The Old Almondburians' Society
The Old Almondburians
Stuart Hirst's first job on leaving King James's Grammar School was with the Midland Bank. Having passed his banking examinations he decided that life at the bank was too predictable so, in 1966, he joined HM Customs & Excise. There was no shortage of variety in this job: during the following three years Stuart found himself undertaking a bizarre variety of tasks including counting the number of matches in boxes at Bryant and May, examining school stills to stop a Chemistry master (not at King James's Grammar School) from making illicit hooch, and having the role of customs man in a brewery. Unfortunately the introduction of VAT brought this type of work to an end and Stuart was given the chance to train as a Chartered Surveyor.
He then joined the District Valuer’s Office (part of the Inland Revenue), qualified through a correspondence course and was involved in the huge Merseyside slum clearance programmes of the late 1960s and 1970s. He spent 26 years in this job, ending as a Principal working in Chester.
In his spare time, Stuart appears in local amateur dramatic productions, on occasions with up to all four family members. He also sings in a choir and enjoys golf. Cricket is another lifelong interest: he has been secretary of Oxton Cricket and Sports Club for many years and is also involved in cricket coaching.
Stuart married Jennifer, one of the Sampson triplets who hit the headlines in 1943, in 1967. They have a son Andrew, a daughter Sarah and six grandchildren.
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Recorded on 10 November 2006
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