Linda’s half century in the world of water
24 August 2017

She started work in 1967 during the summer of love, the same year TV was first broadcast in colour, the year the BBC launched Radio 1, Cunard launched the QE2 and the Beatles released Sgt.Pepper.

Now, after 50 years of dedicated service, and a lot of water under the bridge, Linda Maflin, who lives at Thanington, Canterbury, has decided to take a breather and retire from her job as a service desk manager at South East Water.

The company’s Managing Director Paul Butler, who presented her with a framed certificate at a long service awards ceremony at the company’s Snodland headquarters, said: “Linda’s extraordinary contributions have always impressed me.

“Her professional manner, enthusiasm, commitment and expertise, with the dedication and ability to motivate the younger members of the team, are inspiring.

“She is the perfect role model - hard-working, diligent and always maintaining a positive outlook. We shall miss her greatly.”

Aged just 15, Linda originally joined the Canterbury and District Water Company in the Whitstable Collection Office which became Mid Kent Water and eventually South East Water which today serves 2.2 million customers in Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Berkshire and Hampshire.

When the Whitstable Office closed in 1969, Linda moved to the head office in Harbledown, then in 1992 to the Thanington Pumping Station, moving again to the Ashford District Office before finally in 2001 given a job in Mid Kent’s Snodland head Office where she has worked ever since.
Over the decades she has had a wide range of duties including the collection of water rates, running radio systems and switchboards, paying wages, scheduling work gangs and, latterly, running teams of customer service staff in call centres.

She said: “When I first started, technicians went round on mopeds with a stop cock key on the bike and no phone. They had to come back to the office for work. We had time to make ice cream sundaes in the afternoons and I can even remember a colleague knitting when it was very quiet.

“Then came radio contact and now we have mobile phones and trackers. It is busier now than it has ever been.”

Of her colleagues she said: “Nearly all the staff I have dealt with over the years have been great and many are good friends – I shall miss them.

“I have loved my time here and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”