in the home of maternal grandmother at 25 Bosworth St., Openshaw,
Manchester [M11 3AW], she
delivered the baby, and nipped out
for ice creams etc. The house was
demolished in 2009 as part of a redevelopment.
1935 Our family home in those
early days was 35 St.
Burnage, Manchester [M19 1EL]
1936 ~Aug the family moved to
21 Broadstone Rd.,
Stockport, to take
over a beer-shop, the Long Pull, previously managed by paternal
until his death.
1939 - 1945 WWII
1940 September This
was the time
of The Battle of Britain, and
first days in school at Longford Road, Reddish, Stockport, There were
air-raid drills, and gas-masks for children and staff
Apparently, diving under the desks would have protected us
Due to a fall on broken glass while playing, I suffered a
to my writing-hand. An artery and tendons were
could go back in time to Stockport Infirmary and thank those good
people who eventually repaired the
damage. As an aside I remember I was treated at the time with M&B
antibacterial tablets, forerunners of what we now recognise as
antibiotics, which were a godsend for war wounded.
1949 - 1952 Attended Stockport
"engineer". Students chose to specialise either as 'builders' or
'engineers' and were streamed accordingly.
1952 - 1958
Enrolled as an apprentice
draughtsman at Craven Brothers
(Manchester) Ltd. We built very large machines for
metal cutting/and grinding.
six years included certification in mechanical engineering at
Stockport College. In those days the closest we got to a
degree/cap-and-gown, or even a 'reference' was advice from the
management to "Just tell 'em
where you're from lad !"
Aug 1958 - Aug 1960
Two years National Service in the Royal Air Force.
No.1 Radio School
I was trained to
based radars such as 'beam-approach'
which assisted pilots
about to land, forerunner of ILS.
Those 'radars' were namely : Eureka; Babs; and Tacan.
R.A.F. Locking (No.1 Radio School); R.A.F. Middleton St.
George, nr Darlington;
R.A.F. Chaplains School (Anglican), Dowdeswell Court,
1959 Oct 17 Dorothy
and I were married at Reddish Green
Broadstone Road, Reddish, Stockport.
1962 & 1965 Our sons
John and Tony were born.
1976 Amateur Radio
obtained, callsign : G4FAS
(the G = England, U.K.)
On frequencies up to 29.7 MHz met many other 'radio-hams' in over 100
countries, exchanging messages mainly in Morse code.
1961 - 1993
company, Woodford, Cheshire as a
design draughtsman, stayed there until retiring as a principal
engineer. Was involved in the
construction, modification and restoration of many
of aircraft, e.g. Anson [G-AHKX]; Shackleton; Vulcan; 748; Nimrod;
Handley Page]; VC10 [ex Vickers].
Over the years the company name went through a number of
a design; assembly; and
flight test facility, Woodford closed on Friday 28th
1996 - 2000
to detect and record deep-space objects, e.g.
M1 the Crab Nebula; M87 Virgo 'A'; and Cassiopeia 'A'. The project
wonderland of imagination; history; astronomy; general science;
For me alone perhaps, an ideal
Graphical output captured during six hours as radio galaxy
'A' slipped steadily westwards.
External links :
few weeks prior the above 'last' flight I had retired on September 30th
so happened that a farewell tour of
Britain by XH 672 had been arranged for the same day - -
- so together with many
friends and collegues I
enjoyed a spectacular fly-past
of Woodford as the plane skimmed low across the Cheshire countryside.
to imagine that 'someone up there’ knew
I was retiring on that sunny day.
Feb 25 My Avro boss (1970 - 1980) Humphrey Chetwood
M.Sc, died (87). He was a pupil at Cheadle Hulme School, and
joined A.V.Roe, Chadderton during WWII as an apprentice draughtsman.
(One of his first jobs was the general arrangement drawing for the
twin-fins of the Avro Lancaster.)
with about 25 other draughtsmen I worked with Humphrey on the
Victor bomber-to-tanker conversion following the collapse of the old
Handley-Page company. Design work on the modifications had stalled
at H.P. Radlett as
the firm ran out of cash. As a result, BAe Woodford were awarded
work. On the following Monday morning I was a member of the
small team which descended on Radlett to pick up the pieces.