We just wanted to let you know that much valued and long standing Office Manager Hilda will be retiring this September. Her final day on 30th September will mark the end of more than 12 years with The Channel Partnership and 21 years in credit insurance, as she sets off to embrace retirement with her husband and embarks on
more than one trip of a lifetime!
While it will be a big adjustment for the office to get used to life without Hilda, we’ve had plenty of time since finding out to ensure that her departure will be as hassle-free as possible and will not impact our clients, team or suppliers in any way.
We will however be very sad to see her go and know that it’ll take a very special person to fill the gap that she has left behind.
Starting her career as a telegraphist in the Women’s Royal Air Force, Hilda worked with Morse code, voice radio and other various means of telecommunications. Her working life started in a communications centre, before a chance meeting with her husband (also in the RAF) changed both of their career paths. Hilda left the WRAF and continued to accompany her husband to his various postings around the world and raise a family. During this time she worked in local playgroups and primary schools. Returning to the UK from Cyprus saw Hilda embark on a period of temping to ‘see what I wanted to do’ undertaking a number of short-term roles across industry. She fell into her first credit insurance role via the temping agency, who recommended her for a permanent position at UK Credit in Marlow in 1997.
Hilda comments “Having just returned from Cyprus, I was temping to try and find a role I enjoyed doing – the job with UK Credit was ideally located, with a great, positive and fun team, flexibility for my children and everything I needed at the time. My husband then relocated to his company’s offices near Bristol, and we sold our house in High Wycombe to move down here – via a short stay in our caravan. A commute to Marlow was not feasible, so my boss at UK Credit suggested I get in touch with a local Bristol broker – LDPA (now The Channel Partnership). I was introduced to John and Tom and the rest as they say is history.”
She continues “My lasting memory of the business will be enjoyment working with the team who are here; the core five people (including me) – Tom, John, Steve and Emma G – have been here since the beginning and have created enormous stability in the team. John was the first to retire last year and I’m the second, but there’ll be a bit of a gap before the next one now! The industry has changed so much since I started; clients now have more responsibility for meeting the insurance criteria, and of course there has been a huge technological shift too. When I first started working in credit insurance, each application was sent to the underwriter by fax, with an offer sent by return, before a full decision was then received in the post. Initially, applying for credit limits was my full-time job – it was very time consuming and a manual process and took all day. Now, decisions are done electronically and it is much quicker, which gave me the opportunity to expand the role.”
“What I won’t miss is commuting along the M5 in the morning and evening. Looking back, I’ve achieved everything I wanted to in my career and now I’m very much looking forward retirement. Next year, we have a trip planned for our wedding anniversary, taking in Peru, Ecuador and The Galapagos Islands, plus of course we’ll be touring in our much-used caravan. Plans also include spending time with the dog and grandchildren and I’ll enjoy having the flexibility to do these things and pursue my hobbies any day of the week. Ultimately, my husband has retired and I decided it’s time to join him, but I will miss the team at The Channel