The internet was science fiction and email was still years away when mother-of-four Debbie Short began her all-encompassing role at Seagry Primary School in 1988.
With some wonderful memories and no little sorrow Mrs Short, 65, retired yesterday after 26 years as administrator, accountant, one-time first aid officer, pianist and general all-rounder.
“It was really different when I first started,” recalled Mrs Short, who has seven grandchildren and whose husband, Maurice, is semi-retired.
“We used manual typewriters in those days, and then went onto electric typewriters. It was a while before we got computers.”
Mrs Short, whose official role when she finally stepped down this week was financial administrator, said: “All the bills we used to receive I sent off with a little green form to County Hall.
“Then they gave us a cheque book and we started doing it ourselves. It became a whole new ball-game then.”
Manning the admin office, Mrs Short has been a familiar face as the first port of call for school visitors. And whenever there’s been an unexpected drama – like on one memorable occasion, the discovery of a hornet’s nest – Mrs Short was on hand to see that it was quickly fixed.
For years she was the school’s first aid officer dealing with everything from bee stings and cuts and bruises to broken arms.
“I shall miss it all terribly – especially the children. But it’s best that I go before I start getting too old and wrinkly and start making bad mistakes,” she said.
She will, however, be back to play piano – the school doesn’t have another pianist at the moment – every week for Wednesday’s worship through songs assembly.