A POPULAR Bradbeers department store employee has clocked up 30 years with the firm.

Wendy Blackmore started out as a Saturday girl at Bradbeers Romsey store and when she left school was taken on full time.

Store manager Paul Lewis paid tribute to Wendy's devoted service in the department store's restaurant where she is a waitress and sales assistant.

He said: “Wendy is currently the longest serving employee in Bradbeers but she has some way to go to match Mary Sillence who completed 50 years on her retirement.

"Like Mary, Wendy joined us full time after leaving school so has every chance of matching Mary’s long service. Wendy has always worked in our restaurant where she has been a popular member of the team and well-liked by her colleagues and the many regular customers who appreciate her cheerful disposition. I am proud and delighted that Wendy continues to enjoy her work as a key player in our catering department and along with her colleagues was pleased to celebrate and mark her 30th anniversary with us."

Mr Lewis presented Wendy with a bouquet of flowers along with champagne and chocolate to mark her long service with the company.

Afterwards 46-year-old Wendy who lives with her mother Hazel Blackmore who retired from Bradbeers about six years ago, clocking up 30 years service, said: "I love this job and I wouldn't do any other. I enjoy meeting the customers and talking to them and I've struck up a good few friendships with some of them over the years."

A colleague of Wendy's, Megan Davies said: "Nothing is too much for Wendy and the customers love her. She is so friendly, helpful and willing. You get the old fashioned service with Wendy."