Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The Generous Leaving Present from My Mum's Employers

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

The Generous Leaving Present from My Mum's Employers

Article excerpt

MANY years ago there was a certain courtesy extended by employers to their staff, which has all but disappeared these days.

For example, a letter sent by Thomas Dormand Stewart to Edna Trattles when she had to leave the company because she was getting married - as was the custom in those days.

Edna passed away earlier this year and her daughter Lynne Sanderson has sent a copy of the letter which her mother received in March 1948 and treasured all her life.

Lynne writes: I am still slightly sorrowful, as my mam has passed away recently and I have been reminiscing about her past. One thing we always talked about was submitting some of her photos for inclusion in Remember When, but one of those things we never got around to. My mam, Edna Trattles, born in 1926 in Linthorpe, started working at the Dormand Stewarts shop at the age of 14 in 1940. She worked there for eight years and only left when she married my late dad, George Sanderson. She was immensely proud of the letter she received from Dormand Stewarts and I have to say I am, too. Each time I read this letter I smile at the implication that you have to give up work because you are marrying. How times have changed!

Over the years, mam has given many accounts of what she did. One of her memories, and I am not certain if I am imagining it, but during the war years the "girls" were taken by bus over to somewhere near Ilkley in Yorkshire, to assist in the sewing of pieces of silk for parachutes. They also made wallets for soldiers' pay-books, ID cards and such like out of off-cuts and they made up gas mask bags.

She was an excellent sewing machinist, a skill which, stayed with her for her whole life, with friends and family calling upon her for alterations and dance outfits.' The letter to Edna from Thomas Dormand Stewart reads: "Dear Edna, "To give eight years service to any firm and know that during the whole time they never had reason to complain, but have felt nothing but the appreciation of the service you have given, must be some measure of pleasure to any girl entitled to such commendation. "I have had many hundreds of employees through my hands in my lifetime, but I have never had one like you, Edna. …

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