farewell to Concord after 27 years

Wednesday July 17, 2019

Bridget Thurgood has seen many changes during her 27 years as an accounts assistant at Concord College. As she announced her pending retirement, she reflected on how the college has grown with invoices going out to 600 day and boarding students – 400 more than when she started. She also recalled that for many years the invoices were all sent out by post. Today, said Bridget, invoicing – termly for day students and half yearly for boarders - was all carried out by email. She has been responsible for every bill, from students paying a deposit on arrival to collecting their final balance on leaving, and over the 27 years these procedures have also resulted in considerable contact with parents. In addition to a large increase in students, she said the college had considerably expanded its staff with the number of teachers growing by two-thirds to 100. Support staff had also risen proportionately to a total of 170. There were only two in the accounts department when Bridget arrived at Concord. And they shared a computer and printer. Today there are six in accounts with no more computer sharing. In addition to the substantial increase in students and staff, she said Concord had undergone a huge development programme, including new sports hall, theatre, science block and halls of residence. From 2006-2011 Bridget and her husband David, a member of the night security staff at Concord, were both House Parents. When David retired in 2011 the couple moved to Dorrington where they plan to stay following Bridget’s retirement at thy end of July. As part of the boarding team, the couple accompanied students on a number of European trips to countries such as France, Belgium and Holland.  They also enjoyed student day trips to destinations that included Alton Towers, Warwick Castle and Cardiff Medical School. Bridget will continue to have plenty to keep her busy in retirement. For the mother of two – and grandmother of two - enjoys sewing and craftwork and as a seamstress has made many an alteration to a ball gown for the college’s 6.2 Graduation Ball. Although not her favourite pastime, she also gardens. But all these activities take a back step to WI. Bridget, who has been in the WI for 40 years, is the county federation treasurer, a role she has held for the last four years. She is a member of Dorrington and Acton Burnell WI’s. Of her retirement from Concord College, Principal Mr. Neil Hawkins said: “It has been a pleasure to have somebody with Bridget’s skills and integrity working at Concord College for so long. “She will be greatly missed.” She is pictured with Concord’s Bursar Mrs Barbara Belfield-Dean.