Brenda retires after 51 years

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In 1957 the first frisbee went on sale, West Side Story opened on Broadway – and Brenda Copsey started her first day at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court.

On Saturday, Brenda celebrated her retirement and 70th birthday – after 51 years at the court.

Brenda, who lives in Bury, started working at the age of 16 as a court administrator, writing notes in shorthand and typing court registers.

She left the job to have her two children between 1965 to 1967 but then went straight back to work.

In November, she left the court but decided to tie in her leaving party with her 70th birthday celebrations.

Brenda said a lot had changed at the court over the years.

She said: “When I started you could not type anything in the court because the machines made so much noise.

“It was only later they got in quiet typewriters. But it is all done on computers now.

“I didn’t mean to work up until I was 70, they even asked me whether I would like to stay longer.

“I retired in November but thought it would be nice to have my retirement party on my birthday.

“I had invited 140 people and 140 people turned up with 38 of my old colleagues.We had a really lovely evening.”

Now Brenda wants to travel the world – she is off on a cruise to Morrocco and Tenerife in two weeks and then travels to America to see friends.

She said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed working at the court all these years.

“They say it isn’t the work that you miss, it is the friends you work with and this is certainly true.

“Being 70, the young people I worked with kept me young – many of them even said I was like a second mother to them.

“Some of them I have worked with since they were 16 and who are now in their forties.”

At Brenda’s birthday bash at the British Sugar Social Club, £600 was raised in donations for Cancer Research UK and St Nicholas Hospice Care in tribute to Brenda’s husband Ivan who died nine years ago.