B&Q's first ever employee visited the Taunton store to celebrate the company's 55-year anniversary.

Avril de Klerk was originally recruited by founders Richard Block and David Quayle in 1969.

She is a retired civil servant and took part in the local store's own 25th anniversary celebrations.

Reflecting on her employment at the first B&Q branch in Portswood Road, Southampton, Ms De Klerk said: "When opening day came it was quite exciting for me as I was so young, the only employee at the time!

"I wore a pink overall as uniform and mostly worked on the till adding up prices in my head as it was pre-decimalisation in multiples of 12."

Somerset County Gazette:

Unit manager Paul Haylock, along with the entire Taunton team, welcomed Avril de Klerk.

They gifted her with an orange apron and name badge that read 'B&Q's first employee – 1969'.

She also acknowledged long-service awards for five Taunton employees:

  • Simon Horsman - 35 years
  • Sarah Battle - 25 years
  • Pat Cornish - 25 years
  • Trevor Lovell - 25 years
  • Sam Martin - 15 years
  • Rod Couchman - 24 years

B&Q now operates 300 stores across the UK, annually assisting over 20 million customers in home improvement, and employing over 26,000 colleagues.