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Old 28th Sep 2010, 10:02 pm   #1
DAVEHALL
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Default Telecomms blokes.

Really wanted to do this as a poll ,but can't see how to . ( Perhaps some understanding mod will convert )
So , how many blokes onv the telecomms side were ex GPO(TELEPHONES) /POT , or still BT . How many BRT ,and how many were trained by the independents .

See a lot of old familiar phrases on the telecomms bit .
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Old 29th Sep 2010, 8:33 am   #2
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Default Re: telecomms blokes .

I'll start! POT/BT 1966-1999 then took the money and ran! Trained at Bletchley,Stone,Coryton (Cardiff) and loads of stuff locally. My first van was a Morris minor (SLP 40F..sad isn,t it).
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Old 30th Sep 2010, 8:51 pm   #3
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Default Re: telecomms blokes .

Co-incidence -I started in 66( POT) - first van was a Morris J2 .BLO Trained at Edinburgh ,Didsbury & Stone .As a punishment got sent to the Tunnel ( transatlantic cable terminal,Oban ) - where I took to it like a duck to water .
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Old 30th Sep 2010, 9:23 pm   #4
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Default Re: telecomms blokes .

Hi

I started as a T2A apprentice in Coventry in 1980 (Still 'Post Office Telecommunications' in those days, the Busby era!)

Left in 1985 to start my own electrical business, still running this now.

Really enjoyed those 5 years though, the good old days! The only training school I attended was Shirley in Birmingham, plus block release at Coventry tech. Had a yellow Bedford (Mk1 Viva) HA van, PRW330W, good for 65 down hill with a following wind!

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Old 30th Sep 2010, 10:34 pm   #5
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Default Re: telecomms blokes .

Quote:
Had a yellow Bedford (Mk1 Viva) HA van, PRW330W, good for 65 down hill with a following wind!
You must have had a fast one!
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Old 1st Oct 2010, 12:03 am   #6
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Default Re: telecomms blokes .

Joined BT in '87. Started in central Bristol on Analogue trunks(F.D.M) and PW's. Then spent 13 years on exchange construction,fitting racks, cable runways,equipment etc.).
Spent a year or two "out on the tools", up poles etc. as a winter plan volunteer, on what used to be called "Sub's app and line".
Also pole testing.

About 2002,dragged off kicking and screaming onto Openreach jumpering on frames , but after a few years managed to get back onto the 21CN teams, providing broadband eqt in exchanges. Ended up on a sort of Openreach construction group.
Just got a job in Power and Infrastructure planning(a lot easier than it sounds and a C3!(TO)) so looking forward to a few years on that.
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Old 1st Oct 2010, 7:25 am   #7
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Default Re: telecomms blokes .

Joined in July 1980 as a TTA in LTR South Central, after apprenticeship, worked in Rampart Trunk exch and put in National Networks. Once the exchange shut down I Transfered to Teleprove, BT's arms length test house. When that shut down went to VV&T (Verification, Validation and Test), then became the Lamp post expert for BT. Back to testing on the 21CN and currently writing this in Chatham TE. (at long last a 2.5 mile commute)
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Old 1st Oct 2010, 7:38 am   #8
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Default Re: telecomms blokes .

I started as a TTA apprentice, not a T2A as I incorrectly stated above. A T2A was what I became afterwards!
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Old 1st Oct 2010, 8:59 am   #9
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Default Re: telecomms blokes .

For what it's worth, events conspired against me and I didn't quite make it...


Was accepted as a T2B (Improver Technician) for the GPO at Whitehaven exchange in 1980 after a year 'out of my time' as an electrician (British Steel) - where duties included maintaining an ancient Strowger PAX and system.

Passed GPO medical and was told to expect a starting date. Nothing forthcoming, and, after enquring, was told that wouldn't be required! Pending privatisation was cited...

Undeterred, got on a BT-run telecomms, electronics and electrical principles TEC III / IV course at Bispham Technical College where every other student was a (by now) BT employee. Some big cheese from BT came on a visit to see how his chaps were getting on and to take a photo for some 'in-house' magazine or other, and was greatly embarrassed to find me, an interloper, on their course! I was aked to stand aside for the photo. I took the opportunity to point out how shabbily I'd been treated in the past by a so-called 'prestige' company and was promised an explanation: I'm still waiting...

Passed my exams. got a start as a trainee Transmitter Engineer with the BBC and never looked back. Much in common with GPO re: organisation, hierarchy, training, etc...

And guess what? I still get to do telephones to this day!
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Old 1st Oct 2010, 10:31 am   #10
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Default Re: telecomms blokes .

I wasn't BT or GPO but worked for Xerox aside several of our engineers who were ex GPO or God's Poor Orphans as they called themselves.
They were always good engineers but had one noticeable characteristic - they called their wire cutters, or was it long nosed pliers, '81s'

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Old 1st Oct 2010, 10:34 am   #11
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Default Re: telecomms blokes .

Long Nosed Pliers are still called 81's

wire cutters are nippers diag 5"
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Old 1st Oct 2010, 10:39 am   #12
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Default Re: telecomms blokes .

Long nosed pliers were tool number 81 in the National Telephone Company's list of tools. This was carried over into Post Office Telephones, although the official description was pliers wiring number 2.

NTC came before POT and if you know where to look you'll still find footway box (manhole) covers with NTC cast on them.
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Old 1st Oct 2010, 9:35 pm   #13
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Default Re: telecomms blokes .

Seem to remember being told by an older colleague that 81's had a cutting edge ,and as such were the favoured tool on distribution frames -being two tools on one .
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Old 1st Oct 2010, 9:44 pm   #14
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Default Re: telecomms blokes .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim View Post
Joined BT in '87. Started in central Bristol on Analogue trunks(F.D.M) and PW's. .
Hi, Tim- thought FDM was on way out a lot earlier than that . When I moved to Middlesbrough ,we got one of the latest 12Mhz Coax systems , supposed to be doomed never to be used to capacity as PCM was the new thing ( albeit 24 chan) .Got out on 78 , having got my TO for the second time , only to see dead mans shoes kick in -but never really fancied going up any further - seemed like too much hassle for the money .
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Old 2nd Oct 2010, 9:15 pm   #15
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Default Re: telecomms blokes .

Quote:
Seem to remember being told by an older colleague that 81's had a cutting edge ,and as such were the favoured tool on distribution frames -being two tools on one .
Those are Pliers Wiring No5, with an integral stripper. Still coloquially known as 81's though.

Quote:
Hi, Tim- thought FDM was on way out a lot earlier than that
Hi Dave
I was initially taken on for the FDM off load planned in the late 80's, but then the 90's boom happened(at least in Bristol anyway) and demand for PW's went crazy! Can't complain because this meant I was made permanent, and they have been stuck with me ever since.
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Old 3rd Oct 2010, 8:27 am   #16
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Default Re: telecomms blokes .

Quote:
Originally Posted by G4XWDJim View Post
- they called their wire cutters, or was it long nosed pliers, '81s'
Jim
I managed to "liberate" some!
From the left..Pliers wiring No2 (81s), Pliers woring No5,Nippers Diagonal Cutting 5", Nippers Diag 6", Nippers End Cutting,Pliers Adjusting No1, Pliers Adj No2, Pliers adj No4,Pliers Adj No5, Spanners "Quick grip"(2 sets).
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Old 3rd Oct 2010, 2:10 pm   #17
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Default Re: Telecomms blokes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DAVEHALL View Post
...and how many were trained by the independents .
.
just to be different
79 to 90 RAF telecommunication mechanic/technician trained at no1 radio school Locking
90 to 2000 Mercury Comms part of Cable&Wireless (who as you know were like PO/GPO govt' owned but in the Empire rather than UK) trained at Porthcurno collage which is now a museum
http://www.porthcurno.org.uk/
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Old 3rd Oct 2010, 10:46 pm   #18
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Default Re: telecomms blokes .

Quote:
Originally Posted by russell_w_b View Post
For what it's worth, events conspired against me and I didn't quite make it...


Was accepted as a T2B (Improver Technician) for the GPO at Whitehaven exchange in 1980 after a year 'out of my time' as an electrician (British Steel) - where duties included maintaining an ancient Strowger PAX and system.

I always found BT to be a firmly closed door culture when I left school and tried to get a apprenticeship with them. Recruitment seemed to be based around family and friends. So never bothered looking at BT for a job. I found it to be similar with British Rail Telecoms and DTels (Home Office Comms).
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Old 3rd Oct 2010, 11:13 pm   #19
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Default Re: telecomms blokes .

Quote:
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'I found it to be similar with British Rail Telecoms and DTels (Home Office Comms).'
I've encountered the ugly face of nepotism before, but fought and overcome it to obtain a position through determination and (hopefully!) merit: another story; another place...

I also applied for the GPO upon leaving school, but they weren't recruiting round our way then. I made enquiries with the 'Sick and Tired' on the railway (Signals and Telegraphs), but it would've meant digs at Carlisle, and further afield - assuming I'd got a position, of course.
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Old 4th Oct 2010, 1:44 am   #20
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Default Re: telecomms blokes .

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidw View Post
I managed to "liberate" some!
From the left..Pliers wiring No2 (81s), Pliers woring No5,Nippers Diagonal Cutting 5", Nippers Diag 6", Nippers End Cutting,Pliers Adjusting No1, Pliers Adj No2, Pliers adj No4,Pliers Adj No5, Spanners "Quick grip"(2 sets).
Later on ,circa the mid 70's mini cutters and long nose came in (the long nose being nicknamed 41's in my neck of the woods ,the cutters were 4"), for use on PCBs such as found on 62type boards .
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