Archive | May, 2011

Retirement is wonderful

22 May

Written 22nd May 2011

Before I left school I had no idea what sort of job I would both be good at and enjoy and I honestly don’t think I ever found it!

My first job was as the office junior at the National Provincial Bank (This bank later amalgamated with the Westminster Bank and the District Bank Groups to become NatWest Bank)  in Ripon. I suppose here I was happy.

I enjoyed all the trips out to the post office and to the Midland Bank to do ‘Locals’ and meet up with the junior from other banks in the city and exchange each bank’s local cheques.

My parents moved to Heckmondwike and the nearest transfer I could get was to work at the bank’s Boar Lane branch. From then on I hated it.

I hated the bus travel to Leeds every day, I hated having to stay till the work was finished and I felt like a square peg in a round hole. Thankfully I went on ‘Relief’ for a couple of days to help out at the Morley branch and stayed on permanently for a few months.

The days of hand written ledgers was just coming to an end. New machines to print statements instead of having a passbook for everything were the new thing and each day the accounts were sent down the telephone line in a series of binary dots to some centre or other. It was amazing new technology.

I heard at this time of a vacancy at the Heckmondwike  Branch and decided that it would save me time and money to work just across the road from where I was living.

15th February 1971 was decimalisation day and I was in the thick of it!! No more pounds, shillings and pence and no more sixpences and threepenny bits. After 240 pennies in a £1, 100 pennies was a doddle.

I worked in Heckmondwike for 10years during which time I married David in 1968.  It was the best feeling in the world leaving work in the summer of 1976 a couple of months before I had Helen. Richard followed in 1979 and I suppose I was thinking at this time I ought to get a job again, at least part time.

The Summer of 1976

A friend who I had worked with in Heckmondwike, recruited me to work evenings in a back office Operations Centre for Midland Bank when Richard was 4 and I continued working for Midland, later to become HSBC in various combinations of hours and different days, culminating in working full time for a few months before my retirement. Over the years the hours and days I worked fitted into my lifestyle at the time and it was good I was allowed to swap and change. Admittedly this was over 22 years and the changes didn’t take effect week by week.

I hated working there with a vengeance…  But I stuck it out..   I suppose if I had been good at something special or had known what I wanted to do, things may have been different.   I suppose the reason I stuck it out,  wasn’t the job, it was the people I worked with and I have made many good friends along the way. Also I was getting paid…..

WOW!     Its so wonderful being retired.  I am so busy..  Everyone says this but I really don’t know how I fitted in working. It’s amazing that I don’t find time to do much housework.  Or is that because I don’t want to do it?     Perhaps it is…