Secretarial

Automobiles and Archaeology (1956-2000)

Joan was a secetary for the Royal Automobile Club in London, which was quite a forward-looking organisation. When she married she she moved to Norfolk and worked at the Rural Life Museum for 30 years. Part of her work was transferring archeological records and she is proud that these are now available for future generations. […]

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Carbon paper, Canada and the civil service (1961 – 1996)

Lal became a secretary in Oxford and London and then went to Canada for a few years – she worked in Toronto and Vancouver. On returning to England she became a civil servant and eventually moved to Norwich with her husband. Secretarial college I left school when I was just 18 and I went to […]

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If it hadn’t been for the War…

Hilda 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 Mansfield’s […]

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

Eileen describes her work as an office clerk and comptometer operator at F.W. Harmer of Norwich (a major clothing manufacturer) and at other Norwich firms. 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 […]

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No daughter of mine …

Heather always wanted to be a cook but her mother stopped her because she did not want any daughter of hers to go into domestic service. Heather did shorthand/typing training but later in life fulfilled her dream by becoming a cook!  Childhood and family I was born in Lessingham. I can remember when there was […]

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Secretarial work then and now (1958-2005)

Cynthia 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 it […]

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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. (1957 – 2000)

Sylvia went from a humble shorthand typist in the 1960s to a really responsible job. Her secretarial skills enabled her to easily change jobs throughout her working life. She saw the change from manual typewriters, through electric ones and word processors to computers; and from shorthand typing to Dictaphone. Attitudes to women in secretarial jobs […]

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Would you like a fleece? (1952-2006)

Monica 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. I was 15 when I left school with no qualifications. The 1948 Education Act meant the grammar school […]

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