December 8 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
In an age when people can change careers at the drop of a hat and jobs are no longer for life, Bryan Howlett stands as an exception to the rule.
The 58-year-old Norwich man, who lives in South Park Avenue, has been working for BHS in Norwich since 1973, a year when Edward Heath was the British Prime Minister and rockers Pink Floyd released The Dark Side of the Moon.
And yesterday, the modest Manchester United fan celebrated the 40th anniversary since he started working for the clothing store, which is based in St Stephens Street.
Staff presented him with a number of gifts, including a bottle of Moet and Chandon champagne from BHS, two certificates, a calendar featuring his beloved Manchester United and a gift voucher.
He started out as a porter with the clothing giant when his responsibilities included clearing away rubbish and cardboard and ensuring the store looked tidy, a position he continued in until 1987 before he moved to work in the stock room.
He was responsible for moving items to the stock room, located above the Iceland store in St Stephen’s Street and also helped out at the staff restaurant.
However, from 1994, he started working part time at the store because of painful ulcers in his feet and head, though the pain did not prevent him from continuing the job he loves.
His fondest memories from his time include the management team dressing up as Santa Claus for the Christmas dinner and of a flooding incident when staff had to mop rain water up from the basement.
He said: “The water came running down the lift shaft. It rushed into the loading bay, then into a gap in the lift shaft and down into the basement. Staff had to roll up their trousers and get the fire brigade to clear up the water.”
Prior to joining BHS, the former St John’s Infant School pupil worked at Bugden supermarket in Wroxham Road, Norwich.
He said: “I enjoy working here, especially as the staff are all very friendly and there is a good team spirit.”
His colleague Sue Whiting said: “One of the things his colleagues would say is that if you need to know anything about anything, Bryan’s the person to ask. He has got a memory for figures and facts and is very hard working.”