A BRIDE whose husband died of cancer two days after their wedding has suffered a second cruel blow – this time from Tesco.
Rachel Eyres-Smith organised a collection outside the supermarket’s Kingston store to raise money for Macmillan, the charity that helped her husband Oli just seven months ago.
But halfway through the exceptionally sunny day, the shop manager proved that every little certainly did not help.
He sent 26-year-old Rachel and her friend packing in no uncertain terms – because they were wearing shorts and t-shirts.
“He looked us up and down with complete disgust and said we looked too scruffy and did not fit in with the Tesco image,” said Rachel.
“He also said we were letting down MacMillan, which I found really upsetting.”
The manager even turned up his nose at the tablecloth covering the charity display table – because it was unironed.
The collection was held during the unexpected October heatwave and the girls had dressed in shorts, official Macmillan t-shirts and flip flop shoes.
“I admit I hadn’t given much thought to our outfits because our aim was simply to raise money for Macmillan,” said Rachel.
The pair’s attire provoked no objections from Tesco shoppers, many of whom were similarly clad in the 29 degree heat. They donated a hefty £508 between 8am and 2pm, when the girls were given their marching orders.
Rachel said: “We’d planned to stay until the evening and hoped to collect double that amount for MacMillan.”
The charity had proved an “invaluable” help after 30-year-old musician Oli was diagnosed with abdominal cancer early this year.
“We had just 44 days between his diagnosis and his death,” said Rachel, who lives in Wolverton.
The teenage sweethearts, together for 10 years, were in a race against time to marry.
The ceremony took place at Willen Hospice in March. Oli died two days later.
“The hospice and Macmillan were amazing and did everything to make our wedding day special,” said Rachel.
“They even pushed two single beds together so we wouldn’t be apart.”
This week a Macmillan spokesman thanked Rachel for her fundraising effort and said they were certainly not letting the charity down.
“We do not have any dress code for fundraisers,” she said.
Meanwhile, Tesco head office has offered a placatory donation to Macmillan – but no direct apology.
A spokesman said: “Collections on the day will always be at the store manager’s discretion and we have offered a £250 donation to MacMillan for any upset caused on this occasion.”