This is a photo taken during a visit by the Rotherham Technology College, to Reyrolle? Tyneside around 1955. The Research facility was opened in 1954 and was a popular destination at the time.
I assume the novelty and popularity accounts for the presence of the Faculty staff (seated on the front row). I’m publishing this photo in the hope that some one may be able to identify some of the people shown. Apart from myself 4th from left on the back from and Muller (Electronics) 3rd from the left on the front row.
During the 1950s the Testing and Research Department (T&R) was renamed the Research & Certification Department (R&C). One of its main tasks was to test the new ranges of high voltage switchgear and the only option appeared to be a new larger direct test facility. Once the Board of Directors agreed to such a major change, the next question was where? Space was limited and the preferred site was near the 1929 Testing Station. The result was the sacrifice of the firms’ rugby pitch!
The new test facility cost a million pounds and took three years to build. Called the “Reyrolle Research Station – High Power Division”, it was opened by Lord Citrine, Chairman of the British Electricity Authority, on the 23rd March 1954. The event attracted many distinguished guests. After frightening them with some demonstrations of high-power arcs, buses took everyone off to the Old Assembly Rooms, Newcastle for a “high-powered lunch”.