JOB searching can sometimes feel like a very overwhelming task, with numerous websites to filter through, email alerts to sign up to and virtual notice-boards to scroll.

But back in the 1960s, people looking for employment would turn to their local paper to browse the latest vacancies. 

We took a look at our archives, and found a selection of job adverts that all appeared in the Hants and Berks Gazette in July 1969.

From gender and age specific roles, to seemingly tiny salaries, to long forgotten skills, here are a few job postings that employers just wouldn't get away with today ...

"A bright girl"

This company required a typist when it moved from Reading to Daneshill, Basingstoke. While the advert was not uncommon in its call for someone with experience and the ability to confidently use the telephone, it went a step further by suggesting this role would suit a "bright girl." The view that typists should be women was a trend among many company adverts of the time.

Basingstoke Gazette:

Two jobs in one

While its not uncommon for many of us to feel that, some days, we're doing the work of several, this call for a Chauffeur/Handyman is an interesting combo. This company's Director not only required a personal driver, but filling the position was an URGENT matter! And when the boss didn't need ferrying about? Well they'd find the successful applicant, who needed to be under 45 years of age, some DIY ...

Basingstoke Gazette:

Offering a listening ear

When they found themselves in need of trainee welders (men only!), this company got creative by getting readers to consider what they disliked about their current job, and offering an alternative. By aiming their advert as those who were "browned off" and offering to listen to their issues or carry out interviews outside of working hours, the company aimed to poach disgruntled people already working in other sectors. If you ask us, this is asking for trouble! 

Basingstoke Gazette:

Young Lady with Shorthand

Yet another example of companies' preference to have young female employees in the administrative roles in their offices. But, the Gazette team can vouch for one thing, "knowledge of shorthand" really does come in handy! 

Basingstoke Gazette:


J Sainsbury is the company we now know simply as Sainsbury's, one of the UK's major supermarket chains. In the 1960s, they were looking for women to cook at their Basingstoke depots. The 40-hour week would earn the successful candidates just ten pounds, 11 shillings and six pence. But at least they got free meals on shift!

Basingstoke Gazette:

"Age immaterial, but ..."

Sainsbury's didn't only want female chefs, they also wanted female Quality Controllers (We hadn't realised this was a gender stereotyped role in the 1960s). At a yearly salary of £650, this vacancy was descibed as "more of a career than a job" and while gender was important, age was apparently "immaterial, but possibly in the 20-35 years range" ...

Basingstoke Gazette:

Young, single and ... unemployed

In this column of quick, to-the-point job ads, three explicitly seek candidates who are married. This was not uncommon at the time, but nowadays, a potential employer would not be allowed to ask you your relationship status, far less base their search solely on it! 

Basingstoke Gazette:

Top job

This ad from Barclay's Bank caught our eye, because it promised "a lot of money". In 1969, Barclays merged with Martins Bank, and securing a role with the company would get you an impressive salary at the time. The advert boasts that this could be £5,000 or more - around £12,000 per year less than today's National Living Wage for full-time employment. What makes this advert particularly odd, is that applicants require a good education - and the coupon cut-out from the paper!

Basingstoke Gazette:

M&S comes to Basingstoke

Finally, in 1969 Basingstoke was preparing for the upcoming arrival of a brand new M&S store in the town. The company were looking for Departmental Supervisors to attend training in Reading in preparation for the opening, but only "young women" could apply. Young meant aged between 18 and 35 and candidates were required to have "plenty of common sense". But for those who fit the criteria, benefits included discounted shopping and meals, annual bonus and non-contributory pension. 

Basingstoke Gazette:

  • Enjoy this trip down memory lane? Let us know your job ad stories in the comments below