The Wasties are one of the two oldest families in Eynsham. Jack and Sue, however, met in Abingdon when Jack stopped Sue to ask for directions. Within two weeks, Sue had met Jack’s parents, David and Kathleen. She had also been to the family garage, Wasties Motors, off the A40 by Eynsham. Sue knew straightaway that it was ‘just right’. It was meant to be. Two years later, Jack and Sue were married and, last year, they celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary with their three children and four grandchildren.
Jack and Sue eventually took over Wasties Motors, with Jack mainly working on the shop floor and Sue running the office. Both put their hands, of course, to whatever was needed, including vehicle recovery. They worked quietly and seamlessly together, each one knowing what the other was thinking and doing. The hours were very long and the work was all-consuming, but it was a happy place and the whole team were like a big family. Friday-night card games at the garage were a regular feature!
In 2008, Wasties Motors closed; and Jack and Sue embarked on a new venture. Sue’s research showed that people in the village wanted a shop that would supply car accessories and pet supplies. So they opened Crackerjax on Mill Street - Jack said ‘We must be crackers to be starting up again!’ and Sue responded, ‘That’s it … Crackerjax!’. They were soon selling a whole range of things, from coal and wood, to plants and compost, to eggs and potatoes! In fact, if a customer ever needed something that they couldn’t find themselves, Sue and Jack would happily get it for them.
Nothing has ever been too much trouble for the couple. Their whole philosophy has always been about helping others, in whatever way they can. And, typically, as the time has finally arrived for them to embrace retirement, it is others that Sue and Jack are thinking about. They wish to thank everyone for their support and friendship over the years. ‘We’ve really appreciated it,’ says Sue, ‘We’re not just customers and shopkeeper. We’re friends.’