It’s being described as “the end of an era” - the closure of the Co-op in Little Common and specifically saying goodbye to longtime staff member there, Pam Izzard.
Pam has worked at the store for 44 years and is treasured in the village for the warm welcome she gives to customers.
One of those is John McNaughton of Wealden Way who contacted the Observer to say: “I read with sadness about the closure of the Co-op in Little Common. The main reason for my sadness is that it might mean the departure of one employee who has worked at that shop for decades.
“Our family arrived in Little Common in 1972 and Pam was serving customers in Liptons, as it was at the time.
“She remained throughout all the changes of hands (Liptons, Presto, Lo Cost, Alldays and finally Co-op), using the same greeting with every customer; Hello love, how are you?
“One can only guess at the number of times she has uttered that phrase! A year ago I calculated that if she spent two minutes with every customer then she would have used that phrase 1,984,500 times. Now, a year later, she must have surpassed the two million mark.
“Last year I created a Facebook page called ‘I remember when Little Common Co-op was...’ and invited contributions from about 50 local friends to fill in the names of the shop over the years. Only one person remembered the correct sequence, which I had confirmed by Pam. But what was clear was that everybody who responded had very fond memories of Pam, including one person who actually worked with her back in the seventies. Amazingly, her looks changed very little over all that time.”
He added: “Many people are going to miss her,” and also submitted dismayed comments on Facebook which included Debbie Clark posting: “End of an era and very sad,” and Anita Dawes suggesting: “I should imagine Tesco has caused them a problem being right opposite.”
Pam, who will be 60 in June, said this week: “It has been fantastic working here. You get to know your customers. If I don’t see somebody I start wondering if they are alright. You care about people and they become friends.”
She admitted the news of the closure came as “a shock” to herself and the rest of the staff.
“Customers are saying they will just miss the shop. It has been here in the village for so long, and they will miss us all. I will miss the customers, and also the staff here.”