Joan Riley on how she came to be employed at Granada

There was an advert in the Evening News for a fast typist for the Granada Newsroom. I applied and was asked to go for an interview; a typing test. This was 1960. At that time the main building hadn’t been finished, so all the offices were opposite Granada in Quay Street in an old warehouse. Mrs Dixon was the typing pool supervisor and she sat me down, gave me a piece of paper and said, “Type it out and if you finish before I come in, type it again.” So I typed it and typed it again. So she said “We’ll be in touch” and that was it.

A letter came, ‘Interview with David Plowright’. He was in transit then from being News Editor to Producer but was still tying up the ends as a News Editor. He had a brand new office, which was in a portakabin in the car park. I knocked on the door and went in. He was in his shirt sleeves slumped in the chair with his feet on the table. He said “Sit down” so I sat down. He just looked at me and said, “What do you think of four letter words?” I was surprised and I just said, “I don’t mind as long as they’re not directed at me personally.” “Well the girl who had the job before you she objected most strongly.” So I said “I don’t mind.”

That was it, that was the interview. I never heard from them and I knew I was due to start on the 30th May if I got the job. So I phoned up on the Thursday before the 30th May to speak to personnel and I said, “Is there any chance you can you let me know if I’ve got the job as copy taker.” She said “You start on Monday at 2pm, didn’t you get the letter?” I said “No”. “Oh just a minute, it’s here, it’s not been posted.” I had a bit of a problem because I was supposed to give two weeks notice at my other job. So I confided in the accountant Mr Jacobs, I called ‘Jack-Obs’ for the whole time I was there. Mr Jacobs said “oh it’s alright, I sent a reference for you weeks ago and it was a good reference so I thought you’d get the job. I expected you to leave tomorrow.” He showed me the reference and it was very good.

That really set the seal because I thought ‘Granada is not like the formal offices I’ve been used to’. Of course it was fine and turned out to be very exciting and much better in some ways than I ever expected.


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