2 September 1964
On this day in 1964 I reported for duty at 143 High Street Southend where I had to report to the Accountant Mr Ikin before meeting the Manager Mr Brigden. There I stayed through all the courses at Holborn Training Office until I reached the dizzy heights of cashier at Southend and in the little wooden shack known as Victoria Avenue sub-office.
After a while I joined Home Counties Relief staff as a cashier an, in that role managed to work in every Essex branch, some in Hertfordshire and one or two in Buckinghamshire! Most days I had to go to and fro the same day, only once was I put in a hotel in Marlow. The worst job was being sent 20+ miles to a branch for a Saturday morning opening so that one of the branch's staff could have a day off!
I was then transferred to Leigh-on-Sea branch where I spent many happy years progressing through Foreign clerk to Securities working with many who I know are still with us. I was later appointed Assistant Accountant of Access Department working under Cliff Brown then, later as a Credit Officer, Authorisations working in a team of three on a twelve hour shift pattern with Don Morton and Chris Butcher with Terry Stenning as Manager. As the authorisation system became more automated I was transferred to System & Planning department, again under Terry Stenning with Roy Dell as his Assistant.
Computing was now in my blood and in 1986 I was appointed Manager's Assistant (Systems) in Corporate Finance Division, Watling Court where I had the wonderful opportunity to work in the bank's boardroom in Poultry putting on audio visual presentations on behalf of the Chief General Manager.
It was only a short hop then to a new role in Old Jewry where the UK Corporate IT system called Orbit was being developed.
I was responsible for the supply and delivery of equipment to the Corporate Banking Centres when Orbit was rolled out under the banner of David Mills, UK Corporate Banking Director. Later under Rodney Baker-Bates.
With the Orbit system installed in the CBCs it was decided to develop a similar system for the Regional Management Centres in UK Banking. Naturally as an off-shoot to Orbit the name Solar was adopted for the new system and I continued in my role doing site surveys and equipment supply and delivery in sites from Edinburgh to Jersey.
Solar was managed by Sally Hodges on behalf of Tony Wyatt, UK Banking IT Director and, when Sally moved to a new position, I took over as Manager, UK Banking Systems and, with my team of 35 comprising the Help Desk under Graham Wilson, the development team under John (Joe) Dimascio and the installations team under Ceinwen Jenkins a great bond formed that exists to this day. One surprise was that someone that I worked with years before in Access Department, Vanessa Robinson, came to us via Midland Montague and joined our programming team in Old Jewry, then Old Broad Street.
Once all the CBCs and RMCs had been installed, the decision was made that UK Banking Systems was no longer required and redundancy notices were handed to all. A very sad and emotional day.
I was offered the opportunity to work with Project Sarah based in Lower Thames Street but, after a relatively short time, I decided to accept redundancy from the bank. I enjoyed my time with Midland (never did get used to calling it HSBC) and am grateful for the career it gave me, the opportunity to travel the country, and for the friends that I retain to this day.
You know who you are!