15th February 2018
Dawn received a Mayor of Bath Long Service Award from councillor Ian Gilchrist at a special ceremony in recognition of her 40 years at Thrings and its various incarnations.
Since leaving furniture business Living Homes and walking through the doors of Titley Long – then located on Bath’s historic North Parade – in 1977, Dawn has been something of a permanent fixture at the firm.
“When I left school, I had two job offers from companies in Midsomer Norton: one a printing company, the other a firm of solicitors in. I chose the printing company, and it was seven years before I made it to Titley Long. Looking back it’s as if I was destined for a career in the law.
“There was about 25 employees at Titley Long, roughly half of whom were support staff like me. It’s fair to say the working environment was a bit different from how it is now: there were no computers or faxes, we used typewriters and dictaphones, and we dealt with wills and deeds which were recorded on hand-written index cards.”
In 1988 the firm became Thrings and Long, with Dawn joining her colleagues at the new offices on Midland Bridge. Fourteen years later, and now operating simply as Thrings, the firm moved across the city to take up residence in Queen Square where it remains to this day.
“Some of what I do – answering the phone, dealing with incoming and outgoing post, greeting and looking after clients – hasn’t changed a great deal,” Dawn continues. “But advances in technology mean I’m now able to carry out many of my duties much more quickly and much more efficiently. For someone like me who runs a tight ship, these progressions have been wonderful.
“The firm is barely recognisable from the one I joined all those years ago. We now have almost 350 commercial and private client lawyers and business support staff working across 16 practice areas in offices in Bath, Bristol, Swindon, London and Hampshire.
“To succeed in any front-of-house role you need to be able to read and understand people, be patient and a good listener. I’m fortunate enough to have got to know many clients over the course of the past four decades. To me that’s a reflection of how comfortable they are with Thrings and how well looked after they feel.”
Following her audience with the Mayor at the Guildhall, Dawn enjoyed a celebratory lunch with Thrings’ managing partner, Simon Holdsworth, consultant solicitor, Jeremy Thring, and Dawn’s friend and former colleague, Sylvia Nutt – herself a previous recipient of a Long Service Award.
Dawn adds: “We spend half our lives at work, and it’s important to feel wanted and valued. Whatever’s going on your life, there’s always someone in the office willing to talk to you, to listen to you, and, in times of difficulty, to offer you a kind word or give you a hug to make you feel better. The firm is my second family.
“My time at Thrings over the past 40 years has been wonderful. I’ve seen it change so much, but it has never lost any of its magic. And in my view, that is down to the fantastic people who work here.”
Simon Holdsworth adds: “On behalf of everyone at Thrings, and members of the Bath office in particular, we would like to congratulate Dawn on reaching this wonderful and remarkable milestone.
“Dawn has shown great dedication and unerring professionalism to Thrings, and we couldn’t be more proud of her. Our Bath office simply wouldn’t be the same without Dawn.”