Anne Morris

Born: 29th October 1942

Dublin, Ireland

Date of interview: 20th July 2006

Map showing where Anne Morris came from

In Reading?

In Reading, yes, in Reading. Quite amusing really, I was very shy, very shy in those days, [laughs] you know, very, very shy, no confidence at all, and I remember this interview. I went in as an office junior. The office isn't there any more, I think it's a burger shop, but I remember my father came with me for the interview, I mean in these days with my children, you know there is no way anybody, young people, their parents or family would go. I remember my father came with me for this interview, it wasn't that I'd said come with me, you know, it was like it seemed the most natural thing to do. And it was this little office in Station Road and the man, the boss there, was a Scotsman and I think he spoke, I think his name was a Mr Grey, and I think my father and him had great chats and I got the job.

I got the job as this office junior and I was paid four pound a week, but after tax I took home three pound fourteen and four pence. But I got the job and my job really was to answer the phone, it was a company that repaired typewriters, which of course they don't do anymore do they.

I remember the first day I had my job in Reading, so at lunchtime I thought I'd just pop out, and I popped out went down towards the lights and then I crossed the road and I was down into Queen Victoria Street and I hadn't a clue where I was. I was totally confused and had to ask somebody, 'Can you please tell me where Station Road is?' and I got back then. That was fine.

Yes, so I worked there for probably about six months and as I say I took home three pound fourteen and four pence, and used to get the bus in from Pangbourne every day. And every week I would go to Martin Fords - which is not in Reading anymore - I would go down to Martin Fords and it was real, we are talking about cheap and cheerful clothes, because obviously I didn't ... I had very limited wardrobe to put it mildly, and I would go into Martin Fords and spend all my wages on absolute rags really, I shouldn't really say that but, you know cheap stuff, and I would go home with them having spent all my wages. And my father, he was a gem, 'and why wouldn't you,' he said, 'and why wouldn't you,' he would never tell me off, and for the rest of the week he would be giving me bus fare in and out to Reading.

I was there probably for about six or eight months and then I saw a job advertised at the BBC monitoring station up in Caversham. They were looking for a copy typist and I arranged to have an interview there. So I had an interview in the afternoon and this lovely lady, a Miss George, I think her name might have been Hilda, anyway Miss George her surname was, she interviewed me for the job. And she was from Ireland, I think she was from Northern Ireland, but she was the loveliest woman out. Now my typing was very ... I'd done a little typing at school but it wasn't a priority, so I thought there's no hope I'd get the job, but I got the job. Now the only reason I think I got the job was because this woman that interviewed me probably felt quite sorry for me and I was so quiet and shy.

But I was there for ... how long was I there for ... I don't know, maybe a year or something. And I think meanwhile I had applied to work, I had always wanted to work in a bank, I don't know why, I just like counting money I think, and I had actually applied to the bank and I had a letter come through to say, that was it I had to go for an interview, and the interview was in London and this was the Nat West bank at the time. And I had to go up to the head office for this interview, and went up on the train and had an interview, and then they said to me they'd put me on the waiting list. Now this would be unheard of now now-a-days as they have a job to get staff now-a-days. So I was on this waiting list and I had a letter - while I was at the BBC - I had a letter saying there was a vacancy in Wallingford in the Nat West - the Westminster Bank it was called - in Wallingford. So I left the BBC and went to work in Wallingford. I was actually there for four years in Wallingford and then my parents had moved from Whitchurch into Caversham in Reading, and I thought it would be much easier and less expensive if I could get a job in the bank in Reading, so I applied for a transfer to Reading and worked in the Market Place.

And then during that time I met my future husband, and we got married in 1965 in St Anne's Church in Caversham, and then we lived in Tilehurst. I carried on working in Reading for about six months or eight months after I was married, and then I became pregnant with my first child. So yes, that was I suppose my early working life stories and I went on and had four children and what else ... I didn't work then for a long time. I went back to work in 1978.