Contrary to rumours the popular trolley man at Tesco in Milngavie has no plans to
retire yet - despite celebrating his 80th birthday recently.
Charlie Reilly, who has been making sure that the trollies are returned to the front of the store on a regular basis at the Tesco store for the past 18 years, likes to think of himself as “a bit of a Burt Lancaster figure” in Milngavie.
He certainly is very youthful for his age, charming, very friendly and approachable.
He has been doing three morning shifts since he reached his retirement age 15 years ago, and now plans to work just one morning shift a week.
He had originally planned to retire fully but the management team at the store thought that he’d be such a loss that they have persuaded him to stay on for as long as he is coping with the work.
He’s a well known face in the village and popular with everyone.
He loves his job and is very dedicated - so he was happy to be given the option of carrying on a bit longer.
The former soldier said: “I really enjoy this job because I love meeting new people every day and getting out in the fresh air.
“I’ve been lucky enough to meet some famous people including the comedianRicky Fulton and his wife.
“I treat everyone as an equal and I have a bit of fun with people - sometimes I grab Lady Edmonstone for a wee dance in the car park.
“I know just about every man, woman and child here and sadly I’ve lost many friends over the years.
“I’m here every day whether it’s rain, hail or shine. Some days it’s so cold that I have frost on my head!”
Charlie is so dedicated to his job at Tesco that he has even been known to walk five miles from his home in Knightswood to Milngavie when there’s snow or ice and there is no public transport.
Jacqueline Foy, Tesco people manager, said: “Charlie’s a really lovely guy and we didn’t want to let him go because he’d be too much of a loss.
“He knows basically every customer and they all love him.
“He’s one of the most sociable people I’ve ever met and we thought he’d really miss his job if he stopped altogether.
“He’s really passionate about his work so we offered him the chance to continue as long as he wants.
“He starts work as soon as he gets here every day, before he’s even clocked in. He brings trolleys from the far end of the car park to the store entrance as he comes in.
“He also prefers to bring his own pieces every day even though he can have meals in the staff canteen if he wants.
“He has lots of female fans who would miss him if he left so I’m sure they will be pleased to hear that he’s not retiring yet.”