Sainsbury's Brunel is part of family history

Following your recent story about the Sainsbury store in the Brunel Centre and the fact that it is closing in November this year you may be interested in the following.

The Sainsburys store I believe was opened in 1974 and is the reason my family moved here in November that year.

My Dad, Dennis McGinn, who had worked for Sainsburys since 1951 was made Manager of the new store earlier in 1974 and lived in the Holiday Inn hotel at Coate Water for six months before we eventually found a house to live in at Coleview.

We moved from Orpington in Kent to a place none of us had ever heard of except for the League Cup Final of 1969.

I had just started a job at W.H.Smith Bromley branch as a trainee retail manager when my dad said we were moving to Swindon and I was lucky enough to get transferred to the Swindon shop in Regent Street.

My dad was Sainsburys through and through working in Brighton, East Grinstead, where I was born in the flat above the shop, Carshalton, Bexleyheath and Beckenham to name but a few.

Although he was manager at Bexleyheath before we left for Swindon, he saw the Swindon move as the pinnacle of his career as it was one of the biggest of the Sainsbury stores in the area and of course it was brand new.

He was proud to be manager and made many friends. He also made a few enemies too and I believe there are some rude slogans written on the inside of the lift shaft that may still be there today.

I can also remember helping him at the store in the middle of the night whenever there was a power cut as we had to move all the stock from the shop freezers to the warehouse freezers before the items thawed out. Great times at 2.00 in the morning!!

Sadly Dad was diagnosed with Leukemia in 1976 and was given 12 months to live. Naturally Sainsburys let him go with a full pension but amazingly he lived until 2002 when he was 75 years old.

After leaving Sainsburys despite being ill he carried on working firstly at Radio Rentals and then Swindon Cable as a debt collector.

Its very sad to see the shop in the Brunel close as it was part of my family's history and it will be a very sad day when it arrives.

Tony McGinn

Goldsborough Close


Children In Need should help at this horrible time

No child should ever go without food,or the means to learn without laptops or tablets at this horrible time.

But why should the government pay for everything?

BBC Children in Need has collected over 30 billion pounds in nearly 40 years that it has been running to help children in need,

So why cant that charity start to help? with that sort of money there should never be children in need

Gary Darling

Woollaton Close

West Swindon