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Gillingham pensioner's search for mystery lady who helped buy shopping

A Gillingham pensioner is hoping to thank a stranger who helped buy his shopping when he found himself short of cash.

Joe Major, 89, was in Wilkinsons when he realised his £10 wouldn't cover his shopping and had to give back a bottle of concentrate he uses for home-made wine.

Joe Major is trying to find the lady who helped pay for his shopping
Joe Major is trying to find the lady who helped pay for his shopping

But he says he was overwhelmed when, having left the shop and walked down Gillingham High Street on Monday morning, he was approached by a woman who had bought it for him.

"I'm not a rich man and I have to look after the pennies like everyone else my age," he explained. "I had a £10 note and I thought I'll go into Wilkinson's to buy some things. When I got to pay the items came to about £13 so I had to give some back - I think it was about £5. I walked out of the shop and walked along the high street because it was market day.

"This woman tapped me on the shoulder and said 'I just bought this for you' - then she put it in my trolley. I turned around to thank her and she was gone. I don't know how old she was and I didn't really get a good look at her.

"It was a shock. She just put it in my trolley and disappeared. I would have thanked her. You don't get many people these days like that.

"Going back to my younger days you did that sort of thing."

A former machine setter for CAV engineering factory in Rochester, Mr Major served with the RAF in Egypt during the Suez crisis, and explained how he now enjoys making home-brewed wine for his son and daughter.

"I don't drink wine myself but I make it out of anything" he said. "I'll make it out of old boots if you've got them; anything. The one I make at the moment is made out of pineapple - they seem to like it."

And he says he would now like to get in touch with the lady who helped him - and his children - out.

"I don't know who she was or where she went," he added. "It was out of the blue.

"I just want to thank her, and I'd like to pay her the money back. I'm not rich but I'm not poor, I just have to watch the pennies."

If you know the woman who helped out, please email chunter@thekmgroup.co.uk

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