Brenda Almandras, who celebrated her 83rd birthday in July, is back at Britannia Sandersteads in Surrey
after five months shielding against Covid-19.
R&S: How long have you been
working your company?
Brenda Almandras: I’ve been with Britannia
Sanderstead Removals for 43 years, although I have had
a connection with the industry ever since I got married.
My husband used to work for Stranks Removals when
the company was based in Thornton Heath before he
decided to enter business alone and set up Sandersteads.
R&S: What is your position and what
does it involve?
BA: After my husband died in 1983, I and my two
sons, Steve and Stuart, decided to carry on running the
company. I used to manage most of the office duties,
but nowadays it’s more the accounts work and making
R&S: Have you faced any obstacles
in progressing in your career?
BA: I have never looked on my time in removals as a
career. In the early days of Sandersteads I fitted running
the company around bringing up a young family
and looking after my elderly parents, who lived with
us because my mum was disabled. At the same time
I also held jobs as a dinner lady at a local school and
as a cleaner, but as time went on I gave up the school
work and cleaning jobs to concentrate on the removals
business and it all progressed from there.
R&S: How has the business changed
over the years?
BA: Technology has definitely taken over in a big way,
which is good because it speeds up so many things and
generally makes life easier. But when something goes
24 Removals & Storage September 2020
wrong and we have to go back to basics like pen and
paper it can be quite scary if you have become too over-reliant
R&S: How have you been involved
with BAR over your career?
BA: I used to regularly attend local BAR Area Meetings
with my sons back in the 1990s. I met a lot of
great people at these meetings and they always had
something interesting to say and often gave very helpful
advice which helped with running our business.
R&S: Are there many women working
in your company?
BA: My daughter, Lyn, and my granddaughter,
Mairead, both work for Sandersteads, while another
granddaughter, Gina, works at Britannia headquarters.
My daughter-in-law, Jules, also worked with us until
she passed away five years ago. We’ve all been brought
up in removals so it’s definitely in our blood. As we’re
a family-run business we tend to recruit more from
family recommendations rather than from outside.
R&S: What are your thoughts on the
present Covid-19 situation?
BA: I know it’s scary – my children have held me
captive in my flat for nearly five months! But now I’m
back, albeit with a slower and more cautious approach.
I have had two hip replacements and a stroke
and I am still going strong.
R&S: What’s your philosophy on
business and life?
BA: As a family we’ve been through some awful times,
both in work and personal life. I think that work
keeps you going and helps you focus. That said I also
love travelling, and one of my highlights was visiting
Japan last year. Everything in life is important in equal
measures. And don’t ever expect anything, because every
day is different.
For more information,
“I’m back, albeit with a
slower and more cautious
approach. I have had two hip
replacements and a stroke
and I am still going strong.”
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experience as part of this series, please