Leading grocery figures past and present met in Bristol last month to share their memories of Somerfield.

A year on from The Co-operative Group's £1.57bn acquisition of the chain last March, about 120 former Somerfield senior management spanning six decades met to catch up with old colleagues.

Former management to attend included Spar UK MD Jerry Marwood, who joined Gateway as a trainee manager and went on to be involved in supply chain planning for Somerfield; Lloyds Pharmacy MD Richard Smith, a former Somerfield marketing director; and Malcolm Hepworth, former head of food retail at The Co-operative Group, who was store operations director for Gateway.

The idea was hatched by Peter Bailey, from field marketing agency eXPD8, who was associate director for finance at Somerfield nine years ago.

"The reunion was prompted by the acquisition of Somerfield by The Co-op and it just felt like the right thing to do to mark the passing of an era," he said.

"Invitations were to senior management and we managed to track down people from all over the place, most of whom have gone on to bigger and better things."

"Everyone had a fantastic evening," added eXPD8 director Mark Thurgood. "Times at Somerfield were often challenging but the people made it a great place to work."