It is always hard for me to think up a new introduction for the GEN, so I have looked up previous editions for ideas;. Stan Brede used to publish the CLUB GEN but when he retired Harry Green asked me whether I could take it on. So, my first Editorial was for the Summer 1978 edition and I did away with the old duplicator stencil production method. I went all modern with photo copying Ten years later the LTSSAC was broken up and there was a share out of the Club's funds. Because many of us were then at Enfield Bilton Way factory I thought I should not use the Club Gen title in case the Studd Street boys wished to use it. So, I published the first Dave's GEN in November 1988.
It is now February 2007 so I had better publish the list of some of
you who sent me a December 2006 Christmas card.
Mike Bettenson, Gerry Bhagat, Ted Blanden, lan Boniface, Len Bovingdon, Cliff Bourne, Chris Broome-Smith, Gwen Biddlecombe Neil Caldecourt, Joyce Collyer, Ron Cooper, Derek Crane, Tony Darby, Ken Denny, Steve Dickens, Karl Easthorpe, Andy Ellen, Mel Ellis, Mike Faulkner, Denis Fisk, Norman Froggett, Roger Glover, Terry Griffiths, Frank Helmore, Paul Hindell, Mike Johnson, Dave John, Frank Kehoe, Les Knightson, Dennis Laing, Fred Martin, Paul Mathew, Stan Mitchell, Barry Moore, Joyce Muir, John Neil, Derek Oswald, Mike Petrie, Alan Portch, Keith Rich, Les Roberts, Cyril Rose, Brian Shillum, John Sutton, Ken Stinton, Ron Tattam, Roy Thurgood, Glen Travell, John Tythe Harry Vincent, Dave Walton, Vic Ware, Hedley Warner, Geoff Wigley, Alan Williams, Derek Young.
Other Christmas cards had various messages on them and there were also letters received such as from:-
Tom & Chris Halsey ... Not much fso report this year except the 1956
intake held our 50th anniversary reunion, a good time being had by all.
David Eyre.. I am still working with Bexley Council but my contract finishes at the end of April 2007 - so I am going to "hang up my boots" then, 46 1/2 years after starting at Studd Street in 1960. How time has flown. Pleased to receive "Dave's Gen"- I know how much work it is.
Frank Skinner ... Thanks for my continued receipt of your "keep in touch- Gen. Many of the names familiar to me, are inevitably on the wane. Its absence would leave a big hole however ..
Jim & Gven Beard ... Pleased to say we are still staggering along. My thanks once again for stirring up those memories of years gone by.
Roy Lawrence ... It's sad when you see that one of the "Youths" you nelp train had died i.e. John Towler. Does Stan Billett still have his very short curly hair, I wonder? Before I got married my route to Studd Street was via Manor House tube station so Harry Jenner? must have lived near me in Harringay ...
Dick ... Many thanks for your efforts with the "Club Gen-
Pete Perry ... Thanks for all your efforts on our behalf, much apprec- iated.
Arthur Snevin ... I was very upset to hear of the passing of Alex Collyer. We were good mates when we worked together in the stores, He will be missed ...
Mike Stanton ... I've done it at last, here I am sitting in sunny Spain, having moved here mid November. My boys realised the error of their ways and let us go ...
Brian & Wendy Martin ... Thanks for the Gens this year, the trouble is that the time from one Xmas to the next goes so quick as one gets older. Happy days are now a distant dream about Studd Street ...
Brian Conroy ... I trust you are well. We are OK but very busy with helping with grandchildren and Sailing Club work. As Commodore of the Club I am trying to be the project manager and foreman, great fun. Also playing golf regularly and sailing every week. I hope to make one of the reunions one day and I should contribute to the website; ...
Roy Trussell ... Thanks for all the work you do on behalf of the old London Test Section ...
Brian Bale ... A very interesting read twice a year ...
Ted Brown ... I hope you are well and looking forward to a new year keeping us all in touch through "Dave-s Gen" ...
Dave Oliver ... Trust this Xmas card finds you in the best of health. Thank you for Dave's Gen which always makes entertaining reading ...
Mike Tamblin ... I do appreciate your efforts as you are my only channel of communication with old 'buddies' in the Test Section. Dave's Gen will never die but one day will fade away without your efforts .. .
John Neil ... Thank you for the Gen. It keeps in touch and up to date..
lan Torrance ... Doesn't travelling to work either at Studd Street or out at Contractors seems a long time ago. All old hat now. When ever I see B.T. mentioned nearly everyone is a manager of some sort - or a consultant; Whatever happened to Engineers? I don't think I would like to be working at B.T. nowadays. Keep up the good work on "Dave's GEN" and keeping in touch with us oldies from another world. I will try and do some write-up for the next Gen - possibly about STC that was . . .
Claire Towler ... John, I am sure, would wish me to send Christmas greetings to you. Life since he died has been difficult ...
Dave Coles ... Many thanks for your efforts with the Club Gen. Please make a note of my new address (now Hailsham, East Sussex) We are gradually getting straight having brought far too much stuff with us I
Doreen Tilly ... Thanks for magazine, looking forward to next one. I see Flo' Hilton's husband at our Club, not able to get around a lot...
Gwen Biddlecombe ... I have to tell you the sad news that Biddy died on 1st November 2006. He had suffered with prostrate cancer for a few years. All I can say is I lost him before he had to suffer a great deal of pain. For that I am truly thankful. It has been wonderful to be married to such a wonderful man these last 60 years ...
Mike Rogers ... I've had an op this year in July. Doctor sent me to hospital to check the rear end after I often found blood on toilet paper. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a polyp that had gone cancer- ous. Had lots of tests and a week of radiotherapy. They cut a section of the bowel out but the good news is it looks like I caught it in time for it had not spread; I feel fine now but have had to have a temporary illeostomy bag but this is due to be reversed within a few months with another small op. ...
Reg Hooker ... Many thanks for your great effort in keeping the GEN going. Like everyone else I look forward to receiving it for the news of 'old' friends. I have a feeling that the photograph in the last GEN was of a group from Brimsdown. In those days TOs were paid weekly We used to queue up outside the A.E.s office to get our wages in postal order form at lunch time. Then we would amble across the park to cash the PO at the post office in Enfield (Highway) Afterwards we 'retired' to a pub for liquid refreshment. I'm sure that the photograph wasn't taken in the Albion that is if the 'Albion' referred to is the one in Albion Square. ...
Just a line to thank you for this year's "GENS", each a good read as always. At 86, shortly 87, I never cease to be amazed at the lives/exploits of post-war 'Studdites'. I returned in 1946(or47) and left about 2 years later on passing the 'Clerical'!
I can but agree with 'Sarge's' comments in February and he has not put pen to paper for October; The article by Dave John on the cremation industry reprinted in February certainly concentrates the mind a little. I still have my own teeth, mainly due I think to pre-NHS school dental care under the old LCC, regretfully long gone, but my many;; fillings mean I am a pot- ential public enemy!
After two remissions I am back (since Feb) on my Zoladex injections for advanced prostrate cancer, first diagnosed in December 1997. Very tired, no energy, and unfortunately have had to give up my dip in the sea, nearly drowned a while ago, no balance/stability now, prone to falls - 5 stitches in my temple in May 2005! Fell off a ladder in 1966 3 months in traction etc. and fractured my neck in a pool in Lanzarote in 1984. Peg calls me a walking disaster - however I still drive a car as well as her. - still we made our Diamond Wedding in 2002;
Have mainly given up playing my Technico 66 organ as I am now extrem- ely deaf - mainly due to excessive swimming when young!!! Did you know cold chlorinated water produces in some people, and I am one, nodules in the ear canals? Four or five times a week in the Bakers Arms Baths at Leyton did not help - hence I have what the ENT chaps term "Swimmers' Ear". Well Dave, I have rambled on enough ( and used the same word twice in the same sentence, spot the bad form;) My P.C. would possibly have 'told' me if I had 'written' this on it - I will print off a copy for reference if I can remember my Grandson's instructions; He is just getting over having his scooter stolen at College, eventually recover- ed badly damaged, so Dad is busy just before Xmas: ...
I went shopping to get some provisions a few days before Christmas.
I was holding a number of Tesco bags in one hand when I next popped into the Bakers shop. There I struggled to get the loose change out from my pocket with the other free hand, being hampered by the bulk and weight of the bags. So I held out my left hand clutching a pile of loose change to the young girl shop assistant who helped herself to the correct amount needed. She slowly held up each coin for me to see as she counted out the money. She smiled sweetly and I wondered if she had taken pity on me as being a poor old helpless pensioner not capable of selecting the coins for myself, poor old soul I bet she thought. I know I am a bit antiquated and perhaps past my sale-by date and at times a bit dim witted and bewildered, but I can still count up to ten (when both hands are free:) and I still know the diff- erence between a florin and a half crown;
My Forgetter's getting better, but my Rememberer is broke, To you that may seem funny, but to me that is no joke. For when I'm "here" I'm wondering if I should really be "there", and when I try to think it through, I haven't got a prayer!
Oft times I walk into a room and say "what am I here for? I wrack my brain, but all in vain, A zero is my score. At times I put something away,where it is safe, but gee, the person it is safe from is generally me.
When shopping I may see someone, say "Hi" and have a chat, then
when the person walks away, I ask myself "Who the Hell was that?"
Yes, my Forgetter's getting better, while my Rememberer is broke,
and it's driving me crazy, and that isn't any joke.
"THE OZ SAGA EPISODES 5 & 6"
Well, it's been 2 years since the last OZ Saga was printed (Actually it was February 2005 - Ed;) I thought you didn't want to print these meanderings any longer, as it didn't appear in the February 2006 issue. Then when I filed this October issue, after reading it, I found my Episode 5 contribution. I had forgotten to enclose it in the Xmas card. I'm playing the age card for this one.
Last year's (2005) trip to the UK wasn't as enjoyable as it could have been. Yes, we caught up with most of our friends and family and enjoy- ed their company, but still it was a miserable and stressful time. We had to apply for a year visa to return to OZ before travelling. Easy you say. First of all Beryl had to renew her passport and even after using the Post Office service it was returned as the photo was too pale for the new system. This delayed the application by 2^ weeks to start with. Then when we got to the Australian Embassy in London it was closed, apparently they only open for two hours a day. We managed to get some information from the security guard on the front door who suggested that we had no chance of getting a year visa as we had been living in Australia for the past 3 years. He did tell us however how to obtain the necessary forms from the Internet.
After completing the forms and attaching all the necessary paperwork we went again to the Embassy between the hours 9am - 11am as advised Only to be told that they do not process applications there any longer it all has to be done over the net or by snail mail. As we had only limited access to a computer we opted for the traditional method. He again advised us that we had little chance of succeeding with our app- lication and would probably have to stay in the UK for at least twelve months before applying again. Well despondent is an insufficient desc- ription of how we were feeling. We sent the forms off with a really heart rending letter about how we were missing the grandchildren qrow- ing up etc. which is basically the truth.
After 3 1/2 more weeks we finally got a letter. During this time we spent
waiting for this we had almost become resigned to having to stay in
England and find a flat fitting it out, buying a car and insurance
literally starting from scratch. Plus I had started formulating a list
of what we would need shipped back from OZ in the way of paperwork etc
Anyway, in this letter, they didn't give us a year, they didn't even give us 6 months or 3 months. They gave us a 4 year visitors visa with a maximum stay proviso. Also, in the communications indicat- ed that our application for immigration is proceeding. So, having been up to our necks in gloom, hopelessness dejection and melancholy, but most of all total depressionde, we became elated. From the time we got the letter 10 days later we were flying back home feeling like qeese flying south for the winter. But happy geese.
This last trip in October was foreshortened by a previous commitment promised some 6 years hence. Plus due to their ages, (that word again) we had to fit in a lot of relatives. So, the time left was insufficient to get round all our friends. We decided that rather than picking and choosing which friends drew the short straw, we would give them all a rest. Next year we have promised ourselves that friends would take the priority. Well, those left in England that is. Two have gone to Canada, one to Dubai and a further one to Wales. Apart from those left who drew the short straw.
Looking forward to a11 and any visits to our wonderful part of the world next year. If you're in these parts anytime soon, look us up. Paul Chance has our details.
Thanks again for the GEN. It's a great read and especially when one's
name is brought up by a colleague in their contribution.
Time passes very quickly now and my life style and domestic tasks have changed dramatically as a Widower. I have fortunately been well enough so far to be able to use the car which is old but reliable and low mile- age, for shopping and leisure. Richmond Park is nearby and serves as my country scene. The economics of this do not worry me. My Driving Lic- ence is valid until November 2008 when.D.V., I will be in my "94th" and likely to be driving an electric machine.
I get great pleasure in poundering over old places such as Studd Street and the surroundings in the photos in the GEN provided by the Editor. By a very strange coincidence I had just seen a TV programme on the en- virons of Upper Street when this was written. There have been changes around the old HQ's in the City to make it unrecognisable as it is several years since I was in the Area.
I have plans to record my early days. Starting in October 1937 into an Employment System which was so different from the outside world. I had a rise in wage in the following November 1937 because it was my 18th Birthday in that month.
I will try to extend my memory in future copy. Meanwhile, keep taking the tablets and keep the Editor busy.
Len Bovingdon ... Just a short note to thank you once again for the news- letter, as always I enjoyed the latest issue with its news of old friends and colleagues its always good to hear what others are up to. I was shocked to hear of the deaths of John Towler and Joe Molloy. I didn't know Joe all that well but I had one of those odd LTS friendships with John Towler, when we worked together we were best friends but in the way of the Test Section it could be several years before we met again but straight away picked up as if it were only the day before that we had last talked. I found the letter from Derek Brown very interesting As one of those who made the move from Studd Street to Birmingham and later back to London, only to be made redundant shortly after, I have a lot of sympathy with him, the fate of the Materials Section doesn't come as too great a surprise, even in my last days with BT I think we all saw the writing on the wall ...
Ron Cooper ... I am still swimming regularly with my Masters Swimming Club and made a notable achievement this year at Borehamwood Pool in that I obtained certificates to show that I hold the Herts County Record Time for the breast stroke and front crawl for my age group, and in the process got 16 points for my Club. Keeps me ticking over;
Ian Torrance ... Through the pages of the "GEN" a while ago I was contac- ted by Norman Froggett because of our mutual interests in Cinema and Theatre organs. We have joyfully communicated ever since with C.D.s he has recorded being sent to me. Then in July, I had the pleasure of meet- ing up with Norman and his wife Anne, which was most enjoyable. Norman is highly skilled in Electronics and Computers with an array of impressive gadgets and equipment about the house. He plays his superb Technics Organ for pleasure but the organ is also played by many organist friends who visit them like Dicky Dunn and all is set up to record CDs direct. So, without Dave and all his efforts to keep the GEN going over the many years, contact between the members of a long obsolete section would be lost ...
Ian Boniface ... I have not produced another installment of my memories
of experiences as a Y2YC this year but I must apologise to Harry Jenn
for suggesting in the last that I didn't know what IPOEE stood for. I
am afraid that I was indulging in a rather poor bit of poetic license
as I am sure that all the 'recruiting agents' explained what we were
being invited to join very fully.
This year has been one of hectic activity here as Pamela and I have been trying to catch up with things that were neglected over the last few years while we were both been recovering from health problems. Apart from needing regular check ups we are both reasonably fit now, as lonq as we keep taking the tablets. I think.
The Year started reasonably wall with me stripping out the last of the bedrooms to be restored. We had only papered and painted it since we came here thirty years ago and previous owners had removed all the •original features'. Restoration was well overdue. I was getting on quite well replacing coving, skirting and picture rails when our new boiler failed for the third time and of course in the coldest possible weather. I made the mistake of allowing myself to be persuaded to have one of these "green" condensing boilers fitted and despite having the system flushed three times it kept failing. The boiler was a disappoint- ment from the beginning as in spite of it being rated at one and a half times that of the old one it simply did not get the radiators more than luke warm. That's because it had been fitted to an old system sir and the heat exchanger in these boilers consist of very small bore tubes and even flushing will not get all the dirt out of the system. So, it is -not fit for purpose" then? Oh no sir that is not so, they are much more efficient and use less gas than the old boilers, they just do not like dirty systems. So, if one is fitted to a new system, how long will that system take to get dirty? I do not know the answer to that quest- ion sir but the Government has decreed that we are not allowed to fit old style boilers any more.
End of story? Not quite, as shortly after the above discussion while I was considering my (non) options the thing failed completely. Reason-? a defective boiler thermostat. This was replaced but made only margin- al improvement. Then the weather got really cold and if failed again, this time the heat exchanger was leaking. When that was replaced the system worked as I would have expected. Then last Winter it failed again, but to be fair, although the boiler failed the fault was actually the brand new pump.
J Each time we had a failure it cost a fortune for coal and electricity to keep the place reasonably warm whilst waiting for it to be repaired under guarantee. It seems that this is hardly a very -green' option The guarantee runs out next month so after that it is down to our three star British Gas protection.
The bedroom is still waiting for the last minute touches as other things interrupted the proceedings, such as our golden wedding for which our children organised a surprise celebration. Then our daughter Susan's OU graduation ceremony took place in Ely Cathedral. Then it was Summer and I rather lost interest in finishing touches for the time being
On one of my routine visits to my GP she suggested that I should have a hernia repaired that I had been putting off for several years while I did more important things like recovering from a heart attack and having a parotid tumour removed. I kidded myself that she has forgotten about ^ 1 myself be persuaded to go ahead, as you do; I had one the other side repaired about thirty years ago and after six days in hosp- ital I was still in considerable pain for some time and was virtually out of action for several weeks. I remember John Reynolds who had gone through the same thing, saying that the cure was worse than the disease. He was right. So when I saw the Surgeon and was given the choice of keyhole surgery where you are put to sleep and recovery time is shorter and only three small scars, or the traditional method, local anaesthetic, longer recovery time and a large scar, I chose the Keyhole. Then I read the small print about the possible complications. When I went for my preoperative assessment I said I had changed my mind. Very wise in view . of your medical history I was told. In ar^ case the anaesthetist prob- ably would not agree to the keyhole method as the need to pump you full of gas might damage your weakened heart.
The day arrived and I am sure many of your readers have had the hernia op. Arrive at 7-30 having had nothing to eat for 12 hours. See various doctors and told you are last on the list. 1800 hours, starving hungry, read my book, done as many crosswords as I could stomach and about to get dressed to go home, the nurse comes to take me down to the theatre.
Thoughts going through my head they are running late and must be tired' out and they are likely to be lacking concentration etc. I had been told that I would be tranquilized to make me drowsy but I wasn't. So, fully conscious, wired up to all sorts of machines and surrounded by lots of lovely nurses there I was fully exposed on the operating table
Then I had a nice little chat with the senior consultant who explained the procedure and informed me that the operation would be carried out by a trainee surgeon. I was not to worry though as he would be super- vising all the time. Then it began with the head man telling the appren- tice what to do and so I had a running commentary of the whole thing. When it was over and I was wheeled into the recovery room I was amazed to see that two and a half hours had elapsed since I had gone down. They kept me in overnight as my Blood pressure was too low so I didn't get much sleep as they took blood pressure readings every ten minutes throughout the night.
Next morning I amazed my wife by being able to walk out of the hospital and across the car park with very little pain. What a difference to thirty years ago.
Norman Froggett ... Thanks again for the continued publication of the
excellent LTS newsletter, so good to keep in touch with colleagues in
this way now for me a period of over 36 years since leaving the Section.
By the time this contribution is included I will have reached the grand
age of 83, nevertheless, I am still pretty active mainly in the field
of writing, having now learnt how to bind books I have now completed a
bound copy of my memoirs of nearly 200 pages. A most rewarding and in-
teresting project, which certainly kept the grey matter working at full
steam. Much time was spent last year working with an up-to-date comput-
er and printer copying some 100 odd photographs taken over sixty years
ago during my Royal Air Force far east tour of India, Burma, Saigon and
Hong Kong to produce another book illustrating the photographs with a
short write up of the "Far East Photography - Sixty Years On"
Also by way of a change I am part way through recording my third CD playing my Technics G100 electronic organ, a magnificent instrument which gives lots of pleasure to us and our friends here in Honiton.
Best wishes to all who read "Dave's GEN"
John's Jottings        Bell Ringing
I may have previously mentioned that I ring the tower bells at the local church? However, whilst casting my eye about for something for the GEN, I spotted this information in a recent copy of the Ringing World. Since it included physics and maths I thought that it may be of interest.
The item was discussing the difficulty of listening to one's bell whilst ringing. An average bell takes about 2 seconds to ring full circle. With each bell striking roughly every 2 seconds, and with six bells, striking evenly, the gap between them is about 1/3 second (with eight bells it is 1/4 second, with 12 bells it is 1/6 second and so on) The aim is to ring completely evenly, with the interval between all blows the same. But how far can an individual blow deviate from the ideal and still sound 'even'? The answer varies with the Listener but it is a lot less than 50 per cent of the gap between blows (which in musical terms would be like playing a quaver instead of a crotchet) Many, people can reliably hear deviations of l0 to 20 per cent of the interval and a few can hear five per cent. Ten per cent of one third of a second with six bells is one 30th of the second, i.e. three hundredths of a second You might think that all you have to do is to match the listening abil-1 ity of the person outside the Tower but unfortunately, you have to do better. You need to detect and correct, tiny deviations before they are audible to your audience. Whatever level you can detect, you must then correct, and however good your bell control, it can't be for perfect,so most of the time they will be some small additional error. So,if Joe Public notices errors of 20 per cent, you probably need to detect at the 10 per cent level, to give yourself a margin for error, and make your ringing sound even.
If you are ringing 'rounds' - the ringing order of the bells is 123456 repeated 123456 and so on then the ringing interval for your rope istwo seconds every time. However, if you wish to ring "a method" which in- volves changing the order of the bells, then you must ring quicker and slower. The bells changed positions only one place at a time, so follow- ing from 123456 you could get to 214365. You can see that the second will have had to ring quicker, whilst bell number one has rung slower The change in ringing speed for both is just one third of the second (for six bells) but in order to ring a peal one needs to change the ord- er of the bells about 5000 times over a period of nearly three hours. I haven't rung a peal, but many people do and in fact ring hundreds of them. However, most of the time, ringers will ring 120 changes or less Having read this passage, it sounds fiendishly difficult. This is NOT the case. It is a good mental exercise. There is also a limited amount of physical effort required - but hey it's good for you!
Brian Conroy ... The Year 2005 in Brief
We visited Brian's brother Michael and his wife Donna and their family in California during April and we met Samantha, our great niece, for the first time. She is now 8 months old and a very happy and good baby. We made good friends with her and of course miss seeing her now, but Christi does send lots of photographs by e-mail. We went with Michael and Donna to Oregon, we did not realise that it was a Tsunami area, thankfully although a little chilly the weather was quite uneventful. We stayed at a beautiful timeshare apartment overlooking the sea and were able to see whales swimming past spouting through their blowholes. Later on in the holiday we visited Monterey Bay, this time along with Christi, Kevin and Sami, and enjoyed the great coastline including the lovely town of Carmel and its beach. Then further down Highway 1 to Big Sur and beyond. Before we left we went to see Michael and Donna's new house, they having sold their house to Kevin and Christi; One down siz- ing, the other up!
Brian is still enjoying racing his Wineglass Dinghy every weekend and was lucky enough to have two sailing holidays offshore. One racing in the Solent with friends from the Sailing Clubs Wednesday Work Team, all retired willing workers. The other event was a weeks cruising around Majorca with five of our friends, again no ladies invited so, it's our turn next year: Michael and Donna and their friends Jan and Les visit- ed us on the hottest weekend of the year. They were spending 2 weeks in England visiting the Midlands and Cornwall and spent two nights in Waltham Abbey. It was an opportunity to go to London for a day and to show Jan and Les Waltham Abbey. We were able to enjoy Salcombe again this year with wonderful weather. The first week we had all three grand- children there and managed some good photos. Brian with our friend Barrie crewing, won the weeks racing and came home with the trophy. Our first visit to Salcombe was 40 years ago on our honeymoon:
I am glad that I have reached the last page as the typewriter is faulty;
For those who might be interested "Dave's GEN" will be reprinted on the LTSSAC website together with some pictures of the past at:- www.ltssac.org
Dave Fairhurst, 31 Roedean Avenue, Enfield, Middx. EN3 5QJ Tel:020 8804 1959
This site, http://www.ltssac.org/ © LTSSAC