John Goode has worked in Howells for 37 years. He started his career as assistant buyer and now runs the Gold Card suite

They did say at one time there was a ghost in the store in the chapel stockroom because they actually had to remove the graves when they converted the chapel, although I have never heard or seen anything. Apparently there is a woman in a white dress that used to float about the stock rooms. I think it was a joke to scare the youngsters. We also used to have slogans, for example it was impolite to say I am off to the toilet so you would always say I am off to 48, I don't know why. Some of the older staff still say it. Another thing that was interesting is that you had to wait two years before you were allowed to serve an account customer, that was always done by the senior sales assistant. You could only serve someone once you were given your book. When you were considered good enough to have a book you want up to see Mr. Geoffrey Howell who was personnel manager and he would present it to you in an award ceremony.
I didn't go through that because I started as an assistant buyer and didn't have to worry about that.