A FRAMPTON Cotterell secretary who began working for a doctor’s surgery the same year as England won the World Cup is retiring after a lengthy career.

Loraine Hatherell started work at the former Witney Mead Surgery, on Rectory Road, in 1966.

Fresh from finishing school at what was then The Ridings High School (now Winterbourne International Academy) and aged just 15, Mrs Hatherell started her 46-year career at the practice as a receptionist using an old typewriter and a wooden switchboard.

She was a familiar sight cycling to and from work, which was based at founding partner Dr Donald Brown’s home, before seeing the growing surgery move to purpose-built facilities, now known as Frome Valley Medical Centre, on Court Road in 2000.

"I have seen a lot of changes," said Mrs Hatherell, 61. "When I first started work it was in a tiny office and you could never ignore the phone because the buzzer was so loud on the switchboard.

"There were about eight staff at the Witney Mead surgery but now we have 45."

The local population has increased and the surgery has seen its patient list grow from 5,000 to 14,150 since Mrs Hatherell started work.

"I have enjoyed everything about working here," she said. "I used to like meeting the public on reception and then became a secretary 20 years ago.

"I have seen a lot of people come and go but I have made lots of friends, it is a wonderful team here. I will really miss the people.

"But I am looking forward to spending more time with my family and enjoying my hobbies."

Practice manager Pam Harwood said Mrs Hatherell’s contribution to the surgery had been immeasurable.

"She is such a lovely lady who would do anything for anyone and she will be sorely missed," she said. "Loraine has seen more changes than anyone, including when we switched to a computerised system in 1990, but she remembers so much herself she is like a computer.

"She has trained new staff and knitted hundreds of jumpers for children in Romania for a church charity we supported."