Non-motoring > Old people reminiscing - holidays Miscellaneous
Thread Author: smokie Replies: 14

 Old people reminiscing - holidays - smokie
SWMBO are in Portugal atm and were chatting about how holidays and related stuff has changed since we started work in the mid 1970s.

We talked about the cost and impracticality of phoning home from abroad, and also that phoning abroad from home (either often or always?) involved booking a call with BT.

Also that most went with travel agents on packages, flying was much more of an adventure than it is now, in 1970ish I went on a school ski trip and was only allowed by law to take £15 in currency, which was noted on my passport, other money was travellers cheques (with the inconvenience of obtaining and cashing them) etc etc

We couldn't agree on one thing, which was how much paid leave we had in our first job - she worked for one of the Big 5 banks and I was at the Coal Board. She thinks she got two weeks but I think I was on 4. Can anyone remember what they were on at about that time?

What we also remembered was we couldn't have odd days off to do this or that, but most things seemed to require attendance in person (we talked about signing mortgage docs, household repairs, dentist and doc visits etc etc) so we're not sure how we coped with that. Andin passing that no-one phoned their wife during the day - in fact I didn't have an external dial phone on my desk till some years later, and even then you weren't allowed to use it for personal calls, so I wonder how we ever arranged anything (especially as shops weren't open on Sundays too!)

Anyway - if anyone can remember how many days leave they got it'd be handy!!

btw I remember I was recruited as a clerical officer (with A levels) at 18 on £26.35p a week -good money in those days!!
 Old people reminiscing - holidays - CGNorwich
Three weeks for salaried job, banks,insurance, civil service etc. Most manual, factory workers, shop assistants etc got two weeks.
 Old people reminiscing - holidays - Robin O'Reliant
Two weeks when I was an engineering apprentice in 1968, it went up to three in 1970 I think. New Years Day was a normal working day (Though hardly anyone turned up) till about '74 and the Christmas break was just the bare two days. No May Day bank holiday back then either and only salaried staff got sick pay.
 Old people reminiscing - holidays - Zero
21 days in the IT industry - 1973. Started on £1800 a year. And LV!
Last edited by: Zero on Wed 16 Mar 22 at 22:01
 Old people reminiscing - holidays - PeterS
I started work in 1992 and got 5 weeks holiday, plus bank holidays. My dad reckons it was 4 when he started, but he’s mid 70s now so his memory might not be what it was ;) We had desk phones with direct dial and external calls, but I rarely used it for personal calls. We had email, which I did use for more personal stuff, relatively, than I would now. I got my first mobile in ‘93 or ‘94, but even in ‘96 Andy still had a pager and I’d leave messages for him via that.

I’ve banked with the Midland since the days of my griffin saver account (complete with free sports bag), which I’d guess was mid 80s? I opened a First Direct account when I started work, so the need to visit a branch was already reduced. But I’m pretty sure a branch, which must have been HSBC, visit was needed to sign paperwork for a mortgage. But I didn’t buy a house until 1994, and it’s possible that the mortgage was actually with HSBC - I don’t remember if First Direct offered them back then? In any event, I switched my banking back to HSBC when we moved to Japan in 2001, as they could open a Yen account for me and First Direct couldn’t. I had my HSBC branch managers phone number, back in the days when they could actually make decisions, but I think the last time I actually spoke to him would have been early 2000s, and while the branch is still there and I still have the same account number and sort code, I bet it doesn’t have a manger any more! Because we lived abroad he’d arranged for a telephone and fax(!!) indemnity so that anything could be carried out remotely. There was no online banking then though - I don’t think I started using that until early 200s?

Online shopping wise, Waitrose launched an office based online shopping scheme in 1998 called Waitrose at work, where you ordered from your desk and collected at the office car park. The place I worked was one of the first sites - though it wasn’t ICL!!

Holidays, as a grown up, were booked over the phone or in a travel agent until the late ‘90s. Then on-site travel agencies (work) would also do personal bookings, but it moved very quickly on-line from there. I remember booking flights to Lisbon in 1997 on, and checking in online for pretty much every ba flight from 2000ish. Complex itineraries were still best booked in a travel agent for a while longer though - the last time we used one was Kuoni for a trip to Malaysia (KL then LGK), Singapore and Thailand (BKK and HKT) in 2007

That’s my memory lane brain dump for now :)
 Old people reminiscing - holidays - smokie
Ah yes Z, luncheon vouchers,. SWMBO used to get them for a while and would save them towards our weekly grocery shop.

Talking of which, PeterS, remembering the start of online shopping - I'm fairly sure I remember some of the first large supermarkets... I can certainly remember much smaller places and small grocery stores when I was much younger (early 60s I guess). I don't think my parents went anywhere at the time to do a big shop, it was pretty much all in a local parade of shops local and much of it done daily. Nothing in the parade open on Sunday except the off licence (lunchtime only) AFAIR.

Which reminded me of Green Shield stamps, and Zero may well remember the Army and Navy surplus store at Manor Park Broadway which gave quintuple stamps for a period. I got a Levi cord jacket there. Used to get reams of the things.

So after licking the stamps and sticking them in, I'd be tasked with counting my dad's Embassy vouchers. He must have smoked a lot back then!! That was done sitting round in the kitchen where the coke boiler was, for which the coalman delivered huge sacks of coke (also coal for the other fire) over his shoulder and poured them directly down a coal-hole in the sideway directly into the cellar. We'd shovel the coal to one side before the coke was put in.

Didn't mean to drift off topic really, thanks for the answers about holiday. SWMBO now thinks she got 3 weeks and I'm pretty sure I got 4. Conditions were pretty good for office staff at the Coal Board, on the backs of the miners of course!! (Who remembers threshold payments? And once got 24% pay rise in a year, just for inflation - no job change!!!)
 Old people reminiscing - holidays - CGNorwich
I remember where I put my glasses.
 Old people reminiscing - holidays - tyrednemotional
...nostalgia's not what it used to be...
 Old people reminiscing - holidays - DeeW
1971, Printing House Square, EC1. £10 plus LV per week until the following April when the Union decided we should be paid same as males, so went up to £14 a week. Sadly, no back pay! Two weeks holiday for the first year and we had no control over dates.
I got a severe ticking off after the Christmas week. I went to visit my family on Inch Kenneth, an island off Mull. The ferry was cancelled due to weather and I got back a day or two late. Fortunately they were able to check facts!
Last edited by: DeeW on Thu 17 Mar 22 at 10:57
 Old people reminiscing - holidays - smokie
SWMBO asked the same question on a forum she's on and some people said that female staff got a day off for Christmas shipping, which she thinks she remembers.
 Old people reminiscing - holidays - Bromptonaut
>> SWMBO asked the same question on a forum she's on and some people said that
>> female staff got a day off for Christmas shipping, which she thinks she remembers.

There was such an perk, wholly unofficial, at least in London offices of the Civil Service until the early noughties. The boss in the Quango stopped it around 2002 on the basis that that was what flexi time was meant for.

People were still grumbling around my last Christmas in the service 10 years later...
 Old people reminiscing - holidays - Bromptonaut
>> 1971, Printing House Square, EC1.

Does New Printing House Square still exist?

Used to go past it between Kings Cross and my (various over time) workplaces in 'legal London'.

I started work in 1978 at the County Court in Scunthorpe. Cannot remember my salary but less than £200/month take home sticks in my memory. Lodgings were less than £20/week including evening meal. New starters got 20 days (4 weeks) leave plus Bank Holidays. It was first come first served for dates as only one of three Executive Officers were allowed leave at any one time.

All officers senior to EO were addressed as Mister. The Chief Clerk (HEO) would have had a hissy fit if I'd called him Bill!.

After six months I was reposted to London where the combination of London weighting and some shortening of pay scales - removal of age related increments - put me on close to £5k/pa.

Leave still 20 days gradually increasing to 22 then 25 with 30 after about 15 years.

I think LV's were a 'perk' for those under 21 along with assisted passage home on 2 or 3 occasions a year. However the mechanism for obtaining them in a small office was not well known and it was made clear that pushing the issue was not going to help my career.

First holiday of my own booking was a YHA 18-30 package booked through their travel agency just off The Strand. Still used travel agents a lot to book ferries, planes or French Motorail until the late nineties. Self Catering in the Hebrides was via Mackay's Agency or the tourist office in Stornoway/Tarbert.

Payments by cheque.
 Old people reminiscing - holidays - sherlock47
My most memorable event of the first day employment in 1969, (as opposed to various temporary jobs), was the issue of my personal bar of soap and I think a ruler? This was administered by the divisional EO, a fearsome woman who you did not upset, as she was in charge of all things 'admin', from holidays, sick leave and the signing of the OSA.

Starting pay as a graduate AEE (the engineering equal of an EO, but better paid), was £1200 in central London, and holiday 22 days (I think).However inflation was on the verge of becoming rampant in the early 70s and I remember pay increases were almost a monthly event!
 Old people reminiscing - holidays - Clk Sec

Oh dear, old bean!

 Old people reminiscing - holidays - commerdriver
Different kind of engineering, joined big blue in Newcastle as a new graduate trainee Systems Engineer in September 1977. Initial salary, £3100 per year, monthly paid on 6th of each month. Went up to 3410 per year the following month as part of a company wide 10% productivity bonus, (the only kind of pay rise allowed by the Labour government at the time).
Holiday started at 20 days plus bank Holidays per year.
While I can't really complain about personnel policies since then, the overall direction got less generous from then on, as Z once said, it really went downhill from the time Personnel changed to Human Resources.

I stayed for 42 years so it can't have been all bad.
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