This document was scanned, ocr'ed and slightly edited from the printed 'Dave's Gen'

DAVE'S GEN FEBRUARY 2008

A link for members of the former London Test Section who were based on Studd St

EDITORIAL.

As it is my tradition I will commence this February edition
of "Dave's GEN" with a list of those of you who kindly sent me a Xmas
Card or New Year Card.  The list might also be of interest to other
former colleagues who can then read that "old so and so is still around"
I have followed the list with brief extracts from any letters or comm-
ents on your cards.   Thanks for monies included.

   Brian Bale, Mike Bettenson, Gerry Bhagat, lan Boniface, Ted Blanden,
   Len Bovingdon, Cliff Bourne, Jim Beard, Ted Brown, Chris Broome-
   Smith, Neil Caldecourt, Ron Cooper, Derek Crane, Brian Conroy,
   Ken Denny, Steve Dickens, Andy Ellen, Norman Froggett, Mike Faulkner,
   Denis Fisk, Terry Griffiths, Roger Glover, Reg Hooker, John Hammond,
   Paul Hindell, Tom Halsey, Dave John, Harry Jenn, Les Knightson,
   Frank Kehoe, Dennis Laing, Norman Lawrence, Stan Mitchell, Brian
   Martin, Barry Moore, Fred Martin, Paul Mathew, John Neil, Dave Oliver,
   Derek Oswald, Pete Perry, Mike Reid, Keith Rich, Cyril Rose, Les Roberts,
   Brian Shillum, John Sutton, Cyril Seabrook, Ken Stinton, Arthur
   Snewin, Mike Stanton, Frank Skinner, Dave Stanford, Peter Stroyan,
   Ron Tattam, Mike Tamblin, lan Torrance, Claire Towler, Doreen Tilley.
   Glen Travell, Roy Trussell, Roy Thurgood, Harry Vincent, Alan Williams
   Vie Ware, Dick Wakefield, Dave Walton, Hedley Warner, Derek Young.

Now for the brief extracts from your cards etc.

Pete Perry ... Thanks once again for all your efforts, it's really
appreciated by us old fogeys; (80 in January) Perhaps there is something
in the old adage "Only the good die young"

Mike Tamblin ... Dave's GEN usually manages to stir up so many memories
which are gradually receding into the distant past now. Keep up the good
work. My only two contacts from those days are now Vie Ware and Eric
Vogel.

Dave Oliver ... I must thank you for your good work in producing "Daves
GEN" Long may it last.

Cyril Seabrook ... We have managed a trip to Brazil and Argentina this
year . It was an organised tour which included playing bowls in both
countries. Pleased to say the team won.

John Neil ... Thanks for GEN it keeps us Old Studdiars in touch ..

Betty & Harry Jenn (from Sunny South Africa) ... Thank you for your
efforts in helping us (LTS members) to keep in touch.
We won the Rugby World Cup for the Second time! ...

Frank Skinner ... Many thanks for the continued dispatch of "The GEN"
Without you, us in distant parts wouldn't have a clue about the happen-
ings in the "Old Firm"

Norman Lawrence ... Still enjoying reading the "GEN" - many thanks..

Derek Oswald ... Anne and I are reasonably fit. We went to Tenererife in
November to get a bit of sun to help us to cope with the winter ...

Peter Stroyan ... I don't hear much about old P.O. staff except through
you. Life is as hectic as ever. We had 4 weeks touring France September
to October. Pity I didn't get Mike Parish's address from you beforehand.
Hedley Warner ... Thank you for keetoing the "GEN" going. ...

1

 Les Knightson ... Thank you for keeping the "GEN" alive. I think I recognise"
 1 or 2 faces on the second photo on page 8 of the October issue
 Paul Hindell ...Hope this finds you well and keepup the good work, commun-
 ication was everything while we were at work and should be afterwe finish ...
 
 Neil Caldecourt ... Thanks for the GEN and best wishes to you. Am going to
 have a second bionic knee this Christmas; ...
 
Brian Martin ...  I am still pleased I took early Retirement and have not
 regreted one moment, miss the guys at Studd Street, the wind ups mostly...
 
Mike Stanton ... We have both survived our first year in Spain, despite
 various problems especially with the Correos(Post) and Telefonica, not like
 B.T.  Now that we have retired, we try to keep active and there is plenty
 to do here. I have not received any Club Gens, are you still producing them?
 Yes, I am still producing them twice a year. Did not have your address.
 
Tom Halsey ... I managed to break a bone in my foot in August, I was out of
 action for some weeks. Annoyingly, we missed our "Class of 56 Reunion"
 I hope your health is holding up (apart from growing (old) pains etc. Keep
 up the good work on the "GENS" ...
 
Reg Hooker ... Another year, all getting older. Ron Cooper told me he is 80
 this year and thought how marvellous it was to been retired for so long,
 22 years I think. It reminded me that when I joined the LTS in 1950, a T.O.
 told me that the age expectancy of Civil Servants was 63  I think he had'
 only 2 years to go before retirement. There was another T.O. on Group 2
 who had been brought back out of retirement to test Dials. He was 70+ so
 very old to me at 20 years. So long ago....
 
Len Bovingdon ... I was pleased to read the item from Derek Brown about the
 testing of teleprinter ribbons and paper, these tests were mainly Geoff
 Wigley's responsibility but whenever Geo   was not available I did the
 things, I had entirely forgotten them until I read the item.
 I also enjoyed the item from lan Torrance about STC New Southgate. I had
 never thought about the history of the site and enjoyed lan's short history
 Like many others I spent a lot of time at STC and perhaps unlike mostothers
 later spent a great deal of time at other STC sites. Monkstown in Northern
 Ireland and Cwmcarn (if that is how you spell it) in South Wales. It always
 surprised me to see so many familiar faces so far from Southgate. Like so
many other things it saddens me to think that it had all passed  For a
 variety of reasons I lost touch with STC after the change to Northern Tele-
 com. Are they still there in Southgate? ...

Jim Beard ... Another year gone, how time does fly. I find it hard to be-
 lieve that it is more than 22 years since T left "the firm" and I "^st say
 your  GEN  keep those memories alive. I enjoyed my working life at L.T.S.
      


Here is the final paragraph of lan Boniface article in October GEN

Those of you who had the privilege of working with the Joint Examiners will
remember that not much work could take place until the tables were laid up
by Supplies Department staff and once the afternoon tables had been graded
and Sammy Dark had done his thing. There was therefore a certain amount of
flexibility as far as time keeping was concerned. Mr. Liquorice ever mindful
of the need to prevent the pure mind of a Y2YC being corrupted by bad ex-
amples would appear around the corner of his office at such times and beckon
me in to explain the finer workings of the process and explain that staff
had to leave early to visit other depots. It did not take long for the ex-
planatory material to run out and in any case the AEs also had to visit
these Places and so, while at Goswell Road I often had a head start on those
at btudd Street to disappear down the tube at Angel Station.

Ian Torrance ... In the October 2007 issue there was a picture printed on
the last page, of 8 youths.   I have the same mug shot when I had hair on
my head but there was no reference to this picture by lan Boniface.
So, I would like to comment that there were many compulsory engineering
courses at Stone and at Sydenham to do as part of our training
But it came to our notice that there was a scheme, I think concocted by the
then Government in 1948/9 for people to volunteer to gain experience by
doing some other kind of work. Cheap labour more like it, for the eight of
us were sent to a "works" near Guildford Surrey which turned out to be a
2

 market garden whereby we had to either pick, select, grade and pack tomat-
 oes.   I know I was in a packing shed with John Reynolds  putting the fruit
 into crates ready for market. There were other groups on this scheme att-
 ending and many of us got to know various girls on this weeks course to
 gain further experience as well;;   Memories;
 
Paul Reid ... I recently discovered the LTSSAC website and was pleased,
 after some fruitless searching on Friends Reunited, to re-establish con-
 tact with a few of my former LTS colleagues. It's been great to be reminded
 of names I'd forgotten and it's good to see that there are (still) quite a
 few LTS folk around.       I was at Studd Street from 1961 as a Y2YC and
 T2A until I moved to Stone as an Instructor in 1966. (I still recall the
 whole 1961 intake being packed into the Studd Street gatehouse (it was on
 4 September 1961) before we were led off to the training room. My subsequ-
 ent telecoms career took me from Stone to Loughborough University in 1970
 on a PO scholarship (and transmission maintenance in Leicester Area during
 the vacations) then to Martlesham (1973) before moving in 1991 to the Euro-
 pean Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) in the south of France,
 where I am still working (only part-time now though)
 I have been responsible for seconding BT staff to ETSI and finally had the
 opportunity to second myself; Having burnt my bridges to BT, I subsequently
 found myself without a job, and spent four years working freelance in
 France. My main clients were ETSI and SITA, the airline telecommunications
 company. But because I was getting so much work from ETSI, I managed to
 persuade them to put me back on the payroll.
 The standards activity still puts me in contact with lots of BT staff, but
 I think I've only encountered a couple of Studd Street veterans - John
 Rogers, who I think was in the Class of '62, and came to standards meetings
 from time to time. I haven't seen him for a couple of years though, and I
 suspect he may have retired. He was involved in satellite standards and was
 still with BT I believe (or maybe Ofcom?) And George Wicks (same intake as
 me) with whom I corresponded a few years ago. I reminded him that I recalled
 going to Stone on a course with him in the 60s, not long before I trans-
 ferred up there, and how we listened to "I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again" in
 his room.    Unfortunately, I don't think I have any pictorial relics of my
 time in the LTS, but I do have many good memories, especially of the NE
 London outstations (Enfield factory, Plessey Ilford, and Arnos Grove espec-
 ially) Looking back over all the years, I consider LTS to have been a great
 place to start my career; ...

 Brian Conroy ... Our year has revolved around looking after three grand
 children, the sailing Club and ourselves. The year kicked off well with a
 9 day cruise down the Adriatic around the toe of Italy and up to Rome,
 visiting Dubrovnik, Ismia (for Ephasus), Athens, Rhodes and up through the
Straits of Messina to Naples and then on to Rome. The passage through the
Messina Strait was at night and the ship diverted a little to view the
erupting volcano on Stromboli, a terrific sight;
The Sailing Club continues to demand much of our time, currently I am the
Commodore, it is quite a large set up, racing on Sundays and working on
Wednesdays on enlarging and improving the facilities. It is though a pleas-
ant place to visit and all are welcome, just call me 01992 713455.
Thursday means golf to us now, the Sailing Club has a small golf society
and has a regular slot at Panshanger Golf Complex near W.G.City. Still hol-
idaying at Salcombe during August, we sail in the Club Regatta, it lasts a
week. Still taking pictures, now digitally, processing and printing athome.
fhe computer, the Internet and WWW provides the tools for managing all the
above, I am no expert, but we would be lost with out it. Our Steven and
Gillian are still with BT and keep us up to date with its "progress"

DEATHS.
Pam Schroder, who ran the LMS Stores at Studd Street from the
early 1960s until we left in 1988, died on 2nd January 2008.(Derek Brown)

It is with great sadness that I am writing to tell you that my Uncle Michael  -
Tamblin of Ely Cambridgeshire died on Wednesday 5th December 2007. Although
he was scheduled to have an operation in early January there were no indic-
ations that he was seriously ill, and come as a great shock to his family.
3

Norman Froggett ... Here is the latest news from the Froggett household:
Since being diagnosed with Leukaemia late last year the last few weeks have
shown great improvement health wise which has been the result of excellent
care and medication by the Haematology department of Exeter Hospital where
I have to attend for a check up once a month. So, I have at last been able
to get on with some work, much of it being converting 8mm cine films to
DVD, payment for this is being donated to "ELF" That is the "Exeter Leuk-
aemia Fund" in recognition of the excellent work being done in that depart-
ment. I must also put on recor'l the wonderful care my wife Anne has given
 me through the illness. I have also been able to get my car on the road
 once more, mainly now only for local trips, last year I really thought my
 driving days were over. So, things here are almost back to nprmal. All my
 best wishes to Ex Test Section colleagues who are reading this latest GEN.

 Paul Hindell ...      OZ SAGA 7
 Well, it's safe to say that "due to the quantity of people who wish to
 spend their last days in paradise" Nothing has happened on the immigration
 front, that is to say that we are still waiting "patiently" to get to the
 top of the list, according to the immigration calculator on the website
 there is still some 2,500 ahead of us.
 Our annual trip to the UK was eventful. Problems getting flights back to
 OZ, it appears that it is the most popular time of year to fly into Mel-
 bourne, something to do with the horse racing fraternity out of the Middle
 East. U.A.E. to be precise. For the "Spring Racing Carnival" and "Melbourne
 Cup".     Plus sorting out mum's problems, at 81 they are getting more
 complex. Freezer not working, still under guarantee from Comets.Insurance
 companies trying to get them to save pennies by amalgamating their pol-
 icies this only helps the insurance companies as they can restrict the
 amount of times you can call them out before defaulting on the policy. It's
 a con worth looking out for. Then there was changing her gas, electric and
 phone back to the original providers. As it is easier for her to control.
 Then on top of it all according to her solicitor, from November 1st I can
 no longer be named as power of attorney in their Wills as I no longer
 officially reside in the UK. So I am no longer a son except in name only.
 Foreign in the UK, foreign in Australia and dead in four countries includ-
 ing China where I died in a plane crash, and I thought I was the onlyPaul
 Hindell in this world. My mum kept telling me they broke the mould when I
 was born.   Apart from all that we had a good time in the UK. Ashamed
 that I couldn't get to the Albion, even though I was in the country at the
 time.   Beryl and I are both fit although I had Brighton beach in my Gall
 Bladder and had to have it removed in November. All went well and I am now
 as of when this was written, on the way to a full recovery. Looking for-
 ward to a good Christmas. The first, for a few years, without gross stom-
 ach pains.   Regrets, too few to mention. Happy days, too many to list and
 the twain shall meet. Loosing weight and feeling good, Happy in love, what
 more could an old man ask?   'Till next/this yesr wishing that you will
 all read the instalment, meaning that you are still here to do so and that
 I am still here to write it.

 Ron Cooper ... Many thanks for the continued supply of your GEN. The photo
 on the last page of the October 2007 issue shows from the left - John
 Towler, Pete Perry, Peter Moor, Stan Billet, Fred Wright and 3rd up on the
 right is George Cooper.(Sam Hawkins mentions also Ted Page? talking to
 Percy Prudence. The man with the spectacles behind being Stan Newman.
 Behind him holding empty glasses looks like Charlie West) (At the front on
 the right is Sam Hawkins then Norman Cutmore Ed)
 I joined L.T.S. in November 1944 as a Y2YC after an interview with a Chief
 named Prior who asked me if I could do simultaneous equations and having
 said Yes I was in. Still wondering years later when I would use such equat-
 ions. There were 13 of us Y2YCs that year including myself, Pete Moor,
 Fred Wright, George Cooper, Joe Wishart, Ken Warwick, Roy Tha.. the rest I
 do not recollect.     Remember the football matches between B.T.S. & L.T.S.
 My wife and I attended one in Edmonton somewhere, as spectators. Fred
 Wright and Pete Moor both had open top M.G. cars (the better to attract
4

 girl friends they told me) and after the match Pete Perry said "let's go
 up to my place at Stanstead Abbotts" Pete Moor said to my wife Margaret
 "come on I'll take you in my M.G. while Ron myself follows in his Ford
 Anglia" So, up the A10 we sped and afterwards my wife said it was the most
 exhilerating ride she ever had. Was that a reflection on me? Pete Perry if
 you read this I seem to remember opening a door to a toilet where you
 stepped down into a small closet with the toilet Pan almost level with the
 floor outside. True or False?
 Having settled down nicely in my retirement apartment which is in the ex
 Hoddesdon Council Office building, I have the prime apartment facing the
 High Street which has a balcony from which the Mayor used to wave to the
 crowd below, my lounge being part of the council chamber.
 Have had quite a number of holidays this year with my partner Maureen, to
 various places, such that we have had 104 days away this year. Have not
 been available for the Xmas meet up, as each year we have been in Cyprus at
 that time, perhaps I may make that in 2008.    Am still swimming 3 times a
 week one session being early training with my Club The Hartham Masters on
 Saturday morning. Last June at the gala held at Borehamwood I became the
 Hertfordshire County Record Holder in the 3 strokes Front Crawl, Back
 Stroke and Breast Stroke and I have Certificates to prove it. April 2008
 I will reach my four score years and hence will enter another age group for
 swimming in perhaps another set of Certificates. I am always the oldest com-
 petitor at the Gala most amazing how is it. Is it in the genes?
 
Sam Hawkins ...(refering to the photo) I have no idea where tihe photo was
taken but from the assembled com.pany I think it might have been a Brimsdown
 do.  The reason we are all sitting there with empty glasses I can only
 hazard a guess but probably we were waiting for someone to volunteer to buy
 the next round;

 lan Torrance ...         
                   The Lee-Enfield Rifle
 Much has changed in the area around Brimsdown, Enfield in North London
 with its conglomeration of factories, Outlets, warehouses and the like, and
 quite un recognisable from the days when many of us spent time working at
 the P.O. Factory in Bilton Way in the 1960's and 1970's. You may recall
 that there was little in the way of buildings other than the Government
 Training Centre opposite and there were paths across open fields leading
 to the River Lee.   I remember in the early 1960's horse drawn barges still
 plying its trade and off loading supplies to the Royal Small Arms Factory
 at Enfield Lock, famous for the manufacture of the Lee-Enfield Rifle, a
 short distance from the P.O. Factory site.
 Barges would continue past Ordnance Road for a further li miles to Waltham
 Abbey to unload materials to the vast gun powder works tliiere. Both sites
 are now huge housing estates, although part of the gun powder works is open
 to the public as a museum.  In the days when the Ordnance Factory produced
 guns one could often hear, from the P.O. site, the sound of small arms fire
 when testing on their ranges.   The Ordnance Factory employed several 100's
 of staff and it was very impressive to see huge workshops full of lathes
 and milling machines etc., a place of great activity. So it had been for
 well over a 100 years when it first produced the muzzle loading rifle in
 1853 for the Crimean War.
 There are, in fact, two rivers, the original River Lea (spelt thus) which
 meanders through marshland and meadows and is unnavigable today and the
 canalized river with its many locks for the barge traffic. Now a haven for
 the Narrow Boat enthusiasts, which is called the RIVER LEE. I always
 assumed, and incorrectly, believed that the name of the River Lee was ass-
 ociated with the Rifle. Not so.  So, who put the name LEE into the LEE-
 ENFIELD^Rifle?   All will be revealed in the 2nd Part in the next issue
 of Dave's GEN.   Today, the Rivers Lea/Lee are in an extensive Country Park
 with many habitats and reserves ideal for wildlife
 5


Now follows the fourth part of lan Boniface's diary.

The diary of a Y2YC
After Goswell Road it was back to Studd Street and another Group. I cannot
remember the exact sequence but another Group that Cyril and I were on in
the earlier days of our training was Group 1, clocks, watches and cords.
An odd combination but we were only allowed to marvel at the skills of the
senior TO checking and repairing clocks and watches and so it was the
study of cords for us. The Group was staffed by several Adult recruit Tech
2As, mostly young men recently demobbed from the forces. The AE George
Hicks (senior for those who remember his son, also George) was also respon-
sible for the teleprinter room and spent a great deal of his time up there
on the third floor. The relative freedom this gave meant that there was
always lots of discussion on the issues of the day and a lot of laughter
which sometimes annoyed the senior members of the Group. One incident which
sticks vividly in my mind was when Major Cooper the Engineer (later EE)
rang wanting to speak to George Hicks. Now Major Cooper had a stammer and
who should pick up the phone but Jack Nye who also had a stammer, madeworse
when he realised to whom he was speaking. Minutes later a furious Major
Cooper appeared on the Group demanding to know who was taking the mickey.
This situation was not helped by the whole Group bursting into uncontrolled
laughter. Poor Jack tried to apologise but nerves made him almost inco-
herent and Cooper just walked out.
One of the uses made of Y2YCs was the duplication of notices of all kinds.
The high tech method used in those days was to make a tray of jelly and
press the original onto the surface of the jelly once it had set thus tak-
ing an impression. Duplicates were then made by pressing blank paper onto
the impression. This was quite a long winded and messy process and only
produced a very limited number of copies. For some reason it was always
done in the First Aid Room. Talking of First Aid, Bill Day the Training AE
was a senior member of the St. Johns Ambulance Brigade and one of the more
popular tasks given to us was to take packages to the Brigade's Headquart-
ers at St. Johns Gate in the City - popular because we were usually not ex-
pected to return to Studd Street and so could go home a little earlier than
usual. We were also sent to other places such as I Branch Headquarters at
Little Briton in the City with packages or messages. On one occasion I was
sent with a package for Engineer H.B.Harris at Creeds Teleprinter Works,
Croydon. Mr. Harris known rather disrespectfully as Tojo, did not seem at
all grateful and gave me a ticking off for appearing at a Contractor's
works casually dressed. I think he thought that I should have known I might
be sent or should have gone home to change into a suit. As it happens the
only suit I had was my school uniform, I wonder what he would have said if
I had turned up in that;
Look out for the next thrilling episode when we discover that we can get
time off with full pay to earn even more money and work even harder helping
to feed the Nation.

 Brian Conroy ... I apologise for not making the Christmas gatherings, there
 is a reason and it is a littir selfish. The LTS pub meetings are invar-
 iably on a Thursday which coincides with a Christmas function that inv-
 olves a small golf society that is an offshoot of the Sailing Club at
 Waltham Abbey. Incidentally the Society plays at Panshanger (near Welwyn
 Garden City) early on a Thursday morning, if you want a round call me.
 Better still if you are in a Society let's have a match;
 Through "Dave's GEN" could I thank Mick or was it Dave Bettenson that found
 my long lost uncle;  A telephone call from him one day, some four years ago
 advised me that "He had found my Uncle Stan" Indeed yes, it was my uncle
 having telephoned him to confirm the finding. It appears that Stan was
 chatting with the barman at the Working Men's Club, Mick Bettenson, and
 having determined that Mick had worked for the "GPO", Stan said I have a
 nephew who worked for the "GPO", his name was Brian Conroy - did you know
 him? Mick rang me and we have been in regular contact Auntie ever since.
 Sadly, Stan died two years later, but his wife Betty still lives in Herne
 Bay and Edna and I now travel there quite often to take her shopping, or
 to the hospital and the like. She will be 90 years old come the end of
6

 January and a reunion-cum birthday has been planned, with the inclusion of
 two other nieces and their families who currently live in Yorkshire.
 Still racing sailing dinghies every Sunday, mainly at Fishers Green'Sailing
 Club near Waltham Abbey, apart from three Sundays in January that are set
 aside for maintenance. These working weekends allow the Club to rejuvenate
 itself and be ready for the new seasons racing. The racing is arranged as a
 series of some 10 or so races based on the Seasons and run much like the
 football league. The Club provides training, in sailing and power boat skill
 and it has a strong volunteer maintenance and construction team - called the
Wednesday Mob, they are all retirees.   So there is not much time in the
 week for idleness especially with three grandchildren and a lawn.
 

 Harry Jenn (in South Africa) ... I keep in touch with Norman Froggett and
 lan Torrance.As I said in my last letter to you, about the unfortunate incid
 ent at a Game Park with lions mauling the owner. We made a plan to go to our
 local Lion Park instead, where you can fondle and put a cub on your lap,
 3/4 month old lion cubs. Between the three cameras they had brought with
 them, they must have taken over 600 pics'. The park also had the rare White
Lions. It had vastly improved from when we took Sue & Carol those many years
ago. There was other game to view, BUT not for handling.
Another place we had visited was the Sterkfontein Caves, but now very up-
market called "The Cradle of Humankind". It now has an Exhibition Hall with
fossils and bones of earliest mankind (so far found) Drawings and commentar-
ies add to the interest. With a 1 hour guided tour, we sent them down to
explore, (too long and tiring for us "oldies") while we sat in the very lov-
ely restaurant they have built, (mostly for the toursts I should think) and
had a nice cuppa tea and toasted sandwich at a reasonable cost.Out of season-?
We had short breaks to catch up with all the news, review the pics. ate at
home. We had hoped to see how well the Grandchildren could ice skate, as we
have an ice rink very close by. The blades were so blunt as to be useless.
We made preparations for visiting a much nearer Game Park than the Kruger
Park. The Pilansberg where we had booked two 4 bed self catering chalets for
2 days and a night.    We left early so we could book in and go on a late
afternoon drive.Saw some of the big five. One was a bull elephant straddling
the track, neither of us were quite sure what to do, but the kids were
thrilled to pieces, eventually he turned away so that we managed to get to
the gate before it closed. We were in two separate chalets but right next to
each other and as we had brought salads and Braai meat, we joined theMonty's
had wine and a Weber cooked meal outside under the stars. For June it was
unusually quite mild and very pleasant. The family after six Autumn & Winter
in Canada felt it was quite warm enough to walk around in T-Shirts & Shorts
The Monty's went for an early morning drive while we had a lay-in and then
packed up our things ready to leave later. They saw more game and were back
for a breakfast at the Restaurant, included in the price. They took so many
pictures between them and were going to show them to their school friends,
wild live animals instead of seeing them on TV or in the zoo.
I think they really enjoyed their short holiday with us, we miss them very
much now that they have gone back although it was pretty hectic trying to
fit everything in and it took us quite a while to get back into our routine
In August Betty and I celebrated our 60th Wedding Anniversary. We were not
invited to celebrate the event with Queen & Prince Phillip, as we were for
our 50th. They were also married in 1947, but in November. That is another
story I could tell.

John Sutton ... The other Sunday, we invited to luncheon with a number of
friends whom we have known since the fifties - and one or two before then;
 Ah, John" said one, "I was going to ring you earlier, I'm having problems
with my telephone extension bell"      It transpired that the bell in the
house when he bought it, and was probably used with a candlestick phone
(Telephone 150). Having had broadband installed, he now needed to wire it to
a jack to connect it to the broadband filter. However, his first attempt to
connect two wires to the jack had 'blown up' his broadband connection;
Searching the www with the aid of Mr Google had produced many results for
bell sets, but none like this.
7

I may be able to help you with a wiring diagram" I said. The thought had
occured to me that I still had a copy of 'Atkinson' - and one of 'Renton'
lurking in the depths of my loft where they had been put in December 1990
following my early retirement (pause to utter up many, many grateful thanks)
And sure enough, under text books entitled "Project Management and Materials
for Engineers" at the bottom of the box, there they were in their original
cardboard boxes with  postmark "January 1955" There amongst the pages head-
ed "Principles of Local Line Signalling" and "Subscribers Apparatus" were
circuits of bell sets. These I faxed to him and await his call re their
usefulness. Incidentally, it was the first time I had used my fax machine
since having broadband, and transmission was really slow - a consequence of
the filter?      Post Script, I now realise that I returned the two books
to the back of my loft without another glance at their contents - that's
perhaps I am too busy with retirement to regain an interest in work?

Roger Pye ... One That Got Away (Joined the LTS in September 1953 as a YiT)
In Spring 1962 I received a letter asking me to appear before the I Branch
Selection Board for promotion to A.E.E. I got a grilling from the Staff
Engineer Mr. Brown. He finally rounded on me and said perhaps I wasn't as
much of a fool as he thought I was. I left the interview feeling somewhat
crestfallen. A week later I received a letter saying I had passed the Board
for promotion to A.E.E. in the Cable Test Section. A lot of my colleagues
said "You don't want to go there. You spend all your time travelling the
country and living in pubs" I retorted that sounded pretty good to me.
I joined the Cable Test Section in June 1962, the first few weeks were spent
with colleagues learning the job. Most of the measurements were pretty basic
in those days but the accuracy of the testing was pretty tight and became
onerous when testing large number pair audio cables.
Pat and I were living in a flat near my parents at the time, and our first
child was on the way. I had progressed on to Coaxial Test Acceptance by now
and it was about to become the worst winter for many years - not much fun
digging your way into remote rural repeater huts; But it became a challenge.
I quite enjoyed the work on Cable Test. It was not all repetitive testing on
Audio Cables. There were carrier systems to be balanced, special tests on
new types of cable, and fault finding on the many submarine cables that
terminated in the UK. Some of my senior colleagues even went abroad to the
other ends of the submarine cables. I once got as far as Ostend;
My family got used to me travelling, usually at short notice. There appeared
to be no reason to actually live in London so in October 1963 we moved out
to a small house in Newport Pagnell. Good motorway links to London and Birm-
ingham plus large telecomm centres at Oxford and Cambridge gave me the
chance to get home more frequently.   After the birth of our second son we
moved to a small village just north of Stony Stratford. In 1967 I was sec-
onded to Dollis Hill for trials on the new 60Mhz cables. Later that year I
was devoved to Eastern Region with HQ at Colchester, out stationed at
Bletchley.     In 1968 I went up for the 1st of 3 attempts to pass the EEs
Board but failed. I wasn't particularly bothered. To improve my experience
I made a sideways shift on to Transmission Acceptance Testing. I was soon
testing the Eastern Region portion of the 60 Mhz Birmingham - London system.
The first PCM Digital Systems in the junction network appeared followed by
Coaxial Cable Digital systems. By now I had passed the EEs Promotion Board,
but with the posts mainly back in HQ in London, I was happy where I was. In
early 1984 I was responsible for acceptance testing on the world's first
production Monomode Optical System between Hitchin and Luton.
In August 1984 I successfully applied for the Level 2 post as the Operations
Manager of Milton Keynes TV Cable System. After getting the system up and
running I found myself the whipping boy for promises made by sales and
programme changes out of my control.   In March 1986 I obtained a post in
Trunk Network Operations, who were re-locating to Milton Keynes. It provid-
ed support for Trunk Systems on Copper Cables and Submarine Cables within
the British Isles.
8

For 4 years we had a great time. I had a team I could trust and depend on.
A boss who dragged me along to meetings or sent me to visits in the Channel
Isles, The Isle of Man and Dublin. We had Courses at Phillips in Holland and
visits to Alcatel in France. Unfortunately with a QA background I got lum-
bered with BS5750. In addition to my own work I was made the QLO for the
Group. So I took advantage of Soverereign. BT and I parted company on Dec22nd
1990 after 37 1/2 years where most of the time I had looked forward to going
to work.    3 months later my wife persuaded me to help out as a temporary
clerk at the Open University. I finished up working there till just after
my 60th Birthday. I worked in an office with 30 women. I learnt more about
the fair sex there than I have done in 47 years of marriage. In addition I
got a good grounding in computers.
We both play bowls in Stony Stratford, where I am also Assistant Green Keep-
er, Tour Organiser and Committee Member. I am a charter member of Towcester
Lions Club. We have 2 allotments, enjoy gardening, swimming and our Family.
Both boys happily married and we have 3 granddaughters aged beween 18 & 10.
The eldest boy has risen through the ranks in Royal Signals to Captain and
soon Major.  The younger is maintenance electrician supervisor for Milton
Keynes Centre.      Pat and I love travelling and since 1990 have done New
England & Florida, Canada, Alaska, Thailand, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Kerala,
Singapore, Malaysia, Israel, Tunisia, Cyprus and Turkey.

TO ALL THE KIDS WHO SURVIVED the 1930s 40s 50s 60s and 70s!
Firstly, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while
they carried us.   They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, tuna from a
can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.  Then after that trauma, our baby
cribs were covered with bright coloured lead-based paints.  We had no child-
proof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes
we had no helmets, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.
As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding
in the back of a pick up on a warm day was always a special treat. We drank
water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle. We shared one soft drink
with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.
We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soda pop with sugar
in it, but we weren't overweight because WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING:
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were
back when the street lights came on.  No one was able to reach us all day.
And we were O.K.   We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps
and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After
running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendos, X-boxes, no video games at all, no
99 channels on cable, no video tape movies, no surround sound, no cell
phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms.
We fell out of trees, got cut, broken bones and teeth and there were no
lawsuits from these accidents.  We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt,
and the worms did not live in us forever.  We were given BB guns for our
10th birthdays, made up games with sticks and tennis balls and although we
were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes. Little League
had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to
deal with disappointment. Imagine that;;   The idea of a parent bailing us
out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law;
This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers
and inventors ever:   The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovat-
ion and new ideas.  We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility,
and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL:  And YOU are one of them: CONGRAT-
ULATIONS;   You might want to share this with others who have had the luck
to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our
lives for our own good.  And while you are at it, forward it to your kids
so they will know how brave their parents were.
Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn't it?

         The first Cash Machine was at Barclays, Enfield Town.
9

I wonder when these photos were taken? Let me know for October edition!

The next Islington meet up will be on Thursday 20th March at The White Swan near Highbury Corner.

Dave Fairhurst, 31 Roedean Avenue, EjiQeld, Middx. EN3 5QJ 020 8804 1959.

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