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Bargain Bev’s trolley dash

PUBLISHED: 18:31 19 August 2009 | UPDATED: 17:04 25 August 2010

A MOTHER nicknamed Bargain Bev since school lived up to her name in a trolley dash she likened to a bungee jump for an adrenalin rush.

A MOTHER nicknamed Bargain Bev since school lived up to her name in a trolley dash she likened to a "bungee jump" for an adrenalin rush.

Bev Wilkinson won a competition to go round Sidcup High Street's newest shop on Monday - a 99p store, on the former Woolworth's site.

With a reputation to uphold, the 42-year-old, of Cambridge Road, Sidcup, had staked out Eltham's 99p store over the weekend to work out a plan of attack.

Mrs Wilkinson, a part-time teacher at Hurst Primary School and chairwoman of Longlands School parents' association, was given 99 seconds to grab as much as she could, pledging: "I'm doing it for the children."

After making mincemeat of the painting section, she moved onto the stationery and ball games isles which never stood a chance, both arms a blur as she loaded up.

Arriving breathless at the till - excited shoppers cheering outside - it was impossible to tell which ran out first: the clock or the space in her trolley.

With a trolley brimming over she told the Times: "That was such an adrenalin rush. It was like doing a bungee jump, the nervous anticipation and then the rush.

"The research was totally useless in the end at Eltham, I was too nervous.

"But I stuck to the plan, that was to get as much paint as possible - do you know how much that stuff costs in an art shop? So this was just perfect."

The mother of two says she earned the nickname Bargain Bev as a pupil at Hillview School, Welling, often giving advice to other pupils like: "That's 5p cheaper round the corner."

Among her bumper horde was a kids' tombola set, 60 mini colouring pencils, a Star Wars artist set, a 190-piece desk accessory kit, skittles and butterfly wings - the perfect accessory for any girl wanting to transform into an angel.

A former Woolworths worker before being a teaching assistant, she said: "Everyone was upset when Woolworths disappeared from town centres, people grew up with it.

"But in Sidcup, with it gone we needed something else that would bring people back in.

"If you're a mum organising birthday parties this place is the perfect shop."

After she cut the ribbon to officially unveil the 97th 99p store in the UK, scores of shoppers piled in, from tiny tots to pensioners, looking for a deal.

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