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Duncan E V Curtis, Epsom, Ewell , Sutton, Camberley, 1930-1958

1930-1950 Staff


This is my Father's story. He was Clifford E Curtis, known as Eric, and started around 1930 as an errand boy delivering from Epsom shop to the local area. A picture of him, with his bike, and taken outside his home, appears in the archive. He was about 14 or 15 when he started and he lived in Epsom at the time. Later he became a butcher and at one time lived over the shop at Esher having later worked in Ewell , where he met my Mum (who worked in the office), and also I think in Sutton. After returning from War service in the tank corps he started developing a wholesale section and was I believe one of very few reps , working out of Surrey shops. He would visit schools, hospitals, restaurants etc and take hand written orders which were returned to the shops and delivered by van a couple of days later. For much of this time he worked under direction from Blackfriars where Sainsbury had a large office. The work started on a push bike again but in the early 50's he was given a small Morris Minor as a company car, exclusively for use on company business. He was stopped by the police, taking us to see, " The Ten commandments" in Aldershot but I am not sure that ever was recorded against him! One of his many customers was the illustrious private school at Crowthorne, known as Wellington College. The wholesale side of Sainsbury's, which not many realise now ever existed, was wound up in the late 50's when the stores were being converted from full service shops to supermarkets.
He used to regale us with many funny stories about life in the shops and the tricks they got up to with new staff. He also told us about various customers including a lady who told him at the counter that she had been coming to the store for over 20 years and never been satisfied. He maintains he told her to try somewhere else!

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