The ‘three day week’ was introduced to save electricity. We shivered in our offices, wore our overcoats and worked by the light of hurricane lamps. Public Sector workers went on strike and we had rubbish mountains in the streets. The dead went unburied in Liverpool. Unemployment was high and Margaret Thatcher came to power on the slogan of “Labour isn’t Working”. British Leyland was nationalised. In 1973, the salary for an office junior was £600 – £750 p.a. The Sex Discrimination Act and Equal Pay Act were passed to improve the status of women in society.
“To do this job you have to have a love of the land. It is not just going in to work in the morning and clocking out at night.” – Ernst Janssen, of Bunkers Farm Cottages, Bunkers Lane, after many years in farming, was presented with a long-service award by the President of the Hertfordshire Agricultural Society, the Hon. Sir Maurice Lyell, in 1973.
A group of Lucas Aerospace workers took part in a ‘preparation for retirement’ course, which discussed finance, health, leisure and relationships. Pictured are Albert Dunn, Fred Broadbent, John Atkins, Jack Ramsay, Percy Serby, Bill Lauk, Charlie Wilding and Dave Baldock.
In 1970 telephone calls were still “routed” manually. The old telephone exchange in Lamsey Road, Hemel Hempstead received a boost in the form of a £356,000 investment and
the provision of a modern exchange nearby. Additional work from Luton was handled in the new ‘state of the art’ exchange.
About 400 Hemel Hempstead workers marched through the town centre as part of the May Day national protest against the government’s wages and prices policy. Hundreds more took the day off but did not join in the rally. Reports from industries in the town about the effects of the one day stoppage varied widely. Some closed down altogether, others struggled on at half strength and a few were working normally
Gazette June 8th 1973. “They bring your news. ”As a reward for their hard work and reliability, newspaper delivery boys and girls employed by a Tring newsagent were taken on an all expenses paid trip to the seaside. A total of 40 youngsters who worked in Goddard’s newsagents went on the days outing to Bognor Regis.
A new one and a quarter million pound computer was installed at Hempstead House for ShellMex and BP Ltd. Housed in a room measuring 3,700 square feet, it was used to process sales accounts, management information and payrolls.