Rotherham Technical College, Faculty Visit

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”.

It’s a Long Way from Summerfield Street

Born in a northern English industrial town at the outbreak of WWII, the author was raised in a small terraced house in Summerfield Street, Sheffield.

Following seven years at art college, he served two-years National Service in the Royal Air Force and afterwards was employed as an artist on the local newspaper while also working as a semi-professional bass player with a jazz ensemble. It was at this time he met and married Pamela his lifelong companion and carer.Shortly afterwards the newspaper was taken-over by Roy Thomson (later Lord Thomson of Fleet) and very quickly the author became first Studio Manager then Sales Promotion Manager for five other newspapers. This period culminated in his appointment as Advertising Manager of Colman Foods, Norwich during which time he was an active sailor, cruising several times to France, Holland and latterly to Gibraltar.

Moving on, he became a producer in London, but at the peak of his career he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and later-on cardiomyopathy. However this did little to stem his love of sailing nor his appetite for travel in France, Spain, and the Caribbean.

Finally, he and his wife and son emigrated, living in a rural finca in the shelter of the Sierra Nevadas on the Costa Tropical, Spain. It is a story of jazz, advertising, jazz, and one woman’s dedicated devotion.

Terence Wilson

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English Electric Luton Airport

I turned up some excellent photos of English Electric Luton, the first place I worked after graduating.

The photos are from Google Street View – what a fantastic resource this is.


Has not changed very much from my 1950s recollection.





New photo of Nether Edge Grammar School

Science Sixth Form in 1957: Form Master, Mr Scorer(Buzz), is bottom right: Provided by Peter Ward