Happy 81st birthday to our lovely colleague Pat Walmsley who's worked at Asda Pudsey since 1972!

Colleagues surprised Pat with two cakes to celebrate her special day and 45th anniversary at the store. Asda Pudsey manager Mark Dimbleby said: "Pat's a fantastic colleague ... she's got the energy of a 20-year-old and is always happy and smiley."

Pat has two children, Martin and Deborah, and granddaughter Rowena who's 24. She worked as a tailor making raincoats before starting working on the deli at the old Pudsey store in 1972 – then moved across to the new store at Owlcotes Shopping Centre in 1997 where she now works in the bakery.

Pat said: "I like the people I work with – and you get to know customers by sight. They say, 'Are you still here!'

"You're better off doing something and getting out of the house – I've been saying I'll retire for the last ten years but I'm still here!"

Colleagues at the store were keen to help Pat celebrate her double milestone. Bakery section leader Linda Tiffany said: "Everybody loves Pat. She's well-liked and she's very reliable – part of the team."

The store's people trading manager Tracie Fryer said: "She's fantastic – a very engaged colleague and very popular with colleagues and customers."

Pat's seen a lot of changes during her time with Asda – including her uniform, which was pale blue with dark blue trim and an alice band when she started.

Pat said: "The old store was more of a shed. In the '70s we had power cuts and we had to put the emergency lighting on. The bloke in charge of beers, wines and spirits had a big torch he used to shine around. It was dark inside the store because there were no windows. I used to get a bath after work with a candle.

"I was in tailoring before I had kids. I used to make dresses – I'd get 10 pence a dress. I was out shopping one day and someone in the butcher's said, 'Do you fancy a job at Asda, they need people for the deli counter.' I thought why not – and 45 years later I'm still here!"