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Never too old to learn! 88-year-old tries her hand at coding on work placement

PUBLISHED: 12:08 15 May 2019 | UPDATED: 12:08 15 May 2019

Pamela Sweeney, 88, on work experience at her grandson Nathan Lomax's Norwich-based web design company Quickfire Digital. Picture: Nathan Lomax

Pamela Sweeney, 88, on work experience at her grandson Nathan Lomax's Norwich-based web design company Quickfire Digital. Picture: Nathan Lomax

Nathan Lomax

The saying goes that you can't teach an old dog new tricks - but one Norfolk grandmother is proving the naysayers wrong.

Nathan Lomax, of Norwich-based web design and marketing company Quickfire Digital. Picture: Nathan LomaxNathan Lomax, of Norwich-based web design and marketing company Quickfire Digital. Picture: Nathan Lomax

Pamela Sweeney went back to work at her grandson Nathan Lomax's firm in Norwich, Quickfire Digital, to try out coding and website design.

The 88-year-old has had a lifelong interest in technology.

She joined the RAF as a teenager and worked on teleprinters during the Second World War, and worked on one of the earliest computers in the 1960s and 70s after getting a job helping with administration at Spong Mincers.

Mr Lomax said the idea for the work experience first arose through asking his grandmother questions about her time work with the RAF and early computer technology.

"It was the case that she came to have a look around the office and I never quite imagined you could do something you did 50 or 60 years ago using new technology," he said.

"We normally take people on work experience who are much younger but just because you are 88 does not mean you cannot do it."

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During her half-day work experience placement at Quickfire Digital in Thorpe Road, which specialises in website design and marketing, Mrs Sweeney learned how to code and the basics of building a website.

Mr Lomax said: "She is part of a knitting club so we said we could help her to build a website for the club.

"It seemed like a nice thing to do to roll back the years for her. The biggest change was the size of the kit.

"It was nice to see her in the environment and actually enjoying it and she seemed to have a good time."

Mrs Sweeney, who lives in north Norfolk and spends her spare time on Facebook, playing Scrabble on her iPad and watching Netflix, said: "Ever since I started in the RAF I've always had an interest in technology.

"I joined the air force at 14 and I used to work on the teleprinters working with Morse code.

"After finishing with the air force I had a few different jobs after the war before I joined a company called Spong Mincers in 1967. I worked on one of the earliest computers helping with payroll and invoices for the next 11 years.

"Nowadays it's amazing to see how the world has moved on and how much quicker everything is."

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