When I worked at Lloyd’s no women were allowed in the Room! It was a real man’s world where language and jokes could get sexist especially from some of the brokers selling their business around “the boxes”. Despite all this, my trainee period of approximately one year saw its high point, with the visit of a woman- Ginger Rogers. The now elderly star had her legs insured at Lloyd’s and certainly brought some silver screen memories to most of the “old boys” in the Room.
On my Box I was well taken care of by Mr. White whose hair was white, which is an advantage as far as remembering his name was concerned. His deputy’s name for example I cannot recall. Then there was Dennis, just a few years older than myself and set on an insurance career and Mr. Preston an old sailor from the war, who called me Pinto and looked after me! I presume my grandfather had a word with Mr. White on his weekly visits on Fridays about my progress. Honest Joe, as my grandfather was known, was a respected, now retired Underwriter, having dedicated his life working within the Corporation.(The red circle shows approximately, where I sat!)
My job consisted on copying information from computer cards to books. This work was done by hand and it was important information when the Underwriter needed to consult the balance of certain ships. The appearance of these cards was an indication that the computer age had been born and that the working methods and the Room itself would soon be obsolete!