I joined a local authority in 1992, answering a small advertisement for a part time clerk - able to type an advantage.
I got the job and was stationed in a large cold oak panelled office in a once grand Grade 11 listed building, owned by the local authority. With just a caretaker for company, I was given a receipt book and a large bunch of keys. My job to take bookings for potential hirers of the assembly rooms the original part of the building dating from 1813.
I was advised at my interview that the future of the lovely old building was uncertain and the post was temporary, probably for about 6 months.
I remained for 21 years.
There were so many memorable moments through-out those years, too many to write here.
They included meeting Mick Jagger after he made a video in the derelict swimming pool lying at the rear.
The flood on Good Friday 10 April 1998 when the river Leam burst its banks engulfing the building which sat on the banks. Flood water coming up to shoulder level inside the building.
In 1998 the start of the restoration of the building, to include an art gallery and museum in the derelict pool formerly used for hydrotherapy treatment was to lead to very exciting times. During the restoration there was regular media interest, live television and radio interviews, something I accepted as a normal day’s work during this transformation.
Being invited to London to Simpsons in the Strand to an Oldie Magazine Literary lunch, sitting on the top table in this famous old gentleman’s club next to June Whitfield and Maureen Lipman, being invited by the Oldie as the magazine was to hold one of their famous literary lunches later in the year in my assembly rooms.
One of the guests later in the year at the assembly rooms Oldie lunch was P.D.James she arrived early so we sat and chatted over coffee about her life and work.
Many famous and interesting people have visited my work place including George Melly, Sue Townsend, Grayson Perry, Lloyd Grossman and many more.
The post of Head Gallery Assistant in the new Art Gallery & Museum became vacant in 2003, I successfully applied.
The public sector was to become unnerved as the proposed austerity savings likely to affect the whole of the country gained momentum. Rumours were rife about possible cutbacks in most departments.
I never gave retirement a second thought, then is arrived out of the blue, after 21 years I reluctantly gave back that big bunch of keys with no idea what I would do next.
Inevitably everyone’s time comes to retire whether by design or not, affecting each of us in different ways.
I would like to invite women who have retired or about to retire to join me in a day seminar to share the experiences, challenges and triumphs that I have encountered since retiring, helping you to look forward and not back, to a happy, healthy, fulfilling and financially secure retirement.
© Copyright 2016 - Roz Crampton
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