St Albans Crown Court bids farewell to ‘loggers’

ST ALBANS Crown Court has waved goodbye to nine members of staff who will be replaced by high-tech machines.

The men and women, known as loggers, had sat through thousands of cases ranging from minor to the most serious crimes, making transcripts available if there was a dispute about evidence.

Prior to loggers, court proceedings were recorded by shorthand writers who were later replaced by stenographers who typed cases as they were spoken in court. Then came the loggers, who operated the recording equipment.

But centralised digital recording machines are now taking over and the staff are being made redundant.

Heather Morris, Richard Marsh, Paul Roberts, Joy Jackson, Irene Mills, Debbie Pankhurst, Isabel Wheller, Nancy Pope and Sheila Hogg were given a send off by members of staff still working in the court at the end of October.

Marking the end of an era, resident Judge Andrew Bright QC said the team would be missed. He said: “They have made a contribution to the successful running of the court, often giving up part of their lunchtimes or staying late to help make transcripts available.

“For 10 years or more, the loggers have been friends to the judges, staff and advocates. It is a very sad day and we wish them a fond farewell.”

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He added: “No digital recording system can ever begin to compete with the human touch you bring.”