A very happy 90th birthday to our wonderful colleague Frances King-Nash who's worked at our Brighton Hollingbury store for more than 25 years!
Great-grandmother Frances, who works on the kiosk, is a big favourite with customers and colleagues – many of whom got together to surprise her on her big day by decorating the kiosk and giving her cake, cards and flowers.
Frances didn't want any presents, so colleagues made donations to the MS Society. She said: "I was overwhelmed and gobsmacked when I walked in. It was very nice and kind. They had put a lot of thought in and it really made my day."
Frances was greeted by colleagues as she arrived for work and then headed to the colleague canteen where she enjoyed a vintage-style buffet organised by colleagues.
Frances, who's a widow, has always lived in Brighton and started working at the store in November 1991. Before then she worked in the office of a telecoms company for many years.
She said: "People asked me why I was working on my birthday, and I just said 'I don't want to spend it on my own'. I've got so many friends here.
"The best thing about working here is the company. We enjoy working together and we also socialise out of work too.
"You get your regulars every week who you have a bit of repartee with, and they've become friends too."
The store's community champion Maria Carpenter helped organise the birthday surprise for Frances.
Maria said: "She was in floods of tears – she couldn't believe what we'd done for her.
"Frances is very well-thought of in the store; she's a lovely, chatty lady and is very friendly.
"For 90 she's simply amazing. She's independent and has a great social life – she enjoys going on cruises and going to the theatre.
"She lives independently and gets the bus to the store three mornings a week.
"For her birthday, she said that she didn't want any presents and instead wanted people to donate to the Multiple Sclerosis Society as her grandson has MS.
"She loves working on the kiosk and is in charge of the lottery tickets. She's got to know many of the customers very well."
Store manager Francis Quayson said: "Frances had an amazing birthday –she loved every minute of it. She's a wonderful, adorable person and a brilliant colleague.
"Everybody loves her and has a lot of respect for her. Customers love her – lots of them queue up just to be served by her and to have a chat with her."