Looking back at my previous Editorials it is still hard for me to write up something different'. But here goes. In case you did not see the final sentence on the bottom of yhe February GEN, the three monthly meet-ups are now at the White Swan near Highbury Stn The next one will be on Thursday 11th December. (This has been corrected from 18th as printed in the mailed version - RG) Those attending on Thursday 18th September were: John Bloomfield, Chris Broome-Smith, Dave Coles, Ken Denny, Dave Fairhurst, Roger Glover, Stan Mitchell, John Neil, John Reynolds, Cyril Rose, Roy Thurgood, Harry Vincent, Hedley Warner, I hope no others turned up after I left at 2.40 p.m. I will now get on with your letters, although I only have a few. Karl Easthorpe . . . Many thanks for the latest copy of "Dave's GEN". A great read as usual. I must apologise for not sending a card this year and can only put it down to the starting of those Senior Moments. ... Bill Sargeant . . . Thank you sincerely for the February GEN. I am ashamed to have been so long to write to you. I am still coping on my own but I do get regular visits and help from my Son and Daughter. I am still able to use my car for local work but I do not go out in the dark and I am able to keep it off the road in the House Garage. I have a big collection of your "GEN" and previous predecessors. How times have changed but it is inevitable but your GENS keep us in touch. . . . Peter Cleaver . . . Regarding the darts photo in the February 2008 GEN. I think the photo was as a result of winning the team event of the Post Office Supplies Recreation Association (POSDRA) play off at Queens Drive House in Swindon. ... I think Bill Peach was unable to be in the photo as when it was taken a few days later, back at Studd Street, he was back at Southampton on submarine cable duties at STC. If it wasn't this match, it may have been another tournament between the LTS and the Studd Street Factories. My bet is the POSDRA finals. . . . John Sutton's Jottings . . . This has been a very busy summer for us . . Joan had her second helping of the Ladies Captaincy at the bowling club, and since the end of April there has been a never-ending stream of phone calls both incoming and outgoing. She is also President of the local Women's Institute where she not only arranges for visiting speakers, but is the con- tact for both County and National Federations. This year was the occasion of the biennial Abbots Langley Festival of the Arts for which I am Secretary. In addition to getting organisations involved there were three events which I produced on behalh of the festival committee a harpist, a guitar duo, and a sixteen piece jazz orchestra. I also assembled and published the festival brochure, and arranged for 7,500 copies distributed I have mentioned before that I am secretary and treasurer of the bowling club. These duties plus entering a score of competitions, means that I have few idle moments between 1st May, when I played my first competition, and the llth September when I played my last final. My last two outdoor games (Ladies v Men and Ladies v Vets) come after my first indoor game! This year's weather has resulted in a lot of additional hedge cutting. Prev- ious years, the drier summer weather has always slowed down the rate of growth not this year! It's been like painting the Forth Bridge! I am hoping for some (1) settled weather so that I can start putting the garden "to bed" for the winter - I was going to cut the grass today, but I no sooner stepped outside than it started to rain. lan Torrance ... The Lee-Enfield Rifle (Part 2) Near Enfield Lock in North London beside the River Lee Navigation was the site of the Royal Small Arms Factory, founded in 1804, where the British soldiers' "Best Friend" of many years, standing, the .303 Lee Enfield Rifle was made. Prior to that model, muzzle loaders were built at the factory for the army in the Crimean War. The distinct disadvantage of the 1857 muzzle loader for the soldier was that he had to stand upright in the heat of the battle to ramrod down the barrel the ball and powder charge, so presented the enemy with a simple target. New technology was needed and so an advert by the War Office invited gun- makers and inventors to submit plans to convert the Enfield pattern muzzle loaders, of which there were considerable supplies, into a breech loader calling for accuracy, velocity of a bullet, recoil, rapidity of fire and to overcome fouling due to exposure of the weather and the criteria must not exceed £1.00 per firearm. FSom the 50 applicants, eight candidates went on to develop the conversion which was tested at the Enfield Factory. Over the years improvements were made to the weapon when different inventors' systems were tried. Among some were Martini with Henry, Lee and Burton and Lee and Metford. In 1885 the Rifle type weapon emerged that became reliable under the severest of battlefield conditions including rain and mud. This model was invented by James Lee. He was a Scot. and although his father was a clock and watch maker James Lee had more interest in firearms. He converted the famous Springfield muzzleloader into a breech loading system in 1861 in America. Just prior to the U.S. Civil War and did much work for the gunmakers. Sharp and Remington, at that time. James Lee experimented and his ideas created the famous bolt action rifle which was produced at Enfield and became known worldwide as the Lee Enfield Rifle. The Mark 4 version was used in the 1st and 2nd World Wars and around the world in other troubled areas. The Rifle is named for the spiral inside the barrel that aids the projection of the bullet and increases velocity and accuracy, wheas muzzle loaders have a smooth bore inside the barrel. The Rifle therefore is not attributed to the River Lee but to the man James Paris Lee, that through his engineering skills and the Lee Valley workforce at the Enfield Factory over the years, had mass produced this superior weapon that put Enfield District on the map. lan Boniface ... Diary of a Y2YC part 5 During our first year someone discovered that we could get a weeks special leave A (with full pay) to go to a Government sponsored Harvest Camp. Eight of us duly applied and we were allocated places at a camp near Guildford in Surrey. We were given accommodation with full board and paid employment help- ing to bring the harvest in. The work consisted of several farm labouring jobs including picking runner beans at a farm known as Secrets of Send. For thus task we were under the supervision of a foreman who we believed to be Dutch and who seemed to spend most of his time catching moles between shout- ing "pick a da beans" (maybe we were wrong and he was Italian) I did spend one day harvesting cabbages, a very cold and wet occupation that proved to be'. The highlight of the week was probably the evening mystery coach tour, the mystery being which pubs we visited as it was too dark to see the countryside at that time of year. I seem to remember being punched on the face by John Reynolds on the trip - a dispute over some girl. We had visited several pubs by then and the sympathy I received was great compensation! The photo pub- lished in Dave's GEN October 2007 shows the Studd Street contingent In the halcyon days of the late 1940s and probably into the 1950s, Youths in-Training were recruited in ones and twos rather than as an annual intake. I wonder if lan Torrance remembers the day that Derek Moore started. Derek joined with Norman Lawrence and they were put with Cyril and me to intro- duce them to the ways of the LTS. lan was sitting on the next Group minding his own business and we pointed him out to our new colleagues saying that we (2) would introduce them to him and the rest of the happy band of Youths at tea break. Before we could stop him Derek walked across and slapped lan on the back saying "hello Torry". We thought murder was about to be commited as lan taken by surprise, was understandably rather unhappy at having his concen- tration broken so rudely. Fortunately, however'Cyril and I were able to calm things down and no injuries were sustained. Our training continued with visits to telephone exchanges and to Faraday Building and periods spent on the various Test Sectionlaboratories. :- Group 25 AE Bill Yates - tensile testing on the Denizen(I think) machine, resistors and capacitors. The main lesson learnt here was never catch any- thing thrown to you on this Group as it is likely to be a fully charge capac- itor which could give you a nasty shock. We also spent time in the Photo- metry Room in the Base ment, testing lamps with Frank Kehoe. Group 29 AE Charlie Lockwood - Motors and stamp cancelling machines. Group 5 AE Freddy Eva - precision mechanical measurements. Group 30 AE Bill Page - Basement again, rectifiers and demonstrations of breaking cables, chains, ropes and telegraph pole crosspieces on Buckton. We also had a spell in the battery room but I cannot remember which group. Group 21 AE George(Squire) Pike - Subscribers' meters. Jacks and indicators. We were not allowed out to Contractors works but we did spend time at Post Office Factories sites such as Group 22 Holloway Factory AE Tom Huby. I cannot remember what was repaired there. I think Cyril may have attended Group 46 Brimsdown Factory. And then there was the Auto room, the teleprinter room, the Youths B course and another Harvest Camp but that is a story for the next and final chapter. Ron Cooper ... Readers may recall my writing in the February issue about Pete Perry's toilet location in his then home in Stanstead Abbotts. Well, imagine my shock when I received the following letter:- Mr . R.Cooper Dear Sir, "I have today instructed my solicitor to instigate proceedings regarding the defamarity remarks regarding the toilt arrangements at No.l Roydon Road, Stanstead Abbotts. Alas, as the said building has since been demolished, he informs me that any action is unlikely to succeed, and to admit the statements made were in fact true" Good on yer Peter, it just shows that the old Test Section sense of humour still carries on into our old age i.e. we are both 80 years of age. Am still a member of Brian Conroy's sailing club, have been for over 30years now. However, due to family moving to U.S.A. I have sold my two sailing dinghs and no longer sail, being purely a social member. It's a great place to spend time on a summers day. June 21st at Borehamwood with my swimming club for Herts County Gala. Once again I obtained 3 gold medals in my age group, one each for Breast Stroke, Back Stroke and Front Crawl. Comparing my times for the 50 metre swims of five years ago, I was 10 sees slower in the Breast and Back Strokes but only 2 sees slower in the Front Crawl. Not bad, a slow deteriation in the five years. Must try harder in 2009. My club trainer looks after me, as the above meant that I got 24 points for the Club which help the Hartham Masters obtain second place out of fourteen clubs. I notice in the Olympic swimming that the 19 year old girl who won gold in the 400 metre freestyle clocked 59.37 for the first 100 metres which is 0.4s faster than my time for 50 metres, but then I am four times her age so she should be twice as fast as myself, at least. Just had two weeks in Portugal with my partner Maureen and her family, away from all that rain, and now on 22nd August are on a cruise from Southampton on the QE 2, before she goes off permanently to Dubai. Nice to hear from colleagues in "Dave's GEN" from our past life in L.T.S. that are still alive and with us, it must have been a stress free life in L.T.S. DEATHS Ken Stinton died llth February 2008 age 91 years. Alan Portch 7th Jan 2008 (3) lan Torrance ... IN MEMORY OF NORMAN FROGGETT 1924 - 2008 It is with much sadness that I write about a great friend who died 20th April. He was such a talented guy who will be missed by so many friends, in partic- ular Dicky Dunn, and Harry & Betty Jenns who were together in South Africa, and his wife, Anne and their family. Norman wrote and printed, to leave as a legacy, a fine record comprising of six comprehensive booklets well written and illustrated about his life. An autobiography about his days as a cinema projectionist in South London. He got to know many organists who came to play the Wurlitzer organ during the film intermissions. This sparked his interest in organs and style of music and he became passionate enough to form Organ Clubs in South Africa, Lough- ton in Essex and in Devon, where he settled after returning from South Africa. He was an accomplished organ player and had recorded a number of C.D.s at home playing his Technics 100 Organ. He had a large circle of friends in the organ world, many were professional players among whom was Dicky Dunn. Norman joined the R.A.F. and in the signals served in India and the Far East, but it was his vast knowledge about Radio, Hi Fi, Electrics, Photography, and Cinema Projectors and Sound that gave him freelance duties in the R.A.F. to go around various camps setting up and showing current films of the time His old job in Civvy street, he was in his element. On being demobbed in 1948 he came into the P.O.E.D.. Even as a boy of 12 years he was able to build radio sets and soon adapted to the different tasks in the P.O. with Auto, Transmission Equipment, Teleprinters and spent much of his time in the "Cage" with Ted dark. Away from Studd Street, he spent his time at Kidbrooke Depot and at the Sub- marine Cable Works at Erith. It was during his time there that he got to know the Manager and workforce at Grundigs, famous for reel-to-reel tape rec- orders. An interesting account of his contacts at Grundig is given separately as an extract from his 4th book. Then in 1964 he, along with others in the Test Section with Harry Jenn and family, emigrated to South Africa until his retirement, when he decided to return and settle in Devon. Norman was an expert on many things, D.I.Y., electrical and his ability with computers and electronics enabled him to produce recordings on CD & DVD home. Not only that, but he was very artistic and creative and produced wonderful unique personalised greeting cards that are a real treasure. Just days before he died, and extremely ill, he made the effort to produce a brilliant birth- day card for my wife, Gwen's birthday in April. It is a memorable keepsake. He had a great personality, a great knowledge in all things, a remarkable guy with many facets to his life. In memory to a great friend I.J.T. Here now are some extracts from the introductory letter about Norman that lan sent me. "He was an amazing guy who had a great knowledge and a keen brain - a wizard. His love of Organ Music brought us together and we became firm friends. He did much to restore and install organs and saved them from the scrapheap. One was from the Gaumont Cinema in Finchley when many cinemas closed. He was able to remove and install at a pub in Great Mundon in Herts, near Ware. This pub out in the sticks became a great venue and attracted organ enthusiasts from a wide area. I met some from Kent and Bedfordshire where about 70 people came relax hear a professional play whilst having a meal over a pint. Norman did this installation (with help - probably with Dicky Dunn) in the 1960's before Norman and Harry Jenn went off to South Africa. When Norman returned to live at Honiton, I met up with him and his wife and we became good friends. So it was so sad of his brush with Leukaemia and subsequently died from this. I had only spoken to him a few days earlier" More recently, Ian had a call informing him that Betty - Harry Jenns wife had died on Saturday 16th August 2008, (4) Dave Fairhurst ... For many years I was a keen Short-Wave Radio Listener and listened on our domestic radio the English programmes broadcast from many countries, but I was never interested in Amateur Radio. Most stations encouraged listeners to write to -them. If the listener made out a Reception Report, which included listing content of programme, the date and time of listening (always in Greenwich Mean Time) for at least half an hour, together with the frequency (wavelength not used so much) and strength of station. Was there any interference such as from an adjacent station etc? Most stations usually acknowledged the Report with a Reception Card usually known as a QSL Card. The letters do not mean anything. Other Q code letters are QRM (Man made interference) QRN (Natural interference such as Lightning) These coveted QSL Cards are proof that you did indeed pick up that station. The only other people in the Section with a similar interest were Ted Clarke and Roger (Jessie) Pye. When Roger and I had to serve our 2 years National Service we were both eventually posted to an army R.E.M.E. camp at Donnington in Salop. Each day we worked at the nearby Ordnance Depot and got talking to a civilian worker who had a communication receiver for sale. One evening we bought it off him at his nearby home and then took it in turns to have a listen in the evenings (and weekends if we had to stay in camp). Then tragedy in the Summer of 1956 the Suez crisis developed and we found that we were being posted the next morning to an unknown destination. Luckily we were able to sell the large receiver to someone who was staying in the camp. Eventually, after being demobbed and earning real money in the Section, I purchased a fairly professional receiver on which I used to listen to many Short Wave broadcasts. However, in recent years it has hardly ever been switched on! (TV watching!) Having always a moderate interest in buses and their working, some years ago I bought a "walkie-talkie" looking radio reciver which I tune to the bus frequencies. There again, it's not used much now! For the Short Wave listener it's best to have the "bible" giving all the stations in the world with their signature tunes and frequencies. It is called World Radio TV Handbook and is published each year. Extract from Norman's Book The Post Office Stores depot at Kidbrooke was among a complex of sheds orig- inally used by the Royal Air Force, some were occupied by firms and used as manufacturing premises. One such firm was Grundig who were then producing tape recorders. They were in one of the sheds adjacent to one of ours that stored heavy telephone exchange equipment. Occasionally part of our job was to inspect equipment in this particular shed which meant passing by the Grundig shed. Just a little way from their shed was a wire cage which contain- ed discarded material from their manufacturing. One could not help peeking in to see what they throw away, and quite obvious that was lots of material of their product, tape recorders! How interesting! I noticed many bits and pieces which go into recorders, like tape heads and recording tape, there were dozens of circular metal pressings with recording tape left over from probably being spooled on to reels. A couple of these fell through the cage which I promptly recovered and took back to our workshop. On inspection I realised that about six or seven of these leftovers joined together would fill a seven inch reel, and recording tape is easily spliced. Roy Thake a colleague and friend noticed me inspecting this tape and was quite inquisit- ive saying he had also seen this stuff outside the Grundig shed. He suggest- ed that we should nip over and have a closer look at the 'goodies' Grundig were throwing out. One afternoon we did, just that, but really the only use- ful bits were the left over recording tape. But we were spotted by the fore- man of the factory. He wanted to know who we were, and just what were we up to prodding around in their disposal dump. We said we were test engineers from the Post Office with an interest in tape recorders as we were working on telephone answering machines which used recording tape. I mentioned that the tape Grundig was throwing away was much superior to the type we were using. as well as the Grundig tape heads. The foreman then became more relaxed and talkative. We indicated that we would be interested in the Grundig product (5) since we were testing a new device which answered a telephone call. Very soon he invited us for a tour through the factory, and during that time men- tioned that perhaps we could help him by obtaining some soldering type con- nection strips for his assembly girls to practice soldering. We subsequently provided him with dozens of obsolete telephone'exchange soldering tag con- nection strips which were ideal for the purpose. So we became more or less friends, from then on he arranged to have all the left over recording tape put in a box for Roy and I to pick up daily for our own use. This would ex- plain how I came to have a collection of over a hundred reels of tape, some on Grundig reels which were also given to us at that time. Roger Glover ... informs me of a new book called "Post Office/British Telecom Factories 1870 - 1994" Price £7 + £1.95 P&P. The address is:- YPD - Books, 64 Hallfield Road, Layerthorpe, York, Y031 7ZQ. www.ypd-books.co.uk All proceeds to BT Benevolent Fund. WHAT IS A SENIOR CITIZEN? Those who are not, may be a little surprised. A Senior Citizen is one who was here before TV, frozen foods, credit cards and ball point pens .. For us "Time Sharing" meant togetherness, and a "chip" meant a piece of wood or fried potatoes, "hardware" meant hard wear and "software" was not even a word. We were before drip-dry clothes, dishwashers, electric blankets and spin dryers. We got married first and then lived together afterwards (how quaint!) We were also before NHS, Family Planning, Citizens Advice Bureaux and word processors. We were before Batman, disposable nappies, QE2, jeeps, pizzas, instant coffee or tea bags and Kentucky Fried Chicken, or fried anything. Fast food was for Lent. We had no fridges, freezers, washing machines, rad- iators, discos, polythene or antibiotics. In our day cigarette smoking was fashionable, "grass" was for cutting, "pot" was something you cooked in, a "gay" person was the life and soul of the party, whilst "aids" meant beauty lotions or help for someone in trouble. We are today's Senior Citizens - a hardy bunch, when you think of how the world has changed, and the adjustments we have had to make, and BOY, how we have coped!!! Biddlecombe?
I have included this old photo to fill up the space. Next GEN in February 09.
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
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