Christmas shopping trip delayed 30 years

Martin McCarthy was a teenager when he was given a £1 Jarrold gift voucher for Christmas. That was 30 years ago. Now he has cashed it in.

It was the year a low budget film featuring largely unknown actors called Star Wars broke box office records, Red Rum won an historic third Grand National and Britons took to the streets to help celebrate the Queen's Silver Jubilee.

For a teenager called Martin McCarthy it was also the year he got a £1 Jarrold gift voucher for Christmas.

However, while the bell bottoms might have mostly disappeared and a pint of beer no longer costs under 50p, one thing has remained - Mr McCarthy's voucher.

It was only on Saturday, 30 years to the day that it was bought, that he finally cashed it in.

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"My aunt Julie Halliday bought the voucher for me for Christmas when I was 19. I had gotten to that age where she didn't really know what to buy for me and she felt I was old enough to spend the £1 voucher on something myself but I tucked it away instead -it's a good job it wasn't a beer token otherwise it would have been long gone," he joked.

Mr McCarthy discovered the token again two and a half years ago when he was having a clear-out.

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"I thought I would take it in as a joke but I put it in my Filofax and then another few years went by and it was only recently that I noticed the date on it."

On Saturday he finally took the voucher, dated the 8/12/1977, into the Norwich store to discover what he had been missing out on all these years.

Digging in a scrapbook, Jarrold staff discovered for £1 he would have the choice of many things including a board game (85p) or a box of 10 Tom Smith crackers (85p), a fur-trimmed hat (99p), a kite (95p), or some aftershave - though he would have had to put some money towards it at £1.15.

And what's more, all of those are still in stock today - though at slightly higher prices.

"I think it would have had to have been the aftershave," he said, considering his choices after having a chat with


Carole Slaughter, marketing manager, said: "We are delighted that Martin has treasured his £1 gift voucher for all this time. Gift vouchers are great to give as presents and of course you can keep them until you find just the right thing to buy.

"Martin was pleased to discover that while Jarrolds have now many more and different product ranges he was still able to find very similar products to those he would have chosen from in 1977. We hope Martin will continue to enjoy shopping in Jarrolds for the next 30 years."

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