Saturday, November 09, 2013

Bolton Institute of Technology

Bolton Institute of Technology (BIT) was the new Higher Education college which later became Bolton Institute of Higher Education (BIHE)
This is where I met Kathleen at the Saturday Night rock concerts in 1973. I remember waiting outside for the doors to open. Inside was loud rock music and two groups. Kathleen started to go there before me and saw some big groups like 'Hawkwind' and 'Vinegar Joe' (Elkie Brooks) I saw groups like 'Judas Priest', 'Dr Feelgood' and lots of local rock groups. Youngers Tartan Ale, Newcastle Browns and Steak Butties...I used to live for Saturday night at BIT! Sweet!

This photo was posted on Facebook showing the stage and room that was used on Saturday Nights.

As well as the social side of BIT, I also went on an evening course there in the tower block to learn about BASIC computer programming. It was truly amazing looking back now. In the room were 'terminals' like typewriters and you built your programme without any VDU to see what you were doing, making sure that you didn't make any mistakes. The computer that served the terminals was a PDP11 Mini-Computer that sat in the corner with lights flashing and wires everywhere. When you saved your work it was a paper tape full of holes that you rolled up, took home and brought back again to put into the reader so that you can carry on. I wrote my first comuter programmes then (we call the apps now)

I really enjoyed that course, I learned a lot and still use it now that the new 'Computing Curriculum' has now been developed in schools. It is like going back in time!

Things have changes so much now, the tower block and a lot of the buildings have been changed. Now it is Bolton University along with a huge sports and leisure centre. Across the road is the new Bolton College and Sixth Form College. It is very impressive!

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Trotters Pub

Back in the old analogue days when I met my wife Kathleen we went to BIT (Bolton Institute of Technology) on Saturday nights to watch rock groups and freak out to loud music and Newcastle Browns. On Sunday things were a quieter, we went to the Trotters pub on Bradshawgate in Bolton. The Trotters was a strange place named after the nickname for Bolton Wanderers football club and quite close to the football ground at Burnden Park.

Sunday night was disco night upstairs at the Trotters, we went there a lot just to have a quiet drink and chat. The best you got in the way of rock was 'Radar Love' which I danced to once! So why do I think this place is special? Well, this is the place where we decided to get engaged and later married!
Also across the road was Mike Dzubias shop where I bought a lot of my electronic components. Next to that was the Clarence Hotel which was the venue for the Bolton and District Amateur Radio Society in the 70's.

The Trotters shut down and knocked down... I don't know why that was...strange!

Sunday, November 03, 2013


Jack G8HIK and myself at the exhibition.

On Thursday I went into Bolton to look at the 'Preparing for Winter' exhibition. There were lots of things to see including the Emergency Services, Mountain Rescue, Gritters and RAYNET.
Only a couple of days earlier I was thinking to myself that I had not heard anything about RAYNET recently. I don't remember seeing anything in the magazine RadCom as well.

I had not been involved with RAYNET, but some of our club members from The Bolton and District Radio Society were active back in the 80's and 90's. I was surprised when I saw Jack G8HIK and Max looking after the RAYNET stands during the exhibition. It was nice to chat with them after such a long time!

Max and me with my grandaughter Melissa

Picture of Max around 1980 during a DF Hunt.