Posted on 8th June 2020

Memory Lane – Karen

In this edition of ‘Memory Lane’ we speak to Karen Thompson – PA to the directors here at P&B. Karen has been working at P&B for
38 years! Read on to find out about Karen’s early days here and how things have changed for her over time…

‘We had some aerial photos taken of all the depots and also a photo of the parts department and the office at Brigg in which I was asked to appear and these photos were then put together in a booklet to be given out. It was taken sometime in the 80s. It was certainly a bad hair day!

At school I was quite studious and attentive (according to my school report) and always did my homework, even by candlelight during the Miners Strike in the early 70s when there were frequent power cuts. I managed to obtain 9 ‘O’ Levels (as they were once called), 2 ‘A’ Levels which I did at evening classes and an ONC in Business Studies.

After leaving school in 1975, I did a two-year secretarial course and then joined British Steel as a short-hand typist. There were strikes in 1980 in which I was off work for 13 weeks and then voluntary redundancies were offered in 1982 so it was time for me to leave. My next-door neighbour saw an advert in the Scunthorpe Telegraph for a Private Secretary to the Managing Director at P&B who was then Michael Peacock. I applied and the rest, as they say, is history. 

I still work as personal secretary to Michael Peacock and also to Graham Main.  I have seen many changes over the years in staff, franchises, structure and development of the company and, of course, technology  - starting with a small Smith Corona electric typewriter, then progressing to an electronic typewriter and finally onto computers.

My role has changed over the years from typing credit control letters, to producing yield maps for combines during harvest to nowadays making travel arrangements for staff or customers visiting factories abroad, amongst other things.

I have enjoyed, and still enjoy, being part of the P&B team and have many happy memories so it is difficult to pinpoint