet although I do have five granddaughters and three grandsons. There’s also another grandchild on the way with my youngest daughter Kimberley due to give birth at any time now, which I’m really looking forward to.”

Gill Wall, assistant manager at Boots in Stretford Mall, said of Margaret: “She’s a valuable and trusted member of the team and loved by everyone who works with her. In fact, we all consider her a friend as well as a colleague.

“She is also a fantastic worker and marvellous with the customers. It was therefore very pleasing to be able to present her with her flowers and chocolates from a grateful management team and the vouchers from the company.”