Thread: TXE2 Exchanges
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Old 27th Feb 2020, 5:33 pm   #3
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Colchester, Essex, UK.
Posts: 620
Default Re: TXE2 Exchanges

I had been living in Canada for a while and came back to the UK in December 1970. I was looking for employment and the next door neighbour popped his head over the garden wall and said if I needed a job, to contact his son,which I did. The son worked for the installation division of Plessey I went for a short interview in Ipswich at a small office they had there in Clarkson Street I think it was. I started work in a new extension to the Felixstowe exchange. Felixstowe was linked to Martlesham Heath Telecom headquarters with the new PCM system.
I had this explained to me briefly by one of the telecom guys and it sounded so far fetched, I thought he was pulling my leg !!
My job was listed as a power fitter. It involved fitting up the racks within 1/16" of plumb, fitting all the tie bars in place, wiring up all the 13amp socket systems in the base of all the racks, fitting up the lighting and wiring up the consumer unit, which was about six feet up in the air, which to me seemed a strange place to put them.??
I also had the job of wiring up the rectifiers and generators.
Going back to the new part of Felixstowe exchange, not sure if this was also TXE2 system, as it is so long ago, but probably was. We had to link the new system busbars to the old which was always a bit nerve racking. The copper link cables were around an inch diameter. I had to solder large lugs on the ends for the links.
After Felixstowe was up and running, I was then sent to the Corten exchange near Yarmouth and Lowestoft. Fitting up these exchanges took around 16 weeks and then we would move on to another exchange. All of these new jobs were empty rooms when we arrived, but looked impressive when we left.
I also did Needham Market, Framlingham, Harleston, Burch in Essex and several others. I ended my work with Plessey at Cherry Hinton in Cambs, as the travelling was getting me down and a job turned up much nearer home.
The chap who started me off was Dennis Beckett, my neighbours son. Another name that comes to mind was Mick Hooper, a very nice chap, who shared my interest in classic cars. He was one of the foremen. The was also another foremen named Gough, who owned a red Morgan sports car. Think he came from the Hull area. I made a lot of friends with the teams I was with and also some of the Telecom chaps.
When I was at Corten, Ivan Grange (Telecom, a group supervisor maybe ?) popped in the see how the job was going and I said hello Ivan how are you. The rest of the team was surprised at my friendliness, but he was my wife's uncle !!
They were good days and we worked hard but also had a lot of fun at the same time. In those days we thought we we building something that would last forever and a day.
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