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Author Topic: From the Pigeon Loft and beyond  (Read 42479 times)

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Offline kyn

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Re: From the Pigeon Loft and beyond
« Reply #120 on: April 16, 2014, 22:34:25 »
But for now, I will leave this somewhat boring account, and return to other areas of my life.


I was going to post "far from boring" but John38 beat me to it!  Thank you busyglen for taking the time to write these and for including everything.  Nothing has been boring so far!

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Re: From the Pigeon Loft and beyond
« Reply #119 on: April 16, 2014, 21:14:05 »
Busyglen, this is far from boring.

You have a natural talent for writing and really shouldn't neglect it. You have taken a subject that could easily mystify your reader, and made it entertaining as well as informative and easily understandable. Sorry to sound patronising, but it needs saying.

Offline busyglen

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Re: From the Pigeon Loft and beyond
« Reply #118 on: April 16, 2014, 20:29:05 »
I'm afraid that my memory fails me regarding Christmas as we usually had my two brothers that were still at home, and myself with Mum & Dad for Christmas Day, and we sometimes went to relations for Boxing Day.  There wasn't the frantic cooking and organisation that we used to have when we were at the Pigeon Loft.  Mum still made a lovely Christmas meal, plus the usual mince pies, Christmas cake and trifle etc. and we would watch TV.  My memory fails again with what would have been showing at that time, as it obviously didn't leave much impression! After we went back to work, it felt really strange as I hadn't had time off since I started work there.

I soon settled back into the routine, and was learning new things nearly every day.  I thought that the job might be boring, but there was no time to even think, let alone be bored! The New Year festivities came and went and I found myself being geared up towards the end of the Financial Year, and had no idea what that would entail.  As we approached the end of March, Mr G. was busy getting ready for the Annual Office Accounts Audit, so he left me to make sure that all of the Clients accounts were ok without any discrepancies.  It kept me busy as usual, and I began to recognise a lot of the names of clients, which helped sometimes if a member of staff wanted information.  When the end of the financial year approached, all of the Client's ledger cards were checked and marked in pencil with the balances.  All of the balances were then noted and a total taken, which should balance with the Clients Bank a/c at the end of the year.  Mr. G. had to do the same with all of the Office a/c transactions. Eventually, everything was all organised for the Accountants, and we just had to wait for them to check everything and give us the starting balances for the New Year.  In the meantime, I had to check everything daily, but until the balances were given to us by the Auditors, I could only pencil them in for the time being.

A few days later, I arrived at work as usual, and was called into the Boss's office.  He told me not to panic, but said that Mr. G. was in hospital, as he'd had Appendicitis, and would be off work for a couple of weeks or so.   Knowing it was a very busy time, and that this was my first year end, he wanted to know if I thought I would be able to cope alright.  I said that I could only do my best, and I still didn't know exactly what I was going to have to do.  He said that he'd had a word with the Auditors, and that they would liaise with me and explain everything that they wanted, and what I needed to do. My reaction was a deep gulp!  Actually they were very helpful, and they sent someone to help me through it.  Once they had got all they needed, I carried on as normal, but without the proper balances.  A couple of weeks later they came back with the new balances for the Clients and the Office a/cs.  They also gave me the new reconciliation figures, which I hadn't a clue how to apply them.  So.....I found the file of the previous year's figures and looked to see which side they were put (ie. Debit or Credit) after playing around I managed to see which side they we went, and then applied the same principle to the new figures.  Typically, I couldn't get them to balance, so in the end I had to ring the Auditors to ask them for their help.  Once my error was found, everything was sorted and the whole job was done!! I had a headache for days, but I felt quite pleased that although most of it was gobbledegook, I came out of the experience with more knowledge than I went in with!  When I took the final figures in to the Boss, I think he was a bit surprised, that it had all been sorted and everything was up and running. In the end, it was almost a month before Mr. G. came back, and he was relieved to see that everything had been sorted, and he didn't have a load of work and queries to sort out.  Thus, my daily work continued as before until new problems arose, which they always did.  But for now, I will leave this somewhat boring account, and return to other areas of my life.
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Offline busyglen

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Re: From the Pigeon Loft and beyond
« Reply #117 on: April 15, 2014, 15:41:09 »
Although it seemed strange working in an office, I soon settled into the routine, and it wasn't long before I was also doing the banking.  I was quite surprised at that, but to start with there were two of us going together to make sure that everything was ok.  Mostly the money was in cheque form, and only a small amount of cash, so hardly worth being hi-jacked for it.  I was also given the job of keeping the petty cash box up to date and making sure there was always enough cash for Commissioners Fees, should one of the staff need to go to another Solicitor to swear a document. I gradually got to know all the staff, although I was still quite shy in that environment, but on the whole they were all quite friendly.  The months passed by and I began to feel quite settled, although I was still wary of the Boss who had piercing eyes that bore in to you when he asked you a question or was giving orders.  After a while I began to feel that he trusted me, and would not always check whatever he had given me to do. Luckily, it was Mr. G. that usually carried out most of his requests, so I was quite happy about that. 

Gradually the offices were taking on a lot more work, so more staff were employed, and a part-time lady was taken on to help us in Accounts.  We got on ok, but she did like to gossip, and I found it difficult to keep on top of my work.  Mr G. also liked to chat, which made it a bit awkward, as I had my back to him when I was working.  I wasn't confident enough to carry on talking with my back to him, so would have to stop what I was doing and turn round.  Somehow I managed to cope, but often felt under pressure.  Having worked in shops before, the office environment was totally different, but within the year, I had settled down and was getting to grips with all sorts of monetary queries.  One such query completely threw me, and on this occasion Mr. G. wasn't there.  The Boss gave me some figures, and asked me to work out how much the shares were. Errr?? Luckily, there was a trainee Legal Executive next door, so I asked him if he could help me.  He got me to ring the Bank for the Bank Rate, and then proceeded to show me what to do.  It was almost double Dutch to me, but I managed to grasp the gist of it.  I worked it out and got him to check it for me, and he agreed it was ok.  So...I passed it on to the Boss, who looked at me somewhat askance, so I explained that it was the first time I had done anything like that before so had asked for the Legal Exec's help.  I had worked it out, but had got him to check it in case I had gone wrong.  He gave me a bit of a smile, and thanked me.  From then on, he seemed to let me get on with whatever he asked of me. 

Soon it was Christmas, and we were all looking forward to a break.  On the last working day, some of the older women had taken in mince pies and sausage rolls, which we ate in the early afternoon.  Then around 3.0pm, the Boss came in with some cardboard boxes, and proceeded to give us one each.  They contained fruit, nuts, chocolates, mince pies, and a bottle of Sherry. We were all a bit surprised, but it was a great way to start our Christmas break.   Little did I know what the New Year was about to bring me!
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Offline busyglen

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Re: From the Pigeon Loft and beyond
« Reply #116 on: April 14, 2014, 10:42:45 »
It was with some trepidation that I presented myself at 9.0am on a Monday morning in the reception at Winch Greensted & Winch.  I asked to see Mr. G who was expecting me, and he came down to meet me.  He introduced me to the Receptionist, and then took me upstairs to his room which was in the front of the building. The offices were converted from two houses, which had a communicating door from the accounts office to the Solicitors room.  There was a table against the fireplace wall, which was Mr. Gs and the table I would be using was under the window.  There were also several filing cabinets.  We had a chat and I told him that I had never done book-keeping as such, although I had found out a little from trying to help sort out Mr. Lanes.  He told me not to worry, as to start with I would be copying items from the paying in books and cheque books, each day, on to the clients ledger cards which would be placed on large day sheets, which had carbon paper between.   These would be added up and balanced each day. At the end of the week, they would also be checked against the Bank Statements.  I was terrified that I would make a mistake, but he put me at my ease, and said that everyone makes mistakes at some time or another, and they can always be rectified.  He then showed me the previous days' work, and sat beside me to watch what I did, whilst I looked for the clients card which was in a large card holder on the desk which was alphabetically sectioned off.  After a couple of entries, Mr. G said that he had to go and see the Boss, and told me to carry on, and if I got stuck, just wait for him to return.  Surprisingly it seemed fairly straightforward, so I carried on until I got to the end of the day.  I stopped at the payments, as I wasn't sure what to do, but shortly after, he came back.  He said that the Boss had given him a load of figures that needed adding up and checking, so he asked me if I could use a calculator.  I hadn't used one before, but said I would have a try, if he would show me.  After a few trial efforts, I got the gist of it, and said I would have a go.  So, I went through all the pages and added them up, checking each one as I went.  I made a couple of mistakes, but was able to correct them and when they were done, Mr. G. went over them again to make sure I hadn't missed something.  It took quite a while, and before I realised, it was lunch time.  The office was shut for an hour, so I was able to go home and have my lunch.  My mother and father were interested to hear what it was like.  I told them I'd met a few of the staff who had popped in to check a balance on a card etc. and they appeared to be very nice.  I hadn't as yet met the Boss!

When I got back, I went upstairs, but found I could not get in as the door was locked, so I spoke to the girl who was in the room next door.  She was a secretary to one of the conveyancing clerks, and gave me a quick run-down of who was who. When Mr. G got back he said that he would have to get me a key cut so that I wouldn't have to wait if he was late.  I was a bit surprised as I had only just started work that day.  I guessed that he said it just to make me feel comfortable, so I just said thank-you and that I didn't mind waiting.  Later in the afternoon, the Boss came in from the adjoining door, to speak to Mr. G. and I was introduced to him.  He was quite pleasant and said that he hoped I would soon get used to the work, and that it was important to get it right, as we were governed by a body that checked everything we did regarding the money was correct.  If anything went wrong, then he would not be able to practice. I told him that I would do my best to make sure that everything was correct within my capabilities, and would ensure that Mr. G. checked my work to make sure that I hadn't made any errors that would cause concern. He smiled and said "Thank-you" and left the room.  Mr. G. said that he was ok, but he had quite a temper if things went wrong.  He didn't like waiting for anything, so he always tried to second guess what was coming, so that it would take the wind out of his sails.  That didn't actually cheer me up....I began to wonder what I had let myself in for! Oh well, tomorrow would be another day and I decided to give myself a month (if I hadn't got the sack before that) to see if I felt that it was going to be a job I would enjoy.
A smile is a curve that straightens things out.

Offline busyglen

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Re: From the Pigeon Loft and beyond
« Reply #115 on: April 13, 2014, 11:31:25 »
Glad that has helped PC (thanks to Kyn)  :)

I'm always happy to answer any questions if I can.  :)
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Offline peterchall

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Re: From the Pigeon Loft and beyond
« Reply #114 on: April 13, 2014, 11:28:46 »
Busyglen, Kynís map has helped me too. When you wrote that your father became Head Groundsman of the RN Sports Ground I thought it must be near the Gun Wharf, where I lived in 1938, and tried to imagine places along Garrison Road - not knowing where New Road was - thinking that I should have remembered it.

Mystery solved :)

Keep the posts coming
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Offline busyglen

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Re: From the Pigeon Loft and beyond
« Reply #113 on: April 13, 2014, 11:10:16 »
Thank you Kyn...that is much easier to understand!  I didn't realise the scale so couldn't get it into perspective.  :)

It is interesting to see what buildings were there in 1940, and also the expanse of the fields before the road to the bridge was built. Thanks again.  :)
A smile is a curve that straightens things out.

Offline kyn

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Re: From the Pigeon Loft and beyond
« Reply #112 on: April 12, 2014, 16:44:44 »
I think we all go through life doing what we think is right, and then look back and realise the strength we had and achievements we have gained. 

Does this picture help place it?

Offline busyglen

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Re: From the Pigeon Loft and beyond
« Reply #111 on: April 12, 2014, 16:23:36 »
Thank you for your kind words Kyn.  :)  I have been a bit surprised by the reactions of people reading this, as to me at the time, it was the normal thing to do.  I had no one else to guide me on what needed doing, or even a role model, so I just got stuck in and used my common sense.  I think that if I hadn't had a natural inbuilt way of trying to solve a problem, I would have just thrown my hand in and waited for someone to sort the mess out.  I think I get this from my mother, and if any of you have read my mother's story, you will find similarities in the way that she coped when she encountered problems.

It is only now, from the comments made, that I realise that I sound a bit as if I am seeking approval for things that I have achieved in the past.  That was never further from my mind, as the writing has come automatically without me even giving the format or plot any thought.  All that being said, I really appreciate everyones  comments, as it shows that so far it has been readable!  :)

Thank you for the photo Kyn.  As it is 1940, it is about a year before we moved there, but I am having a bit of difficulty placing the buildings.  The `Y' of the train lines seems to be too far towards Westminster, and yet the buildings seem to show the line of the building more or less correctly.  I think the roadway that lead to the RAB must have been laid down after the War, but I was only a child so probably don't remember it.  The buildings do seem to be right though.  Thanks.
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Offline kyn

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Re: From the Pigeon Loft and beyond
« Reply #110 on: April 11, 2014, 22:48:27 »
 :)  I have just read through your posts and caught up, Wow!  You certainly didn't get an easy run of it, but coped fantastically.   Many people would have given up and moved on, but instead you took it upon yourself to make things work.  More importantly, you did it with someone else in mind, not many people like that out there anymore!

I found this image that I thought you may like, I am hoping I caught it right :)

Offline busyglen

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Re: From the Pigeon Loft and beyond
« Reply #109 on: April 09, 2014, 11:42:05 »
My goodness, you should have won a medal for those efforts ... no wonder they snapped you up at the accountants.

You deserve a round of applause!

That's very kind of you, but at the time it seemed like the normal thing to do.  There was no one else, and I felt sorry for Mrs. Lane who was struggling, first with the fact that her husband was ill, and then his death. Having to cope with the business as well, especially at her age, seemed insurmountable.  Plus....I don't like being beaten and will have a go at most things.  My next job at the Solicitors will show you how I coped when the man who was head of accounts was taken ill, and I hadn't a clue what to do!!  :)
A smile is a curve that straightens things out.

John38

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Re: From the Pigeon Loft and beyond
« Reply #108 on: April 08, 2014, 22:07:31 »
My goodness, you should have won a medal for those efforts ... no wonder they snapped you up at the accountants.

You deserve a round of applause!

Offline Lyn L

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Re: From the Pigeon Loft and beyond
« Reply #107 on: April 08, 2014, 21:42:02 »
And me  :)
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Offline peterchall

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Re: From the Pigeon Loft and beyond
« Reply #106 on: April 08, 2014, 19:22:34 »
Looking forward to reading about it :)
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful

 

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