Memories from "Sailor Fred" Hillyer

Modular Installation Telephone Equipment Racks

MITER was a method of moving System X from S.T.C. where it was assembled tested and shipped to the telephone exchange complete. The procedure prior to this was to ship it in pieces and assemble and test it in the exchange. MITER was a way of saving time and money. Installation was way behind on delivery before this system was adopted, once operational they couldn't build system x fast enough.
Alec Brown was the boffin who came up with the idea. I was given the original drawings to look at by my Boss Fred Marsh who asked if I could make it I said yes.
Click here to see the pictures

There were two versions as the pictures show every bit was manufactured in the Model Shop.
The way MITER worked was the framework was assembled between the racks and on each corner of the frame was a rubber pad, air was pumped in to these and it could be moved like a Hovercraft.
Pictures show the first time it was used at Baynard House.
There are pictures of it being made plus lifting and when the frames were being tested. Also pictures of a model of it which was presented to Alec Brown when he retired.

Kariba Dam

This project I worked on when I was in the Jobbing shop in Building 8. All the panels for the controls were cut and drilled here. It was also assembled on site before being sent to Kariba.

Fire in Building Eight

Who remembers this, I was in building when it started. The Jobbing Shop was on the second floor, fire started in the basement where they stored the polystyrene, it was just before going home time when smoke started filling the building, our charge hand said we had to clock out before we left, he actually stood in front of the clock and blew his whistle. We found out after the event that if it had burnt for another hour the building would have to be demolished It was after this that the Jobbing shop moved to Building 3.


How many of you played this weekly, this was something else I ran it paid out about Thirty pounds per week tickets were sold all over the factory twenty numbers a day were selected Mon-Wed if not won five more numbers were selected on Thurs. Eventually I was made to stop.

I also sold various things like toothpaste, soaps, sweets, ladies tights, you name it I probably sold it, the last things I sold were brief cases most of the bosses had these off of me.


I was also the darts secretary for many years, these were good events we had mens and womens teams playing in various leagues this was good revenue for the pavilion. Click here to see some pictures. We had presentation evenings when about 200-300 people turned up. Once a year I had a charity evening for the Mayor of Barnet this never finished till after midnight, good old days


Documentation about the A & SC (Athletics and Social Club) written by Alan Byford. About 40 pages scanned in to a 2Mb PDF file - click here to download. Makes very good reading, it is hand written.


Here are some other memories.

A few memories of my 32 years at S.T.C. New Southgate
Fred Hillyer (Sailor Fred) e-mail frederick.hillyer [at]

If you'd like to help contribute to this site with photos, stories, or memorabilia
please contact Rob White