1973 – the three-day week is announced, Princess Anne marries Mark Phillips, Slade are number 1 at Christmas and 16-year-old Sue Joyce joins Buckle & Co Solicitors as a receptionist at their Whittlesey office.
2018 and much has changed – Princess Anne has divorced and remarried, while glam rock is a faded memory. Buckle & Co has become Buckles Solicitors LLP and its Whittlesey office no longer exists, but Sue has remained with the firm and this year celebrates her 45th year as an employee, having performed the role of legal secretary since the mid 1980s.
Sue said: “It’s the one and only job I’ve ever applied for. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Buckles and I’m really glad that I took the route to become a legal secretary.
“I’ve worked in every department during my time here and I’m currently the legal secretary for our international team. The variety of the work is great, and the technological changes make the job interesting too.”
Back in 1973, Sue recalls making the coal fire and working by candlelight through the three-day week. Manual typewriters were still in use and the fax machine was yet to become an office feature.
She added: “Parchment paper was still being used for producing legal documents. There was no room for error – if I made a mistake on the third page of a four-page Will, I had to start again.”
Sue has also seen three changes of office location during her time at Buckles – each one providing a significant upgrade in facilities as the firm has continued to thrive.
Office culture has changed in the last 45 years too.
“Everyone was called ‘sir’ back then” she recalls, “Nowadays, it’s a more relaxed atmosphere and everyone is approachable.”
However, despite all the technological evolution and organisational growth that has taken place, Sue’s reason for staying with the firm have remained constant.
“Buckles always look after their employees. My colleagues have been wonderful to work with throughout my time here and I’ve made some life-long friends. It makes a huge difference.
“It’s also been rewarding to help new staff when they join the firm and to see them flourish.”
And congratulations to Andrew Jackson, a conveyancing executive based at Buckles’ Stamford office, who also celebrates 45 years with the firm in 2018.