Lawyer and amateur actor marks 50 years with same firm
- Credit: Newsmakers
A north Norfolk lawyer is celebrating an increasingly rare milestone - 50 years with the same company.
Peter Howell joined Hansells Solicitors aged just 16 as the 'office junior' directly after leaving Sheringham High School in 1970.
Mr Howell, now 66, is just as well known for his work on stage as behind a desk - he has acted in theatre productions across Norfolk for decades.
Mr Howell, who lives in Coltishall with his wife Amanda, said he started at Hansells' Holt office after a weekend/holiday job as a gardener for Dick Flower, a partner at the firm, while he was still at school.
He said: “It was coming up time for me to leave school and Mr Flower asked me what I thought about working for a law firm. I had interviews at Hansells and a local bank, chose Hansells and I have been here ever since.”
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Roger Holden, managing partner, congratulated Mr Howell on the milestone, and presented him with an overnight stay at Galton Blackiston’s Michelin-starred Morston Hall.
Mr Holden said: “It is such an honour for us as partners that Peter has trusted his entire career to Hansells and for that I can only say a heartfelt thank you.”
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Mr Howell and his wife have both acted for Cromer and Sheringham Amateur Operatic and Dramatic Society (CSODS), and had roles at Sheringham Little Theatre, Cromer's Pavilion Theatre, Norwich’s Theatre Royal and Maddermarket Theatre.
Mr Howell took up acting at school and got back into it in 1984 when CSODS were holding auditions at Cromer's Cliftonville Hotel for the role of King Arthur in Camelot.
He said: "I remember sitting nervously in my car and almost driving away before I plucked up the courage to go in. Go in I did, I got the part, and I have been involved ever since.”
He met Amanda in 1989 when she played Eliza Doolittle and he played Professor Henry Higgins in a production of My Fair Lady.
Mr Howell is also secretary of the Maddermarket Trust and treasurer of CSODS, having earlier served as chairman of the society for 10 years.
He said some of his favourite roles over the years were as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, as Mack in Mack and Mabel and as Lawrence in 2019's production of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Pavilion Theatre.