Anna at the BBC
Eventually, this whole front section was given over to Minis (only on this side of the gates) as they were the only cars that would fit - I would love to find an image of a full row of them. We actually parked in reverse to this picture - but this is image (taken from the official handbook) is well before the Minis took over - a chicken wire fence was erected to make a boundary from the pavement and the minis backed into or drove bonnet first into the chicken wire leaving a narrow space to manoeuvre against the wall. To reach the space it was a requirement that we drove through the gates, around and out - we were not permitted to access the parking area from the road direct - the Commissionaires held the last word and many a time I ended up having to park in White City!
So ok here I am - it's 1973, I'm 21 and therefore an adult, my education is completed as far as I want it to be at this stage and the world is at my feet. The worlds is also my oyster - I know what I want to do and where to do it, I was prepared to make decisions for myself and 'seize the day.' No 'gap' year for us in those days - in my case I really didn't need one. I was well-travelled, fluent into two global languages and had a third tucked away in my CV too! I'd had a wealth of work and life experience already. As soon as my 'O' levels had been completed I started to work in all my school and college holidays to earn enough money to have a decent holiday somewhere abroad. Eventually I had become so popular with clients of the Temping Agency that I found myself in demand to cover at Christmas and Easter breaks as well as in the Summer. I'd worked in every conceivable and diverse industry that Nottinghamshire could offer. I'd seen it all from the coal mining industry to finance institutions, solicitors to the police, Boots and John Player and a fabulous paper producing outfit by the name of Wiggins Teape who sent me off after I had completed a few weeks there with enough paper and stationery to last me for several years!
But back to the pivotal time - I went to see my agency mentor Yvonne and told her that I was available to work and wasn't too fussed about what to do as I was looking around for something to suit my professional qualifications. I already had a foothold at the Nottingham Playhouse as I was and had been their Saturday Stage Door Keeper for several years now. Coincidentally, many of the actors I got to know well whilst working on Stage Door would cross my path again when I moved to London and a goodly amount of them recognised me - wasn't that nice?
Anyway, the previous summer I had spent a very long time, in fact the full 8 weeks I could offer in work time at Newark Police Station, they had intimated that they would be glad to see me again, so I mentioned to Yvonne that I was still mobile enough to go anywhere and if Newark wanted me - they could have me. She smiled and was about to explain that she would decide where to send me when the phone rang as I was sitting there and I could hear her taking down details of the work request and my heart sank as I heard the words PMBX operator - I hated those little switchboards! Yvonne also said into the phone - yes, I have someone here now who can be with you in half an hour. The call was from the BBC situated at Willson House on Derby Road, next to the Cathedral which was a 10 minute walk from the City Centre where I was sitting right then.
The decision had been made for me - I was to start work at the BBC News Office immediately.
Page refreshed : 19th October 2016