St Albans Oxfam shop volunteer retires after 21 years

PUBLISHED: 12:36 11 March 2015 | UPDATED: 12:36 11 March 2015

Deputy shop manager Liz Paton, manager Pauline Wilby, area manager Natacha Terrot

Deputy shop manager Liz Paton, manager Pauline Wilby, area manager Natacha Terrot


A familiar face at a city centre charity shop for over a decade will no longer greet customers as they step through the doors.

Pauline Wilby, manager of Oxfam Bookshop in Catherine Street, who has been a volunteer for the charity for 21 years, bid farewell to staff at the store recently at a surprise farewell party.

Pauline, who begun volunteering one a day a week at an Oxfam shop in Hertford in November 1993, started at the St Albans store 15 years ago and has been manager ever since.

She said: “I knew absolutely nothing about the party and was totally overwhelmed. For once I think I was actually speechless!

“My time with Oxfam has been very enjoyable and the team here are great people to work with.

“When it came to it last week, my stomach was churning the whole week and I felt I was running out of time to get everything finished.”

She offered her thanks to the whole team and particularly Liz Paton, the shop’s deputy manager, adding she couldn’t “have asked for someone better.”

“She was a really good person to have round and we always worked as equals.”

Liz said: “Over the years Pauline has helped raise a huge amount of money for Oxfam, making the St Albans bookshop into one of the top three Oxfam bookshops in the country.

“She has built up a dedicated team of volunteers who will all miss her vast experience but who will all work hard to keep the shop up to its usual high standard during the transition period under a new manager.”

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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