Sandra had been Peter's PA since 1987, and helped him build the company up. She was extremely loyal to him, not least because they embarked on an affair in early 1989 which they managed to keep secret until after his death. Her history with Mike Baldwin was less amiable; they first met when a post-Baldwin's Casuals Mike visited his friend in the trade to ask him if there was any work he could take off his hands. Wound up by being forced to wait hours to see Peter, Mike was further irritated by Sandra's stiffness and, as he went off towards Peter's office, coldly advised the secretary not to go in for any charm contests.
After Peter's death from a heart attack, the factory entered a period of uncertainty, with sales manager Ralph Dobson taking charge at first. From his position as work's manager, Mike aspired to rise to the top of the company by befriending Peter's widow Jackie and manipulating Dobson into resigning, eventually succeeding. Out of loyalty to Peter, Sandra didn't trust Mike but, resigned to working with him, hid her contempt behind a thin veil.
In October 1990, Mike convinced Jackie not to sell up and accepted her offer of taking over as general manager. He then started picking on Sandra, seeking an excuse to get rid of her. Having kept on running things the way Peter did, Sandra found her every move questioned by Mike, with him threatening to sack her when she failed to ring the papers to advertise for a new work's manager. The next day, Mike sacked Sandra for returning from her lunch break fifteen minutes late, despite the fact that her lunch breaks were flexible. Jackie tried to save Sandra's job by offering her a position in accounts for the same pay, but Sandra considered it a downgrade and refused it. When Jackie turned on her, backing Mike's complaints about her by noting her tendency to gossip, Sandra proved her discreteness by telling her all about the affair between her and Peter before walking out for good.