Superintendent’s beady eye kept typists in check

161211 REMEMBER WHEN REP: CO''CAPTION: l-r: Back Row'Jill Coombes, Mo Ash, Georgina Young, Maureen Bailey'l-r: Front Row'Wendy Stacey, Lesley Hill, Carol Harding.''The women from the Naval Stores Offices' typing pool at their Christmas reunion last weekend
161211 REMEMBER WHEN REP: CO''CAPTION: l-r: Back Row'Jill Coombes, Mo Ash, Georgina Young, Maureen Bailey'l-r: Front Row'Wendy Stacey, Lesley Hill, Carol Harding.''The women from the Naval Stores Offices' typing pool at their Christmas reunion last weekend

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You could almost hear the clatter of keys above the chatter as this pool of Portsmouth typists gathered for a Christmas reunion.

They worked together in the 1960s in the Naval Stores Offices in Portsmouth Dockyard – first in No 11 Store overlooking HMS Victory, then in No 6 Boathouse near Main Gate.

161211 REMEMBER WHEN REP: CO''CAPTION: Typists reunited - the girls from the typing pool in the Dockyard at their summer reunion

161211 REMEMBER WHEN REP: CO''CAPTION: Typists reunited - the girls from the typing pool in the Dockyard at their summer reunion

Last weekend the girls gathered again for a Christmas meal at Fisher’s Pond, near Colden Common, to catch-up. They also had a reunion in London in the summer.

Carol Harding, of Summerfields, Locks Heath, who supplied these pictures, said: ‘Typing pools aren’t heard of these days. The rubber eraser and manual tabulations are things of the past, although mini skirts, backcombed hair, pale lipstick and lots of mascara are back in fashion.’

Carol said most of her colleagues, like her, were pupils at Kingston Secondary Modern School, Portsmouth, which specialised in shorthand, typing and book-keeping.

She added: ‘We had a superintendent of typists, Miss Britton, who had come through the war. She wore thick stockings and sensible clothes. She kept her beady eye on us.

‘Our 10-minute tea breaks were just that – 10 minutes, as timekeeping was strictly adhered to.

‘We thought Miss Britton was really old but we are now older than she was when she retired at 60. She was very strict but she had a heart of gold.

Among those who made the two reunions this year were: Julia Peters from Leeds; Jeanette Linden from Somerset, Mo Ash, Wendy Stacey and Jill Coombes from Portsmouth, Maureen Bailey from Waterlooville, Georgina Young from Gosport, and Lesley Hill from Southampton.