Secretarial

Automobiles & Archaeology (2008)

I was born on 12 November 1940 in Croydon in Surrey. I went to school in Croydon at the Gonville Primary School and then onto Lanfranc Girls' School. I was still living in Croydon when I began working. My parents' names were Hilda Florence and Charles Henry. My mum was a cook, along with other […]

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Carbon paper, Canada and the civil service

I left school when I was just 18 and I went to secretarial college for a year. Briefly, that’s where I learned shorthand and typing. We worked quite hard, really, it was quite strict in a way. Many people were there, especially as it was in Oxford, for social reasons, but I was there because […]

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If it hadn’t been for the War…

Hilda Read describes her varied working life, beginning with her first job at Mansfields Factory. During the Second World War, Hilda was called up to work for Home Security in Cambridge. Hilda eventually qualified as an Established Civil Servant. After the War years, Hilda worked as a Clerical Officer for Telephone House. First job at […]

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Memories of an office clerk (1957-1990) – F.W. Harmer

Eileen Bisby describes her work as an office clerk and comptometer operator at F.W. Harmer of Norwich (a major clothing manufacturer) and elsewhere. Beginning at Harmers I started work in 1957 at F.W. Harmer and company as an office junior. My mother took me down for the interview because she was determined that I was […]

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Secretarial work then and now (1958-2005). (2015)

Cynthia Huggett speaks about her work as a secretary, her motivation in her choice of roles at different firms, the people she met and the changes to her job as technology progressed. I learnt shorthand typing at school, and they said ‘Oh, you probably won’t be using this all your working life’ but I used […]

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Secretarial work through the decades (1948-1992)

I was born and bred in Norwich, and started secondary school at the Blyth School. My parents: mother was a silk worker in a factory in Norwich and Dad was always involved in the shoe trade and he could turn a shoe inside out and make it and turn it back again. He was quite […]

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Subordinate – me? From Woman’s Own to Jarrolds.

Pat worked as a secretary for Woman’s Own in London where, aside from her secretarial duties, she was often called in to do some modelling. Following this, Pat worked for the Greek shipping company Adelphi Vergottis and the Spanish company Sigma Sewing Machines. After moving from London to Norwich and starting a family, Pat carried […]

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Variety is the spice of life. The secretary’s tale. (2014)

This is the story of a secretarial career beginning in the 1960s. "… I’ve gone from a very humble shorthand-typist who wasn’t very good at shorthand to well, a really responsible job." "I think the change is … attitudes to women, definitely the attitude to women." Vauxhall’s typing pool School assistant Back to the motor […]

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Would you like a fleece?

Monica Cooke had a varied and interesting career well into her seventies. Retirement didn’t slow her down and Monica became a member of the Spinners and Weavers Guild from the age of 80, and hasn’t looked back since.  A Brief History I was 15 when I left school with no qualifications. The 1948 Education Act […]

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