Musician and RAF veteran Malcolm is always happy to help at Asda Newark

June 22, 2020

Our wonderful colleague Malcolm Goodman loves putting a smile on people's faces when they stop for a chat and a joke at his checkout at our Newark store.

Malcolm joined the store six years ago following a distinguished career as a musician and with the RAF. He served in the Gulf War, and accompanied the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh on a state visit to Thailand.

Malcolm, who was awarded the MBE for service to youth music and the RAF in 2001, said: "There are some customers who always come to me and they always come and say how friendly everyone is at Asda Newark. It's nice to get those compliments.

"I do my shopping in all sorts of places and I'm very critical in my mind of how I'm served in other shops. It does strike me the lengths that our checkout colleagues go to be friendly to customers. There really are some good people here at Asda Newark. I do enjoy it here and it's nice to provide a service."

Malcom's manager Mandy Squelch says he's a very popular figure in store.

She said: "Malcolm's a very, very interesting gentleman. He's had a very busy life what with his music and his time in the RAF... and he's still got a busy life now too.

"He's a very reliable colleague who's always happy. He gets on really well with his colleagues and customers and he's always having a laugh with them when they go through his checkout."

Malcolm, who's 67, says he didn't think he would be working on the "frontline" again after serving as a medic in the RAF during the first Gulf War.

Malcolm, who wore his Gulf War medals in store during the recent VE Day celebrations, said: "I never thought working in a supermarket would be a frontline job and I just hope that when all this is over, people will remember just what supermarket workers did in the virus days. We served as best as we could."

His first love has always been music. He followed in the footsteps of his father, Peter, mother Mary, sisters Wendy and Jennifer and brother Roy by studying at the Royal College of Music.

His professional musical career began in 1975 with his appointment as co-principal horn with the Central Band of the Royal Air Force. However, in 1979 he left to undertake a new appointment as company director of a family business.

But in 1990 Malcolm returned to his former RAF career as principal horn with the Western Band of the Royal Air Force and a year later during the first Gulf War he was deployed on active service with other RAF musicians in a new medical support role in field hospitals at various forward operating bases in Saudi Arabia. He and his fellow musician colleagues were awarded the Gulf Medal along with the Saudi Arabia and Kuwait medals.

He said: "The strange thing is that when you're with your comrades in an air raid shelter expecting to be blown up in the next few minutes you are sitting there having a laugh because you are there with your mates and somehow it gets you through it. You do get through it because of the guys that you're with. There is that camaraderie that is quite special and it's like that in the supermarket between all of us too."

In 1996 he accompanied the Queen on an official state visit to Thailand, travelling with her and the Duke of Edinburgh aboard the Royal Flight for the duration of the visit.

Malcolm said: "This was one of the highlights of my career. The band I was in at the time was tasked to provide the music for the tour so we were invited to fly with the Queen on her plane which is something not many people get the chance to do.

"Your seat has a name on and every other seat is empty, so it's nice and spacious. When we landed in Bangkok it was strange being on the aircraft as the Queen got off and there was a big fanfare on the ground. Then we were following her around playing at the various receptions. It was a great privilege to do that."

On his retirement from the RAF in 2007, Malcolm took up a new role was as music school manager at Uppingham School, a role he held until 2014.

Alongside his part-time job at Asda, Malcolm – who's a former Special Constable – also runs the Lincolnshire Chamber Orchestra and the national RAF Music Charitable Trust from the study of his home.

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