Today our favourite supermarket worker retired on the same day he turned 94. Reg Buttress has been working in Cwmbran Sainsbury’s since 1981 but his first job was underground at a colliery at the age of 13.
Watch this video of Reg’s last day at work
Staff organised a joint birthday and retirement party upstairs in the store. He had the honour of cutting a beautiful cake and sharing it among his workmates. His gifts included a pack of Penderyn whisky, an engraved tumbler and hip flask plus vouchers for a garden centre.
Then he walked down the stairs and into the store for a lap of honour around the aisles. His 20-minute walk would have been a lot quicker had he not been stopped by dozens of shoppers and workmates who wanted to shake his hand and give him a farewell hug.
As he walked out of the doors he spotted his friends from his church, the Salvation Army in Old Cwmbran, who had set up their band to surprise him. Reg loved it and had a huge smile on his face as he joined in for around 30 minutes singing along to the songs before leaving the store after his final day in work.
Watch the video made by Sainsbury’s to mark his retirement
Highlights of Reg’s working life
At 13 he began working underground as a collier’s help in Hafodyrynys.
In 1937 he moved to Birmingham and worked in factories for the sewing and motorbike industry.
He was called up to the Army and passed his medical but the move was stopped when his manager said he was needed in the UK on the home front.
He returned to south Wales and worked on the railways in Pontypool.
After being made redundant after 25 years he joined Cwmbran Sainsbury’s at the age of 57.
He did retire when he was 65…but after a few months decided to go back part-time.
Reg’s family life
His wife passed away in 2011 and they had one son, Michael, who has three sons, David, Aneurin and Tomos. Reg has been dating Ruth for three years.