Sandra Pember

Sandra Pember
Sandra Pember

Today I’m sharing an interview with my mum. I know, I know mums can be SOOOOO embarassing, take me for example, making comedy comments on all my eldest daughter Holly’s instagram photos and charming her male friends on Twitter. Evil – but fun. Mums are embarrassing at times, I like to look at it as a ‘perk of the job’, but as we all know they are much more than that. So why this chat with my mum on my blog? Because International Women’s Day is next weekend, Saturday 8th March and there’s an Inspiring Women blogging prompt running to encourage people to celebrate an woman who has inspired them, sharing why and in turn inspiring other women. A truly lovely thing.

One of the ways my mum inspired me whilst growing up was how she managed to find a niche, a little business to run from home that she could manage whilst at the same time looking after my brother and I. And it just goes to show how people that inspire you can shape your own life – as now I find myself doing something very similar, working from home, fitting it in around the children. My mum set up a business repairing clocks and a little factoid from my childhood is that I grew up in a house with over 300 clocks on. Friends would visit and ask ‘doesn’t it drive you made all that ticking?’ but honestly I didn’t notice it, white noise to me I guess.

Here she talks about setting up a business back in the late 70s, early 80s:

When and why did you first think about working from home?
I first started thinking about clock repairs when you were after you were born and dad and I had been given an old wall clock when we’d got married by an old gent your dad looked after . It wasn’t in working condition, but we had it on the wall in our dining room . It used to annoy me as it didn’t work, so I took it into Baker’s Jewellery shop in Southgate Street to ask the cost of mending it . This was 1975, and I was shocked to hear it would cost £80 to get it into working order,which we couldn’t afford. So, I went to Gloucester museum and library and took out all relevant books on clock repairs and started from there . I took a lot of trial and error, but, eventually I got the hang of it and the old wall clock started to work! Friends and family used to ask me to ‘look at their clocks’ and it started to snowball from there on.

How was working from home with two small children?
With you small it made sense to work from home, especially when John came along . I used to do the repairs in the evenings when you were in bed.

What challenges did you face?
A woman getting into what was always assumed to be a ‘man’s’ job wasn’t easy in some respects . However, I chose to restrict my repairs to antique/vintage clocks of all sizes with pendulums . I was always a practical person and had having had a stammer since I was a child did restrict my employment opportunities , so to work for myself, in a ‘man’s world’ was great !

What were the best things about working from home?
It suited the family for me to work from home both financially and time-wise .

I would always collect and deliver any repair work as the handling of pendulum operated clocks is of extreme importance . It was on a visit to a ”customer’s ” house that I met a journalist from the local paper and she asked if she could do an article on me ……. one of many as it happens and when the clocks changed each year the paper’s photographer would come around and I’d ”pose” with some of my clocks . On a couple of occasions you and John were in articles too . As the years went by a tv crew came too and the last time dad was interviewed as well, ironically, just before he passed away very suddenly .

If you could turn back time and do it all again, what would you change?
I’d do it all again . I’ve met hundreds of lovely people in my job, and done work for the councils and museums in Gloucester over the years . It was good because I enjoyed what I was doing, as an extension to a hobby . Yes, you kids wouldn’t always like it when we went out and about and stopped at every antique/junk shop we came across ! t was enjoyable and challenging , and even though I’ve now retired , I’m still getting old customers or enquiries from those who have heard about me asking about who they can take their beloved ”mothers/fathers / granny/grampy’s ” clock to get repaired as ”not many people can do them these days what with quartz battery clocks !

And that’s the woman who inspires me – who inspires you? Why not join in the prompt and share x

Oh and you can find my mum on Twitter *cringes* @GlosGall

Inspiring Women Blogging Prompt

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