South Herts Gas Retired Employees Association
South Herts Gas REA
PROFILE OF A RAMBLER                                                       by MARGARET SCOTT

In 1974, I applied for and was offered the position of Post/Print Room Assistant at Outer Met. I went from the Post Room to Customer Service, moving to South Herts in 1981 as Distribution Admin. Officer.
ĎReinstatementí became a very real part of my life at that point and I learned that the Plant Dept.
had nothing to do with growing orchids and an Ďintelligent pigí did not have the starring role in Babe
the movie. I carried out a number of roles during the period of re-organisation: Admin. Manager,
Scheduling Officer, and Project Manager being a few. During the initial period of redundancy and
early retirement packages, David Owen (my manager at the time) returned to H.R. at Barnet and
until the period of my own early retirement in 1996 I stood in as Customer Manager.

I returned to the nursing/caring profession, working at Feldon Croft and Dunsland House. Wages
hadnít improved much but I loved the work and made friends along the way. I finally retired in
March 2010. It had been impossible to attend the REA social meetings whilst working, but I went
along to the December 2010 meeting and enjoyed meeting up with old friends and colleagues. I
agreed to join the Rambling Club and went along for my first walk in the January. 2011 and was reintroduced to my love of walking and the countryside. I have made many new friends and been reunited with someone who has become very special in my life. This has brought other activities such
as swimming, deep sea fishing, boating, going to the theatre and has renewed my interest in playing
bridge (a card game).

So thank you Maureen, all your ramblers know the work you put into getting our monthly walks and
the choice of pubs just right. I for one really look forward to meeting up with everyone on the walks.

I joined the Gas Board in 1955 at Hemel (Roy Boxall was behind the cash desk). Part of my job as a
junior clerk was as messenger between the office, stores, fitters shop and the works. My initiation
was to get my bike from the top of the coke heap (put there by apprentices). I also had to stand in
for the cost clerk, meter clerk, checking the collectors in at the end of the day and teaching new
progress clerks the job! I was earning £4 a week when I was eventually called up for National Service
in the RAF.

I went back to Progress after the RAF. During the winter of 62/63 we lost all gas to Chesham, water
burst in the roof and we were trying to take hundreds of calls while sweeping water out of the office
with sparks coming out of the switchboard.
One day I put L Plates on our tea-ladyís bicycle, she couldnít understand why everyone smiled as she
rode by. She blamed the storekeeper and tipped a huge teapot full of cold tea over his head which
didnít do his starched white shirt any good at all.

In 1969 came the move to the new office and I went through Conversion at Hemel and Stevenage. I
got to know one old gentleman in Kings Langley well as he made so many phone calls, and even after
Conversion finished he would contact me if he had any forms or letters he didnít understand he
would phone me for advice.

I moved to Industrial in 1974 which wasnít so hectic, but the sums of money and projects were much
bigger. It seemed funny that factory Managers and Directors quite often called me by my Christian
name, quite different from Customer Service.

On the sporting side I played both Cricket and Football for South Herts. In the early days we used to
travel in the appliance delivery van sitting on wooden forms. On one occasion after a few drinks we
were travelling back when the van developed a fault and one chap (who shall remain nameless) got
out his lighter with the intention of checking the fuel tank. Thankfully, he didnít.

Since retirement I have looked after (with my wife Pat) two grandsons, taking them to school and
ending up as the School gardeners. We both like walking especially our very enjoyable rambles
arranged by Maureen for the REA. I enjoy gardening and have an allotment, I intend to get back to
swimming which Iíve had to postpone recently, and enjoy visits to our daughterís bungalow on the
South Coast with trips in their boat.

January 2013
Here goes:-

My name is Terry Hoare I started my working life in the printing industry.I joined North Thames Gas around 1979 as a Conversion Survey Representative. In 1972, I joined Eastern Gas Customer Service at Enfield gas showrooms as JuniorClerk, moving to Tottenham as Customer Service Clerk and subsequently to the centralised Area Office at Barnet, where I became Senior Customer Service Clerk.
In 1976, I moved to Engineering Admin. at Star House, Potters Bar. I stayed there till 1995, when I took voluntary redundancy.

I then took temporary work, till 1998, when I joined the gas billing department of Eastern Electricity at Enfield. In 2000 I transferred Potters Bar as an admin. assistant for (what was to become) EDF Energy Networks, from where I finally retired from paid work in 2007.

Since 1988 I have been a Magistrate in East Herts. I was a member of St Mary's Church Choir, Cheshunt for 42 years, until recently when it disbanded. I am currently a Churchwarden. My wife and I are involved in a lot of committee and social activities at this church.

I have been a member of several dramatic societies, including a group who performed at the old Intimate Theatre in Palmers Green. More recently I was a member of Cuffley Operatic Society.
My wife and I are readers with a local Talking Newspaper for the blind.

I was the Chairman of a local counselling charity for 8 years and a governor for St Mary's High School, Cheshunt for 11 years, for five years as its Chairman.

My other interests are photography and walking. So I was very pleased have a chance encounter with Tony Courtney in Enfield a year or two ago. He recruited me to the REA. Since then, it has been a real pleasure to meet up with old friends at our social meetings and to have an opportunity every month to walk with some of them in or near Hertfordshire. The best bit is the end of the walk, with a good meal,
compulsory alcohol and a friendly chat. Simple pleasures make life worthwhile.

Terry Hoare

My name is Maureen Edwards I joined British Gas in 1975 and worked on Turrets in London Rd, Hemel. This was during Conversion to Natural Gas and management took on more staff to cope with all the cries for help and angry customers when things had gone wrong. I never worked so hard in my life, as one call finished there was another one waiting. Mary Kavanagh was in charge and could see what we were all doing through the glass window and some customers were so rude. Turrets was what would now be called a call centre.

Later I transferred to Customer Service, which I really liked and was there for about 12 years eventually becoming Senior Clerk. When privatization took place we seemed to go through an awful lot of reorganisations and I was eventually reorganized out of the office and put in charge of Meter Dept. I felt so sorry for those girls on metering, I knew nothing about it and had to keep asking them how to do things and they were so nice and so patient.

I was made redundant around 1994 and as I wasnít quite old enough to get my Old Age Pension I went and did a bit of jobbing gardening in and around Bovingdon, which is where I live and that suited me very well. Since that time I have done exactly as I pleased. I am on the Committee of the REA and organize the walks. I love doing that, the walks that is. I raise money for the local Hospice by selling plants once a year , I love to read. I belong to a Patchwork Group that meets once a week. Not the best stitcher but I find that belonging to something makes me achieve something at least. But my passion is my garden, I like growing things, donít mind weeding, am always redesigning it, trying different ideas then changing it the next year.

At the moment outside my window is a cornus ďWinter BeautyĒ which has stems of brown, yellow and red and flecks of snow on the branches. During the summer it is quite insignificant but at this time of year WOW! Am also growing Woad Plants with the intention of making my own blue dye for sewing projects.

All in all I love my life, I love being reired, long may it last.