in the home of maternal grandmother at 25 Bosworth St,
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. My grandfather's funeral happened to be on my first
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. I remember I was treated at the time with
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.
Digressing for a moment, it pleases me to know that the
'Detection and Location of Aircraft by Radio Methods'
was first considered by the Air Ministry in February 1935,
the year I was born.
[ BOFFIN, p.7, by Robert Hanbury Brown FRS. ISBN: 9781 9101 9317 4 ]
1962 & 1965 Our sons
John and Tony were born.
R.A.F. Locking (No.1 Radio School); R.A.F. Middleton St.
George, Darlington (Fighter station);
R.A.F. Chaplains School (Anglican), Dowdeswell Court,
With hindsight, my posting to Locking was a much appreciated
and I am beginning to think that someone in the recruitment
process had joined the dots.
i.e. upon mandatory registration for National Service, my
choice of service
though not guaranteed, was the R.A.F.
another airman's account of his time at R.A.F. Locking.
1959 Oct 17 Dorothy
and I were married at Reddish Green
Broadstone Road, Reddish, Stockport.
1976 Apr 30 Licensed as a
callsign : G4FAS
(the G = England, U.K.) On radio frequencies up to 29.7 MHz (10
metres wavelength) I met many
other 'radio-hams' in over 100 countries, communicating mainly in Morse
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/ATP; Nimrod;
Handley Page]; VC10 [ex Vickers].
Over the years the company name went through a number of
a design; assembly; and
flight test facility, the Woodford site closed on Friday 28th
to detect and record deep-space objects, e.g.
M1 the Crab Nebula; M87 Virgo 'A'; and Cassiopeia 'A'. The
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.) During the 1970s, together
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
at H.P. Radlett as
they ran out of cash. As a result, BAe Woodford were
work. On the following Monday morning I was a member of the
small team which descended on Radlett to pick up the pieces.