Office figurehead set to celebrate retirement

After 28 years of looking after the books, payroll and office systems at Rubb, Office Manager Liz Spurr will be starting a new chapter as a businesswoman in her retirement from the company.

Liz bids farewell to Rubb on the same day as Rubb Buildings Ltd Managing Director Bill Wood. Staff will celebrate the pair’s dedication to the company and achievements with a party at St James’ Park on September 2. Liz plans to spend more time with her family and also set up a house sittingbusiness with her sister in her retirement. However leaving her job and the company she regards passionately as ‘her life’ leaves her with ‘mixed emotions’ and sad to say goodbye. “I have loved every minute of it!” Liz explains. “I have had a ball. Bill has been the best boss, albeit a bit unorthadox – but I like that. I don’t think I could work for anyone else.”

Liz cut her clerical teeth as an office junior at Young Motors in Chester-le Street, learning all aspects of administration and office procedures. A passion for payroll developed and 11 years later she began working at Gascol Conversions where she spent a further six years. While juggling single motherhood and a full time job, Liz’s flair for figures became apparent. She was soon working for Caterpillar where she looked after the accounts for six years.

Liz interviewed for a sales position at Rubb 1983 and got the job. “They wanted a bit of a Girl Friday,” says Liz. “At the interview Bill said ‘if you can’t do the job you’ll be out!’ I said ‘if I can’t do the job I will know before you and I wouldn’t stay!’ He gave me the job.” Liz spent the first year working in sales before being asked by Rubb founder Finn Haldorsen to take charge of accounts and payroll. Her responsibilities grew and she began implementing efficient systems for payroll, purchase invoices, accounts and Ministry of Defence payment procedures. “I was given a chance by Bill to excel,” adds Liz. “If you are capable and willing to work hard he is willing to give you the opportunities. He has confidence in people.

“The business has grown but kept about the same number of staff throughout. I think it has expanded because of the continuity and dedication of the people here. They know what they are doing and they can do it quickly. “It has grown into the company of quality that Bill always wanted it to be.” Finn Haldorsen, the founder of Rubb, once said to Liz: “You are like a stick of Blackpool rock – if you were cut in half you would find Rubb through and through.” “The company has meant a great deal to me over the years,” says Liz. She has made some lifelong friends, not least her boss Bill Wood. Her friends and colleagues at Rubb wish her all the best.