Beyond the call of duty The fuel crisis almost brought the food chain to its knees in less than a week. Almost ­ but not quite. As the petrol started running out and panic buying set in, those working in every part of the chain responded to the challenges magnificently. We've heard literally hundreds of stories about how staff pulled together: whether it was working longer hours at head office, taking on extra shifts in stores or volunteering to deliver essential groceries to the elderly and infirm. Here are just a handful of those tales. Heroes of the crisis: we salute you! - At Somerfield's Bridgewater depot, site development manager Garry Chidgey described the efforts of the 202-strong team as "absolutely brilliant" in ensuring it kept the 144 stores it services stocked through the crisis ­ even though one of them is 100 miles away. - About 40 of Safeway's petrol stations, including its store in Chester, agreed to open during the night, trading from 11pm to 6am, allowing customers to buy food during the day and fill up at night. - Neil Aitken, store manager of Kwik Save in Milnrow, took to two wheels instead of four in order to beat the fuel shortage ­ doing a round trip of 30 miles to get to and from work on his bicycle each day. After pedalling round the hills outside Manchester, Neil, who describes himself as overweight and the wrong side of 40' said: "My legs are fine ­ it's my back that hurts! But at least I got there." - At Sainsbury's Kempshott store, there was a queue forming for the petrol station and the temperature was heading towards 80 degrees. Petrol station manager Viv Briginshaw came up with an idea to cool down customers in their cars. She walked along the queue serving orange squash to the customers and ice lollies to children sitting in the cars. - Chris Marks, senior baker at Sainsbury's Fulham store, volunteered to work a double shift from 7am to 4pm and then was back at work from 9pm to 7am to bake more bread. He helped ensure that the store was fully stocked with bread and was rewarded with a bottle of wine for his heroics. - Sainsbury's Biggleswade store had queues of cars blocking the only exit and entrance route. So quick-thinking staff volunteered to form a 10-man set of "human traffic lights" to regulate the traffic. - Celia Harding, a health and beauty replenishment assistant at Sainsbury's Cobham store, cycled 11 miles to work during one day of the crisis. She was able to grab a lift home with a colleague that evening and the store manager also gave her a bottle of wine and a new set of bicycle clips. - Safeway's Todmorden store usually supplies its out of code bread to a local bird sanctuary. When the owner ran out of fuel and couldn't collect the bread, bakery controller Graham Astell-Burt made a special delivery using his own car to deliver the loaves. - At Tesco's Neath Abbey store, the whole management team worked in the bakery. Raffle tickets were handed out so customers didn't have to queue, drinks were provided for all customers and pensioners were provided with chairs. - Bakery manager Martin Astin at Tesco's Sale store stayed at work from 7am to 10pm to ensure the store did not run out and have to impose limits on customers. As a result of his team's efforts, the bakery department was up 50% on the previous Tuesday and 110% on the previous Wednesday. - At Safeway's store in Chafford Hundred, staff gave out soft drinks to customers waiting in the long petrol queues during the very hot days of Thursday and Friday - A customer at Tesco's Aldershot store bought chocolates for staff as a thank you for the petrol that allowed her to go to her sister's wedding - Meanwhile, a Tesco customer in Basingstoke rang the local radio station to request Tina Turner's Simply the Best, and dedicated to the store's staff for their efforts during the crisis {{NEWS }}