THIS WEEK IN 1981: ‘All you can collect – and free’ in a trolley dash with The News

Contestants line-up at the Elm Grove, Hayling Island, Co-Op for The News-Co-Op trolley dash. From left, S Slade, of Portsmouth, M O'Connor, of Southsea, G Perryman, of Clanfield, V Gibson of Titchfield, E Jackson, of Portchester, and J Jones, of Hayling Island
Contestants line-up at the Elm Grove, Hayling Island, Co-Op for The News-Co-Op trolley dash. From left, S Slade, of Portsmouth, M O'Connor, of Southsea, G Perryman, of Clanfield, V Gibson of Titchfield, E Jackson, of Portchester, and J Jones, of Hayling Island

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The promise of a supermarket full of free groceries sent six shoppers into a frenzied race as they crammed their trolleys full of goods, trying to beat the clock at The News – Co-Op trolley dash at Hayling Island.

Groceries valued at nearly £500 were given away as the winners of The News – Co-Op Spot the Difference competition scrambled round the aisles at the Co-Op supermarket at Elm Grove, grabbing everything from soap powder to steak in three minutes flat.

It was stand-in dasher V Gibson, of Titchfield, who took the top prize of one million stamps, equal to about £330 to be paid into her account by the Co-Op for collecting the largest selection of items.

Mrs Gibson’s mother was one of the winners of the competition which qualified her for the trolley dash.

But a few weeks before she broke her wrist, and Mrs Gibson was called to take her place.

Although Mrs Gibson won the top prize for her booty of about 82 items, Hayling competitor J Jones had the most valuable trolley, worth more than £138.

According to Mrs Jones, the trolley dash was easy as she sopped in the Elm Grove supermarket almost on a daily basis.