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

DAVE'S GEN FEBRUARY 2009

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

EDITORIAL.

Once again we have reached February and that means this edition
of "Dave's GEN" commences with a list of those of you who kindly sent me
Christmas or New Year cards. Thanks also to those who sent me monies to
help to keep the GEN going.

   Brian Bale, Jim Beard, Mike Bettenson, Gerry Bhagat, Ted Blanden,
   lan Boniface, Len Bovingdon, Chris Broome-Smith, Ted Brown, Brian and
   Edna Conroy, Ron Cooper, Derek Crane, Ken Denny, Steve Dickens, Karl
   Easthorpe, Andy & Marina Ellen, David Eyre, Mike & Chris Faulkner,
   Denis Fisk, Roger Glover, Terry Griffiths, Tom & Chris Halsey, Paul &
   Beryl Hindell, Reg Hooker, Dave John, Les Knightson, Denny Laing,
   Fred & Betty.Martin, Brian & Wendy Martin, Ray Martin, Stan Mitchell,
   Joyce Muir, Paul Mathew, John Neil, Ted Neye, David Oliver, Derek
   Oswald, Muriel Parr, Pete Perry, Les & Jenny Roberts, Frank Rogers,
   Keith & Janet Rich, Cyril Seabrook, Martin Sharp, Brian & Anne Shillum,
   Fred & Freda Skinner, Richard Skidmore, Arthur Snewin, Dave Stanford,
   Mike & Joan Stanton. Peter Stroyan, John & Joan Sutton, Claire Towler,
   Ron Tattam, Doreen Tilley, lan Torrance, Glen & Pam Travell, Roy
   Trussell, John Tythe, Harry Vincent, Dick Wakefield, Bill Walker, Dave
   & Elizabeth Walton, Vie Ware, Hedley Warner, Geoff Wigley, Alan Williams
   Derek & Jan Young.

Now for the brief extracts from your cards etc.

Derek Crane
 ... I've just been looking at my oldest "Club Gen" (dated
Autumn 1981) and am wondering when you first published the "Gen"??
I took over from Stan Brede when he retired and instead of using the old
duplicor with its typed up stencils I went all modern using photo copying
etc. My Editorial for my first "Club Gen" dated Summer 1978 starts off:
"Hello and welcome to the new "Club Gen". In true Test Section fashion all
sorts of advice has been offered, some of it even constructive 1 We are
completely new at the game, never having produced anything more ambitious
than an E in C 94...."   When many of us were transferred to the Factory
at Bilton Way Enfield, I changed the title to "Dave's GEN" in case those
left at Studd Street wished to carry on with producing their own Club Gen.
The first "Dave's GEN" was dated November 1988.

Arthur Snewin
 ... Thank you for the "Dave's Gen" you send me. Most of the
Staff at Studd Street are getting old now 60, 70, 80, but we had the best
times.  Bye for now.

Mike Stanton
 ... We have had another year in Spain. The news from UK sounds
bad but here in Spain, apart from Petrol zooming up and now down, and the
odd strike by Food and Petrol Tanker Drivers, we have hardly noticed any
Credit Crunch. The Pound seems to be heading for parity with the Euro.
 However, we are looking forward to the New Year .

Reg Hooker
 ... I think it was last February or October 2007 that you print-
 ed a photo sent in by Pete Perry. Going through some old papers I found
my copy, signed by everyone on it. I wonder if Peter remembers that he
 signed as "Lergie"'. That was the time when the Goon Show was on BBC Radio
 and Harry Green, Fred Wright, Bobby B... and I spent a week walking the
Lake District. We were all at Brimsdown at the time so the holiday became
 the Yeti Expedition looking for the "Abominal Snowman" In May 1954 the Lake
District had very few visitors. Once we left the Youth Hostel I don't think
we met anybody else until the next Hostel. Wonderful memories "Young & Fit" -


Cyril Seabrook
 ...Have had a quiet year am still playing bowls with weekly
visits to the gym, an occasional game of badminton. This with gardening
and an allotment keep me going.

Ossie
 ... I'm OK, still got my small intestine problem. I've had a Barium
meal, a isotope white cell test, a capsule endoscopy, and finally a Double
Balloon  aterosopy but they still have'nt diagnosed it (although they think
it might be Crohns Disease - Treatable but not curable) All this lot sounds
horrible but in fact I am very well. Anne is also well, still doing Art
and selling the odd painting.

Paul & Beryl Hindell
 ... Keep up the good work. Thinking of you and all
our colleagues back in the UK, this holiday time. Also enclosed an OZ up-
date for the GEN, hopefully you can find room for it.(I hope sol Dave)

Peter Stroyan
 ... My wife and I are still in good health and enjoying life
here in Perth. I have been diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes so have made a
few dietary changes and take my pills but I can't say I'd have noticed if
I hadn't been told. This year as well as our regular 5 weeks in Spain we
visited some out of the way places in Scotland and chased down some stone-
age and iron age monuments. Saving up for another trip to Israel in 2009.

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. It's always good to hear what others are up to.

Richard Skidmore
 ... To Dave and all my old colleagues. Hope to see more of
you down the pub next year. As I am being made redundant at the end of Jan.
Yes! E.V.R. again Great from the Royal Maill

Les Knightson
 ... Thank you once again for producing "Dave's GEN"  The
October issue had an interesting piece in an article by lan Boniface about
Y2YC's and the various Groups and AEEs in L.T.S. Does anybody remember the
Group at Goswell Road, the AEE was Mr. Liquorice, I think?

Dave John
 ... Sorry I haven't been able to write earlier. It has been a
particularly busy year. My wife had an operation on her ear in February,
and whilst the symptons have not completely disappered there has been a
significant improvement in what she can get on with. Thus, we are on a sort
of catch up for the last 7 years. In addition, we have suffered a number of
problems such as VCR and DVD failures, and a fencing panel being blown out,
all of which took more time to sort out than one might expect.

Frank & Freda Skinner
 ... Just to let you know I'm still alive and kicking.
Thank you for continuing with the news letter. Many of those featuring in
your publication were unknown to me since I'd gone by the time they were
newsworthy enjoyed my nineteeth birthday in August. Anyway since only the
good die young I should be grateful for my long levity.

Claire Towler
 ... Thank you so much for "Dave's Gen" - thoroughly interest-
ing read and wish you all the best for the future.

Ian Torrance
 ...   Re-Diary of a Y2YC    October 2008
I read with interest lan's comment about a time when we were Y2YC's and an
occasion when I was called Torry by Berek Moore. As if I was vexed by this?
I have no recollection of this what so ever. I was called Torry a lot in the
early days, I think coined by John Reynolds, as nick names were common.
However, I do remember as a Youth-in-Training the time when I was sent to
Group 6 for my 6 week stint there. I was told to go to the Teleprinter Room
where I would find "Spicer"  Not knowing Bob Spicer or that it was his sur-
name I went up to this guy and said "Hallo, are you Spicer?"
Well, if looks could kill. He sternly rebuked me - "You cheeky sod, who do
you think you are, and call me MR. Spicer in future."
My time on Teleprinters was not a happy one.

          This was the final space to be typed in and was left in
          case of any late news but there is nonel
          Now snow has delayed me getting to the printers!!
                                     
Ian Boniface
 ...       Diary of a Y2YC part 6
In our second year we were let loose on the really technical stuff. Well not
as technical as Group 3, the AC room; (There was no Group 4 in those days,
or if there was it was kept secret from us in case we insisted on treading
on sacred ground) In fact we were allowed into the teleprinter room where
Stan Wooton intercepted a phone call from my girl friend of the time. I
never found out what he said to her but she wouldn't speak to me again.
Then Cyril and I spent a few weeks in the Auto Room, together with two TOs
in training, Chris Hatton and Geoff Day. During the lunch time, when the
Group was quiet, Mr. "Squire" Pike the AE would teach us, individually, the
principles of automatic switching. Unfortunately all I was able to remember
was that relay A operates B, B operates C. I never found out what C does as
by that time I was putting all my effort into keeping my eyes open. We were
all given two motion selectors to dismantle, reassemble and adjust. Cyril
and I had one between us and Chris and Geoff, being grown ups, had one each.
We had Engineering Instructions to help us and Cyril and I put each part as
we dismantled it in order so that reassembly would be straightforward. Then
we went to lunch. You can guess what we found when we came back. Our care-
fully ordered parts had been stripped right down, even the spring sets, and
mixed up with goodness knows how many foreign bits and pieces from other
assemblies. It took us ages to identify all the correct bits and reassemble
our selector. It was locked safely away whenever we left the room after that.
Chris and Geoff locked theirs up as well. I wonder why; We were certain that
Geoff was the one who had done the foul deed but with hindsight our convict-
ion may have been encouraged by Chris. Anyway, eventually we had the opport-
unity to switch 'our selector with Geoff's and conveniently forgot to lock it
up when we went to lunch. When we came back we handed the inevitable box of
parts to Geoff and retrieved our own selector. Geoff was furious and com-
plained of our coduct to Bill Day, the Training AE who gave us a real b*****g
Maybe he was innocent but he seemed to have found it hilarious when he saw
the box of parts.

We attended the Youth's B Course that year, which in my case was held at a
regional training school in Netting Hill. I think we learnt to adjust relay
spring sets among other things but what I do remember was that the Govern^-
ment ended sweet rationing. The whole course went out at lunch time to buy
sweets but found that all the shops had sold out. The run on the "sweetie
bank" was such that they had to reintroduce rationing. This, remember five
years after the end of the war.

The other memorable event of that year, apart from all the useful stuff we
 learnt of course, was another iveek of special leave A to attend a harvest
camp. This year it was at a camp near Winchester where we were employed
harvesting potatoes in very warm weather. I do not think we ever worked so
hard. The evenings were spent at a pub some distance away from the camp where
we and the rest of the customers were entertained by Cyril at the piano.
Every one had a good old sing song. The walk back to the camp, in mixed
company of course, was enlivened by Derek Moore shining a very powerful
torch on anyone who got too friendly with the girls,That kept us all in order
Then it was back to Studd Street and the end of our Y2YC training at the end
of September when we were "made up" to Technicians 2A, After just four weeks
actually working for my pay, it was National Service and on 2nd Novemberl950
I reported to Blandford Camp to have my head shaved and start basic training
in the REME.

Malcolm Chapman
 ...      Clerical and the General Office
 Jack Hobbs was our executive officer, the C.O.s were myself, Gladys Borrow,
 Doris Springett, Kay Kozwil, and Olive. Olive had a neat trick of being
 asleep at her desk holding a pen which looked as though she was working!
 I worked at Studd Street from 1964 to about 1972. Initially I was a young
 postman but Mr. Hobbs got me transferred to the clerical side after a year.
 I then worked in Central File as a CA with Doris Thompson, then moved to the
 General Office dealing with allocating time to engineering special samples,
 stationery and in charge of the post.  I became the CSCA Union rep. and
 kept in touch with all clerical staff at the outstations. As I was involved
 in the union, I got to know Bill McCormack and helped him in a few elections
 in Hendon where he lived.   Then worked in Group 24 with Mr. Wishart,
 Mr. Carver, Don Brede, dealing with making appointments for engineers to
visit and inspect goods by outside manufacturers. Had the dubious pleasure
of updating the Rate Book!   Then got promoted to Clerical Officer and wang- .
led a move to London Materials Section on the 4th floor. Had a great time
working with the Scientific Section, where I made a lot of friends there
including Michael Brill who I went to Israel with in 1969.  Also Pam Schrod-
er who gave me a very nice oil painting which I still have. Lots of real
characters there, like Joe Molloy and Mr. Walker and a chap who made excell-
ent home made wine (Dr. Hill?)  They used to throw away a lot of test samp-
les so I was always OK for red paint and paint brushes'.!'.
While I was in LMS I was asked to go on detached duty to the Submarine Cable
Depot in Greenwich where we had an outstation as our engineers were on 24
hour call. Luckily, whenever I was there it was very quiet so I had a lot of
time to teach myself to type, read lots of books, listen to the radio, cook
myself food on the office hotplate. God it was tough!!!   Mr Lawrence and
the staff always made me welcome, including Joe Slack who was a real charac-
ter!  Often popped back there for Annual Leave cover. We had our own bungal-
ow detached from the factory and it was all most pleasant especially as I
got paid travelling time as well.
Moved back to General Office and did travel claims until I requested a
transfer to the Pay Group in Wood Street as I always liked working with fig-
ures. Then got promoted to Executive Officer, worked for 5 years on PARIS
the new payroll system.  Then moved to local telephone area, worked in Man-
agement Efficiency for a year then rest of time in Telephone Accounts, high-
light being disconnecting Frank Lampard and Kenny Ball for not paying their
telephone bills!
Left BT in 1983, didn't want to work for a private corporation, have some
 pictures from those days and many more memories of the great times at
Studd Street.  It was a very friendly office most people were great to work
with. Mind you, I did complain to one engineer about Don Brede who I worked
with in Group 24.  I was saying what a miserable git he could be - "That's
my brother you are talking about" he saidi  It was Stan Brede who then ad-
mitted that Don could be a so and so sometimes!

Andy Ellen
 ... Since I retired early, in August 1998, I have looked forward
 to receiving the "GEN" from you so that I can continue to enjoy the benefit
 of belonging to that unique club of members with such a wide diversity of
 knowledge, humour and fellowship, unequalled in any other working environ-
ment in existence.   As you know I left the Branch, soon after our transfer
 to Brimsdown, as my health was becoming just a tad difficult to maintain in
 the work place!  It's hard to come to terms with the demise of some of our
members with whom I was associated, but also uplifting when I read of the
 exploits of those remaining.  I have managed to live with Diabetes for 47
 years now, so I must be doing something right at last, and I may soon be due
 for my gold badge!   As lan Boniface reminded me of the Y2YC days, in the
October GEN, I joined in 1951 with Jim Warner, (the junior), and Mick Finch.
Jim went on to the West Country with B.T. and Mick Finch moved to the M.O.D.
You and I spent some good times, testing those mobile telephone vans in the
 cold winters at the Enfield factory, was it in the late 50's or early 60's?
 (I think it was 1962 to 1968 ,,, Dave)

Ron Cooper
 ... Maureen and I belong to the Cheshunt Horticultural Society
 even though we have no garden, we are in it for all the holidays and trips
 out. For example, we went to  Newquay in Cornwall from 9-12 January for
 an all in price of 119 each. There were three coach loads of us, we took
 over the whole hotel and had a great time with excellent entertainment.
 Used our bus passes to go to Truro etc.  Other holidays we have had with the
 Society have been to Salzburg, Budapest, Ypes and World War 1 battlefields,
 and monthly talks on the first Thursday of each month, all for 40 annual
 membership.   For the pst 6 months or so I have "suffered" from having a
 hernia in my left groin, so eventually I was persuaded to see my G.P. who
 immediately got an appointment for me at Harlow Hospital within a week. On
 seeing a consultant on the 3rd December he said we can possibly operate in
 January or February next year, so I said "fine, let me know" He then went
 away and came back after a few minutes and said "Mr. Cooper, it it's okay
 by you we can do it next Wednesday 10th December" I was so surprised that
 I agreed.  The day arrived and I was at the hospital at 7 a.m. and was
called into the theatre at around 12 o'clock. Had a spinal injection that
froze.my lower body so I could hear all that was going on while the proced-
ure was carried out.  The surgeon had a trainee with him so was explaining
all that he was doing, "now this is the intestine that is causing the troub-
le so I will just push it back in place" then again I heard him ask for
"Stapler" and I thought what's that for? then I heard "Click, Click, Click"
and was stapled up ten times.   Afterwards the surgeon said to me "You OK?"
"yes fine I said but do you guarantee what you have done for the next 10
years?"  "No',' he said I will give a one year gaurantee and an extended warr-
anty for further years if you pay for it"  Everybody there laughed so at
least he had a sense of humour.   I was kept in overnight due to my age,
they needed to keep a check on me. It was an interesting experience but one
that I could very well have done without.  Anyway, finally during it all,
they said that I was one of the fittest 80 year old they had seen for a long
time. That, after blood tests, blood pressure and E.C.G. needed prior to the
operation. That was good for my morale so let's hope I always keep like
that in the future.  Needless to say, it stopped my swimming for a month,
but I am back to it now, leaving out the early morning training on a Satur-
day with my Masters Club for a while. Mainly, because it's hard to leave a
nice warm bed at 6 a.m. on these dark and cold winter mornings.
Happy and healthy New Year to everyone out there.


lan Torrance
 ...         Those were the days

I was watching one Sunday the Antiques Road Show where a box
containing a wind-up tin plate train and tender with rails
that made a circle being shown.I had one of these where, it
could be placed on the kitchen table.  I was surprised to hear
that it was valued at around 800. If I had kept my old toys
the very first Dandy comic and games intact, I would be well
off today.

But the programme got me thinking as, I am sure, most of us had train sets
from Hornby to play with. So, I looked into how model trains came about and
when and if they continued today.  Many of you, I know, were keen model
makers and likely to know more about trains that Hornby manufactured.
Frank Hornby, one of seven children and born in 1863, worked as a book keep-
er/cashier for a meat importer at Liverpool. He spent much of his spare time
inventing and making things. He experimented with model submarines, they sub-
merged and travelled under water. But he was unable to make the models re-
surface. He lacked adequate tools and then developed the use of interchange-
able parts that could be used for a variety of purposes. The germ of the
idea brought about a kit of parts that would fit together easily and so the
concept of Meccano was born. Metal strips with a series of holes could be
bolted together and applied to model making. Cranes, Steam Traction Engines,
and Boats made from parts. The idea was patented in 1901 and was called
Mechanics Made Easy. The product was marketed by Elliot and Hornby in Liver-
pool and the trade mark Meccano was established.
So successful was this that a separate company was formed with Hornby being
the M.D. of production.  He launched the monthly Meccano Magazine in 1916.
More sophicated boxes of parts were produced and it evolved to include clock-
work mechanisms and then on to clockwork trains in 1920, and electrical
trains in 1925.  From this, Hornby launched speedboats, cars and accessories
under the name of Dinky Toys in 1933.  Enthusiasts worldwide formed Meccano
Guilds. When Frank Hornby died his son Roland took over the Company. In 1936
he developed the "0" Gauge Model Railway System, Two years later in 1938
the smaller "00" Gauge was created and called the Hornby Dublo, made by
Meccano Ltd. Model trains were scaleFto the famous locomotives of the period
such as Mallard.  It was the Golden E|e of model making with books and mag-
azines and Clubs formed.   After W.W.2. production resumed to almost pre-
war levels, but the recession in 1964 caused Meccano kits and Hornby train
sets to be sold off. The ailing company was bought by Lines Bros. who merged
it with Triang Toys of Margate, Kent. Eventually, Lines Bros. ceased trading
and various sections sold off. The Hornby side of the Company was sold to
Dunbee Combex Ltd. and Meccano Products was bought separately by Airfix Ltd.
They both in turn were sold and re-sold many times. The Meccano side went to
Calaise, France and today, Hornby Hobbies Ltd. still trade from their Margate
works. They still produce the "00" Gauge with various components complete
with Control Box, Transformer, Track and all the rest of the gear; the Fly-
ing Scotsman costing around 550.
I still see the older Hornby versions and Meccano parts in original boxes in
Antique shops bringing back boyhood memories.


                                                         
                           OZ SAGA Episode 8
So another year on, we had been watching the queue data on the internet 
regarding our obtaining residency for Australia. When out of the blue we 
get a call that we are top of the list and our application is being processed.
Another round of, forms and expenses, medicals and a bond to belodged. 
Still fingers crossed that nothing untoward happens in the next few months 
to jeopardise it and next year could be our last forced sojourn to the UK.
Our trip to the UK was harder than ever, neither mum nor dad are getting 
any younger, dad had a mini stroke in the first week that worried us all 
and put us on the back foot playing catch up for the rest of the holiday. 
Mum could do with a holiday but at 83 they are both set in their ways and 
dad wouldn't leave the area for even a week. Then there was the 
appearance on Anglian TV news. We were in the right place at the right time 
when they were featuring an Australian cockatoo called Magoo, which raises 
money for the RNLI at Aldeburgh. When they discovered that we were from OZ 
they thought there ship had come in, news-wise that is.
That was followed by a family wedding which the couple had arranged so 
that we could be there. 
It was Beryl's nephew. That was the weekend that the weather changed for 
the worse and we, along with everyone there, got soaked. Still, the best 
was saved until last. Our flight home landed on time 21.20 at Melbourne 
Tullamarine airport. After walking the standard half kilo-metre to join the 
first queue at passport control and while zig zagging our way 
through, the sniffer dogs were doing their thing. Well imagine my surprise 
when this black Labrador sat down next to me while sniffing my pocket. 
He was quickly moved on by its controller and we carried on zigging and 
zagging with the feeling that all eyes were on you. We were then followed 
through passport control and Immigration to Baggage reclaim surprised that 
we could go to the toilet alone. When we then went to join the next queue 
for Customs we were approached and asked to follow this nice customs officer.
He led us through a very narrow channel past all the hundreds of passengers 
waiting to the front of the queue.
 Here we were asked a few questions and they swabbed my backpack down with 
a gauze patch which they put through a drug test machine. 
This fortunately came back negative. I explained about the pill box in my 
pocket that at that time had Paracetamol for the colds both Beryl and I were 
carrying and the Aspirin for flying (anti Deep Vein Thrombosis). I also
explained about the Morphine based painkiller that until recently had been 
in that same pill box, a left over from the gall Bladder operation
last year. The guy then conferred with his superior who after asking us 
about the food stuff we were bringing in, I had ticked the appropriate 
box and stated it was just a few sweets that are unavailable in OZ i.e. 
Orange club biscuits and Foxes Glacier Fruits, allowed us to leave. 
Then when Beryl enquired "if we had to rejoin the queue" He joked, 
"only me as I was wearing an Essendon footie jacket". We
were allowed to pass through. 
It turns out that the queue was taking 2 to 2 1/2 hours to clear. Plus the
fact that you were not allowed to use your mobile in that area meant that 
the people waiting for you had no idea what was going on, that, and the 
excess parking fees, were causing a bit of friction both side of the gates.
We were on the road in just over an hour after landing. Some of those on 
our flight were unlikely to get out of the airport much before the next day.
I'm all for hard security it makes you feel safer when flying. I'm all 
for strong arm in Customs to keep the country as clean from drugs and 
unwanted plant life as is possible. However there has to be a limit. 
Melbourne airport has grown too fast too soon they have increased the 
security measures but haven't allowed for the increase in time it takes. 
They have not increased the number of staff or gates first before implementing 
the actions. Just bad planning. Even with all that I would rather be living 
here than anywhere else.
So wishing you all that you wish yourself and more.

Yours Paul Hindell


Bill Walker
 ..,    An Introduction to Scuba Diving
Now, we have all done or wanted to do a "try dive" whilst on holiday, some
where warm. Well, that's what I said"
A couple of Christmases ago my Family gave me a joint present of a PADI
open water diving course. Was it somewhere warm and sunny? No, it was here
in England, in Somerset, in FEBRUARY!
The first part of this course was in a swimming pool, the water was warmish,
but it was an open air pool (well, they have to harden you off, don't they?)
It was in here that you learn the basic things - how to assemble equipment
that you are kitted out with, what things are and what they do, how to wear
it, how to get in the water and, of course how to breathe with it.
This pool was purpose built for scuba training because in its 40 feet length
it went from 4 foot at one end to 16 feet at the other - it just has to be
the origin of the expression "a steep learning curve" (so steep that it was
difficult to stand up) Most of the exercises that we did were quite straight
forward and, with a good instructor, fairly easy. However, there was only
one that I did not enjoy at all, and that was known as a "simulated free
flow". What happens is that you sit on the bottom of the deepest part of the
pool, take your breathing regulator out of your mouth, press the purge button
(which allows that air to flow freely), hold it just below and close to your
mouth.and then breathe from the bubbles as they flow past your mouth. Yes,
it can be done but it was, for me, extremely daunting.
After two sessions in the pool, my instructor "Oz" said it was time to put
all this practice into "action", and the "action" was to take place in a
place called Vobster Quarry in the Mendip Hills. So, early one very cold,
grey and windy February morning, the four of us - two teenaged young men,
onefellow about 30 and me, the old sod of 65 arrived at Vobster Quarry, Now
this quarry, which is privately owned, has been redesigned to accommodate
scuba diving in that there are various depths of water ranging from approx
5 metres to 50 metres with items like large boats and small aircraft sunk at
various levels, various means of entry into the water- pier type staging
that you can jump from, to wade-in gradients.
This morning however, after we had dressed in our "gear" we were taken to
the edge of the quarry and told that we would be jumping in, swimming on the
surface, to a buoy about 20 metres away. Once we were at the buoy we were to
descend down the "shot line" (as the buoy mooring rope is called) to a sub-
merged pkatform at 10 metres depth. That was the theory. The fact was that.
it was 4 degrees and there was a North wind blowing. We did jump in, in the
prescribed manner, and I thought "well, that wasn't bad and the water isn't
as cold as I thought it would be - then of course, the water got through my
wet suit. It was at least as cold as I thought it would be - probably colder.
Well we swam to the buoy, did all the checks, and descended. I had two sur-
prises. One was that all the practice in the pool had worked - for I was
swimming and breathing underwater in "real" open water and the other was
that I could see no further than one metre! It would seem that there had
been so many divers in the water over the previous few days that a lot of
silt and sediment had been stirred up and reduced the visibility drastically
I dropped slowly through the murk until I came to the platform and there I
waited for OZ. I carried out all the tests and checks, did all the pres-
cribed exercises and, eventually ascended. After getting changed, warm and
fed I was told that I had passed the practical test and just had the theory
to complete the course.
These I did a few days later and duly received my certificate of competency
to "Open Water" standard.  Since those days I have dived quite often, mainly
in this country of course, but we did have a Family holiday in the Caribbean
where I experienced scuba diving as you see it on television, visibility
in excess of 50 metres, warm water and so many incredibly coloured fish
that it could take your breathe away - if you did not grip on to your reg-
ulator with both jaws! I also dived whilst I was on holiday in Gran Canaria,
and that was where I learned about sharing air - I ran out of air!
I really enjoy diving, for it is an experience so different from normal life!

                                                  
    Surfing on Christmas Day - No we were not in Australia!

So what did you do on Christmas Day after you had stuffed yourself with Turkey^
Perhaps it was a bit of "Google - ing"? I was reminded that "Daves Gen" is reprinted or
the Internet but having no idea where to find it, I enlisted the help of the "Searcr
Engine", Google. By just typing "london test section" into the search, a reprinted page
of the Gen appeared. From there I was able to see the link back to the main web site
So all you fellow "Surfers" who have still not found our home, try: www.ltssac.org
Here you will not only find past issues of the Gen but an accumulation of various
articles and photographs submitted by our fellow contributors.

Remember, you don't have to have internet or a PC at home as most local librairies 
(and of course internet cafes) have such facilities which are freely available to 
use usually at a very modest cost.

Whilst spending the afternoon looking at some of the newer technologies I was drawn 
to the iTunes capability.
Although this does provide the link to the Apple iTunes Store where you can download 
music and movies etc., it also provides the user with a facility to store a music 
library on your own computer and transfer music to/from CDs and the various iPod devices. 

It's quite amazing (for us oldies of the 78rpm and interchangeable needles of the
gramophone) that some 2,500 songs or pieces of music can be stored on about 
10GB (gigabyte) of memory lessthan the size of a penny (or put it another way - 
that's over 5 days continuous play).

However, for me with my interests in radio and in particular the Short Wave 
listening hobby, was the fact that many radio stations have an iTunes 'feed'. 
No need to twiddle any dial. Just click on the radio station of your choice
whether it be Iranian classics or Downtown New York weather forecasts!

So where will this lead us in the future for radio? The old "wireless" will 
become 'wired' with radio stations perhaps not having to bother with transmitters 
at all? 
We are already seeing this happening. As an example the latest in
the UK was launched a few weeks ago on the Isle of Wight where you can 
listen live via the web on www.wightfm.com (or you can if you wish, still 
listen on a Wi-Fi radio). 

So wherever you are in the world you cantune in to your favourite local radio station.
    
Anyway, let's not get too carried away. On with the Gen. Typewriter, correcting 
fluid and paper!


                                  
Well, we are now approaching the final part of this February GEN.
The next GEN will (I hope) be in October 2009, so you have plenty of time
to write me an article as it is always hard for me to fill the pages with
suitable material.


I have not got a computer or e-mail facilities but I understand that typing
"www.ltssac.org" will get you reprints.
                                               

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