May 19 2013 Latest news:
Lee-Ann Richards, Reporter
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
A sprightly 76-year-old is celebrating 60 years of working for the same company and has still not even thought of retiring.
Brenda Mudge has worked for Moss and Coleman Solicitors in High Street, Hornchurch since February 1953.
She said: “I have no thoughts of retiring.
“My family are all grown up and I still enjoy working and meeting people.”
The grandmother of four joined the company as a secretary when she was just 17.
She said: “I saw the job advertised and I remember thinking it was perfect for me because I had worked for a year at a firm in the city and I wasn’t happy.
“I wanted to work locally and I remember thinking that everyone was really nice.”
In 1959 Brenda got married, but she didn’t see any reason why she should give up her job.
Not even the birth of her daughter in 1963 could keep her away from the company.
She said: “I worked from home for them so people would drop things off to me and I would come in to relieve people if they were sick or on holiday.
“I never wanted to leave, it never even crossed my mind.
“It is like one big family and it has always been a nice place to work.”
When the firm relocated to its current premises in High Street, Hornchurch in 1970, Brenda jumped at the chance to come back in the office.
She said: “I wanted to be based again in the office.
“It was only part time but I liked working with people.”
When her husband died unexpectedly in 1978, Brenda had to return to work full time and the company were there.
“It was something that I had to do, I lost my husband and I needed the money because I had two daughters that I needed to provide for.
“It was good that I didn’t have to look for a new job and I knew everyone.”
Brenda has worked with four partners at the firm and countless solicitors.
She said: “When I first started, there were only six of us.
“It was two solicitors, three secretaries, a cashier and that was it, now there are over 20 people.”
She added: “I have always worked as a secretary, but my job has changed over the years.
“I used to do probate, personal injury claims and now I look after the deeds and wills.”
Brenda celebrated her anniversary with a surprise meal at the Cranleigh Restaurant in Station Lane, Hornchurch.
She said: “It is a really nice place to work.
“We have people that have been here for 30 years and the reason is because there are lots of nice people.”