Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Analogue native - then and now!

 

 Here I was at 18 years old, shortly after passing my Radio Amateur Exam and Morse Test. Now I had a Class A licence and was building my own equipment. I was an apprentice TV Technician then, learning lots of electronics theory and analogue television. Video recorders had not yet appeared on the consumer market. I spent my 18th birthday working at Pontins at Camber Sands installing 900 black and white tv's in all the challets. It was great fun, I remember receiving a telegram from my parents at home at Camber Sands wishing me a happy birthday. (No e mails or text messages then)


Here I am now, 60 years old and wiser. Still an analogue native at heart but having embraced the digital technology. My 60th birthday was spent at St Annes-on-Sea on holiday. The hot weather was just the same as it was when I was 18 at Camber Sands. In fact, it occured to me how much the same it felt in the hot hotel at St Annes and the hot challet at Pontins. On my birthday I got text messages from my family and friends and many greetings on Facebook. How times of changed. Now I have semi-retired from teaching and look forward to some time on the air and maybe building some equipment again.

Friday, July 25, 2014

60 today!



 
Well today I finally turned 60 years old and joined the retired club!

Last day in the classroom

 
Every picture tells a story...this desk could tell lots of stories!
 
For 23 years I have been a teacher with my own class of children. Today I finally retired to work part-time. So now I have no classroom and no class of my own...sad :-(  In September I will still teach lots of children, but only the new COMPUTING curriculum :-)  I am really looking forward to this!

Friday, June 20, 2014

B.I.T. Rock Nights



Someone posted these photos on Facebook which shows the stage at B.I.T. (Bolton Institute of Technology) Saturday Rock Nights.

I started going there back in 1973 and it was here where I met Kathleen, my wife. I can remember the first time I saw her standing in the large queue waiting to go in. She wore a long black coat that went to the floor and had freaky hair! Sometimes she wore an Afghan coat and other freaky clothes!
Saw some great groups there, Judas Priest, Dr Feelgood, John Peel and loads of local groups like Black Cat Bone and Iron Maiden. A great atmosphere and I lived for Saturday nights at B.I.T. even more so when Kathleen and I got together.

The rock disco was super, played classic rock tracks and often missed the last bus home because we stayed to dance to the last songs. I can still visualise in my mind what it was like at B.I.T.with the chairs in a separate room where you sit and talk, the stage and dance floor and the bar area where you could buy Younger's Tartan Ale and Newcastle Browns and if you were hungry, lovely steak barms!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Airfix Therapy


 
My model Spitfire

When I was young I enjoyed making model planes. You could buy them from our local model shop on Ainsworth Lane in Bolton called Doreen Du-Rose. It was a model shop and knitting shop. (I guess we have Hobbycraft now)
At Christmas this year my daugher bought me some Airfix Models to keep me quiet on a cold Winre night. Well it took me to May to build the first one! When I built them years ago I attached fishing line in the models and hung them from my ceiling in my bedroom, I might do the same again!



I love the Spitfire! Last year I watched as a Spitfire and Hurricane flew during a war day in Bury. It was amazing to watch them and also the speed and sounds as they performed mock battles over Bury.
Here I am at Ramsbottom where a Spitfire Exhibition was taking place as part of the East Lancs Railway 40's Weekend.


Monday, April 21, 2014

BBC2 50 years old!



I remember BBC2 first coming on the air, but it was on 625 lines, which meant that you had to have a modern telly at the time. Ours was only VHF 405 lines.
My grandma rented a new TV with 625 lines, I can remember turning the 'turret' tuner to 625 lines to watch someting on BBC2. Trouble was that when you turned the tuner to 625 lines it produced a really loud whistle, which was the 15625Khz line oscillator and line output transformer. At the time I was 10 years old, but as much as I complained about the noise, none of the adults could hear it.
I remember that the TV was a Philips and later when I was an apprentice TV engineer I spent lots of time reconditioning the awful tuner units in these beasts.
Inside the tuner were 'biscuits' which were long clip in pieces of bakelite with tuned circuits mounted on them.

BBC2 was ahead of it's time back in the 60's. They showed stuff that I really didn't understand called 'culture'. It was later when BBC2 became the first colour TV channel around 1967. I went to an open day at the BBC and ITV transmitters at Winter Hill and in the BBC room they had a real colour TV camera as used for the BBC2 programmes.

When I was an appentice I enjoyed watching the BBC2 Trade Test Films. As I worked in the tuner department at Telefusion, I watched them in black and white, but occasionally got to watched them in colour in the colour room at Telefusion. My favourite was 'Ride the White Horses'.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Yelloway



This photo appeared on one of the Bygone Bolton groups on Facebook. Taken at Bury Transport Museum. It brought back memories from the 1970's of the Yelloway coaches that you booked at Hargreaves on Moor Lane Bus Station.
I remember going to Torquay with Kathleen before we got married on the overnight coach. Set off at 10.00pm and arrived at Torquay at anout 7.00am. We then got a taxi to our hotel and left our luggage there before walking into Torquay for some breakfast.




Picture of myself at the hotel in Torquay when we arrived.

I also used Yelloway to go to Cambridge when my friend Neil was at university there. A bit of a drag on the coach as it went from Bolton to Clacton stopping at Derby, Northhampton and lots of other places along the way.