Memories

This page is in no logical order, other than that it contains a selection of things people have emailed to me since the site opened. Where I felt it was appropriate I've transferred some of the emails into the guestbook; the rest are here.
If you'd like to get in touch with any of these correspondents, just contact me.


This page hold Memories up to 2009. Later ones are on the more recent Memories page


Received from Ian Cox on 25th July 2009

This picture was taken in the late 80' from a lab window. I spent a happy summer there as a contractor in the test equipment design department. This is the this lake outside the restaraunt where I watched a pair of geese raise a family eventually seeing them fly off. A heron visited regularly too.


Received from Tom Wells on 2nd June 2009

Some celebrity cricket match photos and press cuttings from the early 1960s Click here to view them.


Received from Keith Waudby on 21st March 2009

Some STC photos from the 1980s sent in by Keith... Click here to view them.


 

Received from Anne Holness on 21st July 2008

I worked at STC New Southgate Radio Division for 15 years 1954 to 1969 as a tracer/detail draughtswoman.
My section leader was Charlie Dyster and then Stan Springate.
Married John Holness ex apprentice design draughtsman. Now living in Norfolk.
Regards Anne

Publicity photo at The Hilton

Received from Paul Newman on 7th April 2008:

I was at S.T.C between 1977-1985 firstly as an apprentice electrician then as a maintanace electrician working for s&m but based in building 3. I was also a member of the aux fire brigade and have a couple of pics from the S.T.C news:


This picture appeared in the STC news: Les Lewis Chief Fire prevention officer; Paul Newman Apprentice, Member of the Auxiliary brigade; and Fred Dunsford Plant office 40 years member of the auxiliary brigade.


This other photo didn't make the news but is of me and Fred with him giving me a tip.
The pictures were taken in 1979 at the driveway between building 8 and the Rifle range
.

I had such a great time at New Southgate - I think I could go on and on about the stories I remember from watching Michael Rodd do a piece for Tommorrows World from the assembly floor in building 3, to standing by with a container of foam when Prince Michael of Kent came by helicopter and landed on the bottom field...


Received from Dave Hall on 20th March 2008:

Hi, I have found another photo that may be of some interest. This was taken on a New Southgate Toolroom (Telephone) outing to Southend if I remember correctly. The date is 1962 or more likely 1963:


From left to right the subjects are; Yours truly trying to look cool, Rolly Ford, Brian (Bun) Chapman, Tony Wilmore, George ?, Bob Harper trying(?) to look drunk and ?

Ron Chapman took the photo. Three or four of the group are ex apprentices. Myself, Bob Harper and Ron Chapman now live in Canada.

My apprenticeship papers show the wage rate per week, starting at age sixteen one enjoyed the princely sum of £2 14s increasing to £7 15s at age twenty-one.

My papers are signed by Mr Thomas Spencer and witnessed by the Apprentice Supervisor Mr Stanley Walker, a very pleasant man as I recall.

Dave Hall

See Dave's other memories here and here


Received from John Kirk on 10th March 2008:

Hi Rob
It's John Kirk again. I have been looking through my old photos and I found these.

Click to see full size
The coloured one is me being presented with a scroll from Stan Springate around 1977 at a Christmas Lunch held at the Osidge Arms. The scroll was for being the best office clown, or something like that !

The two others were of Works Outings (S&M) to either Yarmouth or Southsea around 1953/54.
Names I can remember are Jack Warren, Mac, John Holton, Steve Score, Jim Smollet, Claude Haines John Kirk, Bob Warboys, Percy Taylor, Tony Dyer, Ron Diment, Monty Diment, Ray Scrivener, Mervin Jones, Sam Thatcher

Click to see full size Click to see full size

(click on a photo to see it full size)

Hope this is of interest to you
Regards
John Kirk

Received from John Kirk on 14th December 2007:

I was an apprentice in the S&M Department as a Machine tool fitter from 1952 to 1957. I have many happy memories of my time there and still keep in touch with a few of my colleagues.
I was in the STC Showband from 1955 until 1962 with a break of 2 years when I was doing my `time' in National Service. The showband was run by Ron Holly who worked as a turner in the tool room.
Later I worked again at STC this time on contract with Stan Springate laying out printed circuit boards. So altogether I spent 13 years with STC.
I include a few photos taken around 1955 -57 They are the watchmakers lathe I made for the Physical Society Competition 1957;
The Show Band playing in the restaurant at New Southgate;
The wives and girlfriends of the `boys in the band' hanging around on the dance floor whilst we did our bit on the stage.

Click to see the full picture Click to see the full picture Click to see the full picture Click to see the full picture

(click on a photo to see it full size)


Received from Tony Tricker on 13th March 2007:

I was at STC from July 1966 to September 1985. I'm not sure whether any of the following are of use to you, but you are welcome to do (or not do) whatever you wish with them.

The STC news item (Xodus) was written in 1980 when I had to fetch the key to unlock our offices on one occasion. I was working on the design of System X at the time, and we used to have to lock up every night for security reasons. I understand that shortly after the event described in the article, the mentioned security guard Moses was deported for being an illegal immigrant!

Xodus

OF WHAT follows A.J. Tricker of department 32311, New Southgate, says, 'It is a truish account of what happened to me a few weeks ago (even to the name of the chap who came to my help.)

1. And lo it came to pass that the first comer of the morning entered in the portal and did find the door barred and the key thereof within the room, so that he might not enter therein. And there was much gnashing of teeth and wailing, for he was perforce to depart on a long journey unto the gate, yea, even unto the gate which is called Main.

2. And the burden that lay heavy upon him was lightened by a fraction, even as a gnat's whisker, that the Lord did not cause it to rain upon him on his journey.

3. Thus it was that he came at last unto the place to which he journeyed, and spake unto the keeper of the Gate saying, 'Greetings, oh Keeper of the Gate, and lamentations, for I am come hither bearing woeful tidings that I am unable to enter into my department.'

4. Then did the Keeper of the Gate take pity on the man, and calleth even unto his servant Moses, saying, 'Verily is this man is sore afflicted and in need of succor, Therefore, goeth thou down with this man unto the building which is called 'Eight', even unto the uttermost corner of the building, and take with you the master key so that thou mayest unlock unto him the door which is barred'

5. Then went down Moses and found the door, even that which was barred unto him that first cometh, and in the twinkling of an eye, it was undone, so that all who were gathered there might enter and pursue their rightful duties.

6. And the multitude that beheld this wonder did loudly give praise and thanks for it, saying 'Abarttime' and 'Wotkepcher' for they were those that conjure a mighty system whose name is 'X', that no man may know its meaning.

 

 

Extract from STC News in 1980
(letter to the editor)


The "Rime of the Ancient Manager" was never published, but I wrote it in March 1985. We had been struggling to compile a computerised "used on" list of all our parts codes with the parent item codes on which they were used (a sort of set of upside-down parts lists). (Needless to say, it was NOT known as Albatros.) I'm not sure if the job ever got completed.

THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MANAGER

PART I

1. It is an ancient Manager,
And he stoppeth one of three.
"With thy long print-out & scarlet cheeks,
Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?

2. "The boss's door is open wide,
And we're all going in.
The board has met, & we're all set
To show them we can win."

3. He holds him with his skinny hand,
"There's been a slip." quoth he.
"Hold off! Don't hand them tales of doom!"
Eftsoons his hand dropped he.

PART II

4. He holds them with his tale of woe,
The whole board sits quite still.
And listens like a three years' child:
The Manager has his will.

5. You would have guessed they'd turned to stone:
They could not choose but hear;
And. thus spake on that worried man,
The bright-eyed managier.

6. "A register for all our codes
We've kept for many years,
But as it had no 'Used-on' list,
It drove us near to tears.

7."At length did cross. the ALBATROS*
Through the fog it came;
As if it had been a Christian soul,
We hailed it in God's name,

8. "Ah well a day! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of book, the ALBATROS
About our necks is hung.

9. "And we must labour every day
To feed the data in,
Which, when digested, it spews forth
In print-out by the bin.

10. "Day after day, day after day,
We're stuck." -With one quick motion
He took the pile and. let it slip.
It spread: a printed ocean!

11. Paper, paper, everywhere,
And all the board did shrink;
Paper, paper, everywhere,
Nor any tea to drink.

12. And every tongue, through utter drought,
Was withered at the root;
They could not speak, no more than if
They had been choked with soot.

13. Until they'd had their morning tea
There could be no more talk,
But then debate went on till late,
Deciding what would work.

PART III

14. The Manager, whose eye is bright,
Who'd talked from ten till four,
Is gone: and now it's all the rest's
Turn on the boardroom floor.

15. At last they've hammered out the thing,
Decided what to do:
For ALBATROS has got its points,
As everybody knew.

16. We'll make use of it as it stands,
To do all it's good for,
But also do some redesign,
So it can do lots more.

-oOo-

TONY TRICKER. March 1985.
With apologies to Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Any resemblance to any person or computer program, either living or dead, is purely coincidental.

*
'A ndles
L ong
B loody
A wful
T iresome
R ecords
O f
S omething (or other).

Tony Tricker.

Tony also sent a somewhat shortened (due to damage over the years) copy of a video called "The X Factor".  It was a promotion video made for STC about System X and lasts about 20 minutes. So here it is for everyone to watch, just click the play button a couple of times...

The X Factor

(if anyone has a better quality tape, please do get in touch - thanks!)


Received from Bryan Trigwell on 14th September 2006:

My father, Wilfred Trigwell, worked at STC from 1939 until he retired in, I think, 1966 working in building 8. I spent a short time at STC when thinking of taking an apprenticeship and that would have been in 1959. However the main reason for this note is the attached photo which I took as a schoolboy. I am not quite sure of the date but think it might have been 1946 as I was at East Barnet Grammar School. On news of the accident I cycled down, we lived in Haslemere Avenue East Barnet, climbed the wire fence to get the shot with our folding Kodak camera tearing my school blazer in the process so you can guess I wasn't very popular when I got home.



I live in Morecambe now. I have kept this photo in an old album and recently scanned it and reprinted it to put it in our photo club's competition, subject 'Photo Journalism' really just as a bit of fun as it was such an old effort. It won the the black and white section much to my surprise. Please excuse my rambling on but I have enjoyed the first look at your site which has brought back many memories, especially the sports days.

Regards - Bryan Trigwell


Received from Alan Hedges on 21st November 2005:

I have some photos taken during my time (1953 to 1964) at STC. Click here to see them.


Received from Michael Ray on 13th April 2005:

Memories. Memories. Never worked at The Standard but lived directly across the bridge in the big old white houses. In the mid 50s, in my early teens, I worked for Chitties newsagents selling newspapers at the bus stops during the evening rush. There was an old bloke (name escapes me) at a stand by the gates and I worked the queues. Snowy weather was best for tips!

Does anyone remember the train crash that resulted in the Fireman being killed. Engine name was "Duke of Rothesay". Train jumped the rails coming out of the tunnel and the engine became uncoupled and slid on its side straight through the bridge.

And the war - can remember shrapnel landing on our roof from the anti-aircraft gun that hid in the tunnel just up the line and came out to shoot during an air raid. One bit of shrapnel killed my cat!

The old house got pulled down about 1958 when I was in the Merchant Navy (Radio Officer). In 1961 I migrated to Australia. It was 33 years be fore I went back and couldn't believe the changes! What happened to all the Standard workers. And was sad to see that Blue Seas fish and chip shop was gone (a lunch favourite with the workers). So that's me. A long history with The Standard. Love the website.


Received from David Hall on 16th July 2004:

I sent you a previous letter with some memories, here is another note with more.

The article by Fred Harris reminded me of the apprentice’s training school and the time I spent there in 1956. The days seemed to go on and on, we started early at 7.30 am and with 44 hours of work a week it meant we were at the Standard for 10 hours a day including lunch and 9 hours on Fridays. All this for the princely sum of two pounds fourteen shillings a week, no wonder I kept my paper round which paid me one pound ten shillings a week.

Fred mentions the #17 drill, a drill size indelibly embedded in my memory. Our training exercises consisted of marking out the shapes of various parts in sheets of metal and cutting them out after drilling holes 3/32" away from the finished line all around the part profile. I later found that these parts that we were attempting to produce where the same shape as parts produced by stamping presses in the press shop. The holes were 3/16" apart, no more and no less. All stages had to meet with approval before proceeding to the next step. Mark out, then get approval, centre punch the holes and get approval etc. This often meant a wait in line outside the office door of the two Fred’s, Messrs. Painter and Bedford. We stood in line and listened to the comments of the two Fred’s about the quality of the workmanship being shown to them by the trainee before them. Some people seemed to have the knack but most did not. Entering the program with a GCE in metalwork and the brass handled poker to prove it, I thought I knew how to file. Mr. Painter obviously disagreed with my opinion on that score and felt the same about most of the other lads as well. All finished edges had to be square with sharp edges not burred edges mind. We quickly learnt the difference and were told of situations were a burr could be costly or even fatal. Mr. Painter told me that his brother could not fire his guns in a Spitfire because of `burrs lad, burrs’. I hoped silently that this was an example of a costly and not a fatal situation, I suspected later that this was just a story, one of many we heard while standing in front of the two Fred’s or while waiting outside the door. We worked away oblivious to any basic rules of work place safety, this resulted in the spilling of much blood on the floor and even more swearing than was normal. The most dangerous operation was when we were using the drill presses, those #17 drills had a bad habit of grabbing the thin jagged edged steel sheet. This resulted in a piece of steel spinning rapidly like a propeller and hacking at any fingers that failed to move out of the way quickly enough. It was better to have a gash in your finger than to have a broken drill was the opinion that I got from Mr. Painter’s reaction to these events. To day, we would wear safety glasses, and clamp the steel down while drilling. Possibly as we were young and basically useless our fingers and maybe even ourselves were expendable in the minds of our masters. Had we looked we probably would have found a trail of blood left by a score or more trainees, from the drills to Mr. Painters office, from there outside to the main gate and on to the medical centre.

There was a small forge in the shop and Fred Bedford boiled a kettle for tea on it two or three times every day like clockwork. One day someone turned on the gas torch and filled the pockets of air between the broken firebricks with gas and quickly returned to his bench. Fred Bedford came out as if on cue and put his kettle on the forge, turned on the gas and lit it. WHOOOMPH. A huge ball of flame erupted and gave poor Fred a scare, quiet as mice we watched in disbelief as the shaken man retreated back to the office probably wondering what went wrong. During my time there, others came from different companies to get a taste of the Standards training school, I remember two lads from Liverpool who apprenticed at BOAC as it was then. They wore boiler suits with BOAC on the chest. Cheeky buggers as I recall.

At the end of the day all tools were returned to the tool cupboard and they were counted, God forbid that any were missing. We stood by our benches like soldiers by their beds hoping that nothing was amiss and we could leave. Outside the door in the alley there was a trash bin and some quick thinkers mined it for finished parts that had been tossed by Mr. Painter into his wastebasket which was later dumped in the trash bin. Amazingly parts accepted one day were rejected the next and vice versa, I wonder if they ever twigged on to that scam. Towards the end of our time in the school we made small tools, calliper's and the like, I still have mine and they remind me of those times, the two Fred’s and the #17 drill.


Received from Roderick Williams on 7th June 2004:

I worked in the telephone exchange building section from Sept 68 to August 69. I remember I worked alongside a chap named Ron Hewitt, I don't think I would have ever made a good wireman although Ron was excellent at the job.It was hot working with those gas fired stoves for the soldering irons.

I remember the Flying Scotsman going by but don't think I actually witnessed it. So that will date the run to within a 12 month. During my stay there some track worker guy got mowed down on the line and they evacuated that area of the factory whilst they picked him up in bags.

I came to London from a place in Herefordshire called Cusop very close to Hay-on-Wye, I found out another guy from Cusop worked there called Gerald Williams but he'd left by the time I arrived there, no relation to me.

I lodged with a Miss Salmon, number 28 Brookdale Arnos Grove, she was a great old girl , looked after me and others well, too well in fact. Put on too much weight.

Somewhere I fancy I have a list of the guys I worked with if I could only find it. I remember Brian Munday was always giving a guy called Ali some stick all in good humour but decidedly racist. It was reciprocated though and everyone seemed happy. There were a few black guys that worked there who were very good to me and often wish I could meet them again. They called me Taff as I was as good as Welsh to them. If only I could find that list - a piece of paper the signwriters did with everyone's signatures on. I feel sure I never threw it away.

I went back home to court and eventually marry a then very young Welsh lady and I still have her today and still in Wales working as a NHS electrician at Bronllys Hospital near Brecon.


Received from Fred Harris on 1st March 2004:

Standard

After showing some sort of aptitude for metalwork at the Ashmole Boys school (Russell Lane) , Mother told me what you need is a trade. You’ll never go wrong with a trade, you’ll always make a living with a trade. Though where it is now I ‘m not sure. (probably down town China or The Mexico Spanner Works Ltd ) So in the summer of 1959, with the anthem of Ashmole Our School still ringing in my ears, I was duly dispatched for an interview with one Mr. E Hart (the last member of management above charge hand I ever spoke to) and a meeting with the inner city urban sprawl that was to become both my lifelong mentor and the beginning of memories of people and times that have now long gone.

You can start at £2-8s-8d, in the old church hall that is the "Training School" Oh thanks. But probably the biggest shock of mine and all the other new lads was the first meeting with Mr. Painter (never Fred) with his No. 17 Drill, and Fred Bedford, with his pipe, so huge that every time he coughed it was like an eruption of mount Versuvius that always culminated in the setting fire of his jumper. No matter what you did there was no pleasing Mr. Painter, and the exercises were never right, but looking back I suppose we were all near enough useless, specially Junker Jenkins, who, the best thing he ever did for engineering was to go off and join the Foreign -Legion.

But 12-45 wasn't bad, armed with a red plastic disc at the subsidised price of 6d, after clocking myself and half the school out, it was a mad run past the smallest fag shop in the west, through the main gate, past the bike sheds, by the little fish pond and into the canteen, and if you were lucky there was a big lady with an even bigger smile on the till, who never once in 5 years took an apprentices’ lunch token.

The lifetime of learning that took me to a 21 year old instrument maker, and everyone else to 1965, seemed at the time like an eternity, with visits to almost every shop on the site.

The ground floor of building 3, with I can’t remember how many 6 spindle BSAs, machine- gunning away, was where I learnt to lip read. The plating shop ground floor building 4, where you couldn’t smoke or eat sandwiches. The painting shop, where most of my friends and my motor bikes were renovated. The die-casting shop in the basement of B8, that was later to destroy by fire, the model shop above it , and start of the nomadic trek of Bill Godfrey and his merry men to every corner of B8 before settling on the top floor by the development labs where I later worked on RADAR and ILS . I taught Bill the rudiments of driving in the top field car park after work.

Remember the fire station, and twice a week practice, when on their one and only big day, the engine ran out of petrol.

There was Smiths’ model shop T/F B4. Telephone switching wiring shop, where I grew calluses the size of walnuts on my fingers, (the knot goes under, not over, idiot) T/F B3. The wood shop, next to Service and maintenance, where my tool chest was made.

By the time I was 18 and part of the family, loving the place so much, I found myself returning in the evening as a member of the shooting club, left hand side of the road from B8 to the lower gate, and having a swift half and a frame or two of snooker in the old pavilion., lower sports field on the right. I even ran a stall once or twice on those wonderful sports days.

Anybody know the whereabouts of Bobby Giles, we were in a group for a while, haven’t seem him since I left in 1968.

A friend of mine (Norma Bowles) worked for Nortel for a while and got me in to the new site on a sports day ticket. Has the old village changed or what.

I wonder if they were part of company family as we were.

Or was that perk destroyed along with the buildings.

Fred Harris 1959-1968


Received from David Hall on 2nd January 2004:

Hello Rob
I was an apprentice at STC starting in 1956 and spent five years in the toolroom and drawing office and a further three years after that time. I came upon your site and it rekindled many memories. I still have my papers and a few other reminders of that time. I have a copy of the Standard News from June 1958 and I am attaching a portion of it. (click the picture to see it full size, 147kb)

Click this thumbnail to see it full size (147kb)

The article is on the open day for the parents of the apprentices, in the lower photo I am standing behind my parents with my tongue out slightly. The half a head shown to my right and also in the back row, is Alan Hedges now living in California. In the top picture is John Bennett.

The other photo shows a few of us at the start of a visit to the Ford Plant. The bus never arrived and the journey was made in the back of a dusty company truck seated on those benches that you can see. To relieve the uncomfortable time we were having, an unwilling lad was hung out the back by his ankles. This allowed him to see the underside of the truck at speed on the Southend Road. To his credit or maybe out of fear we never heard a peep from him. He was hauled back in none the worse for wear although slightly paler in complexion. The photo shows (from left to right) John Bennett, John ?, yours truly, Chris ?, and Geof Stanley.
John Bennett organised and led the apprentices in a walkout in support of a national protest going on sometime around nineteen sixty. The reasons for the protest was that the unions wanted somehow to get a better deal for apprentices nation-wide. At some firms they were used as cheap labour doing piece work, this was not what happened at the STC, far from it. Production work was actively discouraged at STC as the apprentice was to learn. In some areas learning meant producing as a result of the learning experience, quality was expected not quantity. In all my apprenticeship time at STC I never ran into the expectation of having to produce something fast. When we were working in the toolroom we were allowed to make our own tools from company material, which raised no eyebrows and the material was free for the asking as was the heat treating if required. We were learning and that was what was expected of us. As a result of this doctrine I think the quality of the program was excellent and put well qualified trades people into the field. Programs like this have been all but abolished and the five year period has been reduced, with the apprentice often reduced to cheap labour status. At least it is that way here in Canada and I understand it is the same in the UK. The organisation of the walk-out was a rather brave thing for John to do at that time, but earned him the respect of all including management.
I hope this is of interest to you and adds to the history you are gathering.


Received from John J Burness on 9th December 2003:

My late Father, "Bill" Burness worked as a Toolmaker at STC Southgate (not sure dates but in 50s/60s etc). My brother, "Bob" Burness also worked there for a year or 2 in about '56. I didn't work there, but I did work at STC Enfield (67 -71).

I recall going with my parents to an evening Dance (can't remember year but I'm guessing about '60):

Photo No1 shows six people:-
Couple in middle, I believe are Mr & Mrs Baker (I think that was their name)
Couple on Right are my Parents (Bill & Lily Burness)
Couple on left, I do NOT recall their names but believe that the man worked in same Tool-Room as my father.


Photo No2
No knowledge on names of anyone on the central/left table.
R/H table shows myself (looking at camera), Mrs Baker, back view of Mr/Mrs Baker's daughter, my mother.

I'm not certain of either date or location, but believe it was approx '60/61 (going on the fact that I think I look about 16) & I think it was in one of the main New Southgate Dining Halls.

I hope these are of use & hope these pictures prompt a few more memories.

Regards, John

PS: Just as a matter of interest, do you ever watch Animal Hospital on TV?? A couple of years ago they featured a very bedraggled & mis-treated Poodle, by the name of "Snowy". Eventually Snowy was "fostered", & then "adopted", out to one of the viewers.

The viewer that got Snowy was Gordon Cowley, who used to work at STC Enfield, but I believe he had also previously worked at New Southgate.


Received from Peter Smith on 5th November 2003:

This photo taken about 1978 shows attendees to a meeting between BT and Contractors involved with System X Equipment Practice.

The personalities are left to right: Don Rowley (GEC Coventry), Stan Springate (STC Design Manager), Bill Lowe (Head of TD11.2 BT), Sorry can't put a name to the next person, Eric Morris (STC Southgate), George Harvey (BT TD11.2.3), John Swaffield (BT SXD...), Brian Green (Plessey Liverpool) and Tom MacKay (BT Value Engineering).

I took the picture.


Received from Michael Allder on 14th August 2003:

Started in Sept 1972 as an apprentice. Jack Fox ran the training school in part of building 8. Part of course was to build a reflecting telescope for the MD at the time. It stood on top of building 3 for many years.

Spent time in most departments as part of the apprenticeship.

Ended up in purchasing (top of building 3 railway side) under John Stapleton / Alan Peel. Tried my luck as a draughsman under Stan Splitz / John Jones (building 3 canteen side).

Left 1978. Was told that Michael Edwards and Steve Gillet stayed for many years ( started with me ).


Received from Jack T McDonnell on 7th August 2003:

PERSONAL HISTORY (JACK)

[Note - click here for an expanded version of Jack's memories]

When I left school in 1938 I joined STC North Woolwich as a junior inspector in the condenser department. On Saturday night 7th. September 1940 we had a bomb on the concrete area at the back of our house which took the back of the house completely away, we spent the remainder of the night in emergency accomadation in a local school.

The next day we rescued any personal effects and travelled to Crouch End to stay with relatives. I then officially left STC North Woolwich and the next working day joined STC New Southgate as an Inspector and tester in the Radio Building No.8.

Sometime in 1943 I was asked to go to a shadow factory on the Great West Road at Ealing to test co-axial units for Gun control. (GL Mk.III). I think I was asked because I lived in the City which meant that I was nearer to Ealing than any other member of the test dept.

On 13 August 1944 a V1 flying bomb landed at Southgate between buildings 6 and 8 just about where I would have been going into work and where I normally worked in the Standards room, which was adjacent to the Inspection area. The 3 of us at Ealing were informed of the bomb and told not to go to Southgate for the immediate future.

Some weeks later I returned to New Southgate as the sub contract was nearly finished, I spent the remainder of my time with STC in a large steel unit across the road from the main factory and then in building 4 by the main line to the north working on aircraft radio.

In 1945 I applied for release, which was granted, and lost touch with all of the friends and apprentices that I knew during the war, with the exception of Peter Flitter who was best man at my wedding, and with whom I am still in contact. I never found out how many of my friends were killed by the bomb as no list was ever published of the dead.


Received from my resident mole on 18th July 2003 (in response to a renewed request for gossip about the site):

Middlesex University admin are moving in to the rest of the ground floor of 4 starting September - they have signed a 30 (yes thirty) year lease.

Barnet Council are now fully in to the top 2 floors. Avent (they make breast feeding equipment) are in building 5. No news on the new bits, though there is a rumour the Uni might take them for students, to replace the place they've got in Bounds Green, but even my spies in the Uni havent heard that one.

The rugby club have been told they have at least another year on the top field 'cos they havent got planning permission yet.

There is a threat the restaurant may reopen when the Uni moves in.

I hear they have finally decided the Data Centre here is going to Harlow - but nobody has yet approved the money to pay for the new room and the move. Possibly we have another year here, but who knows?


Received from Colin Barratt on 19th May 2003:

Rob,
I found your website by chance recently, and although I never worked at STC, several members of my family did, and as a former New Southgate resident, and local historian, I\'m interested in its history. I gave your website address to John Donovan, whom you know, who is also a colleague on the committee of the Friern Barnet and District Local History Society. He sent me your correspondence with him from last week.

I visited Stan Springate last year to get from him a copy of an old photo of the Cemetery Station, and I have also corresponded with, and recently met, Rev. Martin Dawes, who has produced a manuscript for a book about the Cemetery Railway, which he has been trying to get printed. He contacted Gillian Gear about getting it published by the Barnet Local History Society, and I see that she has put a note on your website asking for information, and Martin Dawes said that he hopes it will be published this summer.

If you are interested, I have two pictures of the cemetery signal box, which were probably taken in the late 1960s or early 1970s. (The signal box was demolished in 1973). I can scan them and send them to you for the website.

Regards,

Colin Barratt


Received from John Donovan on 16th May 2003:

Hi Rob
I've only just found out about this site. It's looking fine.
I'm no more computer literate now than I was in the old days.
However, I am in the Friern Barnet and District Local History Society, and one of our projects is to record the history of employers in our area (John Dale ands STC are obvious candidates. In our Society collection we have the three books on STC, and I'm building up a file of gossip and memories and press cuttings to augment the books.
Another of our projects is the history of the Great Northern Cemetery and, naturally, STC figures in that, too.
I have various memories of life in STC, including some names of folk (John Holtham is in FBLHS) that I could relate, and I have a few photos.
I'll be in touch.
JD


Received from Phil Hughes on 16th May 2003:

I remember (as one of those field engineers) fondly of being able to get of a nice early morning breakfast at New Southgate after walking from from Arnos Grove tube station at 06:30, from Waterloo! during the working week ( I didnt like the bus) before the rest of people came to work at 08:45+. (my wife was never up early enough for breakfast!). A good 12 years from STC through to Northern Telecom and Nortel. Like a lot of others I had the dreaded slip of paper last year! but thanks to most things have now taken early retirement, sold up the home and now live in France!

A lot of happy memories (even of the security staff who threatened to clamp my STC van!!)

Best Regards to you all

Phil Hughes


Received from Michael Shaw on 31st March 2003:

I spent several years at NSG and the one thing that I never quite understood was which building was which. Everyone seemed to know what building 8 was, but I never remember seeing a sight map that illustrated what the building numbers were or where they were once located. Is there a reference somewhere on the website that shows which building was which and where they were located relative to each other?

One thing that I will always remember about NSG was that when the Tube train went by, the building rocked in a nice gentle motion. The first time I felt it, I thought we were having an earthquake!


Received from my resident mole on 31st January 2003 (in response to my request for gossip about the site):

They originally tried to call it the Brunswick Business Park, but I suspect they realised it was too much like that place up near Landers corner. I have not heard much about what they are planning for the rest of the site - I wouldn't be surprised to find houses on the north field, but who knows. There was a rumour last year that the Home Office were coming to look at the new building, but I don't know if they ever did or not.

Did you notice that it's Comer homes who own that ex naval station that was set on fire the other day? The council want flats and Comer homes want to turn it into an asylum seeker centre. Now there's a rumour I could start...


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