Morrisons celebrate 30 years in our community

A Pontefract supermarket has celebrated 30 years in business, with a party to thank staff for their long service.

Thursday, 3rd September 2020, 12:30 pm
Staff rejoice with customers and long serving employees as the store celebrate 30 years in our community
Staff rejoice with customers and long serving employees as the store celebrate 30 years in our community

Last Friday, the Morrisons store celebrated its 30th year in Pontefract, thanking customers and congratulating employees that have worked there since the shop opened its doors back in 1990.

Customers were invited to celebrate with staff with games, cake and balloons, as a thank you for supporting them for over a quarter of a decade.

Three long-serving employees, Jimmy Whathen, Jayne Watters and Annette Fox also celebrated on the day, reminiscing on their 30 years of time spent working at the Pontefract store.

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Morrisons Pontefract original staff members with manager Carl Halstad

Sam Pattison, store employee and Community Champion, said: “It was really lovely on Friday as we celebrated the store's 30th anniversary.

“The atmosphere in the shop was great, we had all our colleagues and customers on board, celebrating with balloons, a cake and a game of checkout bingo.

“Unfortunately, due to covid, we couldn’t host our tombola, which was a shame- that aside, we had a really good time.

"Talking to our customers on the day, many of them didn’t realise the shop is as old as it is, so it was a good opportunity to get the history of the shop out there.

Dashboard camera footage from a drive by Pontefract Morrisons construction site on April 8, 1990, courtesy of 251hanomag on YouTube

“For our three staff members, who have been with the company since the shop opened, the day brought back a lot of fond memories for them as they were reflecting on their time at the store.”

The company was founded in Yorkshire by William Morrison in 1899, who started the business as an egg and butter merchant in Rawson Market, Bradford, England.

Prior to Morrisons building their Pontefract store, the site on Stuart Road was home to a barracks before becoming the former Kings school, throughout the years the site became home to Pontefract Boys Secondary school, a Senior Secondary Girls School and St Giles C of E J&I school - which all made room for the Morrisons development in 1990.

The store’s general manager, Rob Holmes, said: “It really is an amazing milestone for the store hitting 30 years.

A photograph of the school on the site on Stuart Road, before the store was constructed. Taken by Steve Askew.

“It’s uncertain times at present, but I couldn’t be prouder of the team as we continue to feed the nation, make deliveries to our vulnerable customers and continue supporting our charities and emergency services in the community.

“We have colleagues in the team that have incredible lengths of service with a number of our colleagues joining the team on opening day thirty years ago.

“We are all incredibly proud to have been members of Morrisons Pontefract serving our fantastic customers during the last 30 years and we can’t wait to start on the next 30.”

Morrisons store front