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Balshaw's Grammar School
17-Oct-2017, 01:49 PM (This post was last modified: 17-Oct-2017 01:52 PM by Bill.)
Post: #491
RE: Balshaw's Grammar School
(16-Oct-2017 07:42 PM)jwhi Wrote:  
(16-Oct-2017 03:41 PM)anacortesdamp Wrote:  Yes, there was a Wilcox. I don't remember his subjects and I think he joined the staff when I was in 4th year. Wilkie should have been fired because of his attitude to the students. He was all over the girls and couldn't be bothered with the boys. It was particularly bad when we got into the smaller class sizes in 6th form.

He was a spiteful bastard, too. He wrote on my first end of term evaluation that I "hadn't a clue about maths and should pursue a career that didn't need the qualification". Interestingly, in my first maths exam at Blackpool Tech, I scored 100%. I think it was because the curriculum content was specific to the use of maths in the engineering workplace.


Frank
'Johnny' Willcox taught me French for a couple of years. I was spared Wilkinson who was alleged to have a violent reputation, having gone over the top with one or two of the lads I heard.
Mr Brown could dish it out a bit ....... but it was probably deserved (in my case at least). I recall him asking my name after some misdemenour, when I said John........"not long enough - Marmeduke" and then clipping me over the head for every letter! It was all good fun..........

John

I think it was Wilcock, not Wilcox but I could be wrong. As for Wilkinson, an odd character and I once witnessed at very close quarters his 'going over the top' with one lad. He wasn't keen on the lads but the girls thought he was wonderful, a sentiment that was clearly mutual as he was very keen on photographing them. How times have changed!

As for Brown, you shouldn't speak ill of the dead I suppose and I'm sure he was a nice bloke really but I can't help thinking he had a sadistic streak. I once witnessed him knock one lad to the floor by repeatedly smacking him around the head for some minor misdemeanour, like not having his name in his shorts. He wouldn't get away with it today-and rightly so.
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17-Oct-2017, 03:29 PM
Post: #492
RE: Balshaw's Grammar School
Bill:

I was a good friend of Mr. Brown's eldest son, Graham. We were in the same B-stream classes all the way from 2nd to 5th. In non-school life, Mr. Brown was a pleasant man, but in school he could be a terror. I was totally disinterested in sports (still am) unless they were motorised.

I had orthodontic treatment all through Balshaw's and well into my BAC apprenticeship. I chose all my appointments to be on days we had either gym or outdoor sport. The orthodontist clinic was in Preston so visits took most of the day and were every week.

Frank
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17-Oct-2017, 07:45 PM
Post: #493
RE: Balshaw's Grammar School
I think I mentioned earlier, one lad who turned up at gym without plimsoles was made to hang from the top wallbars while pop Brown threw medicine balls at him from the opposite side of the gym. Think he had a younger son Tim? I remember bowling him out at cricket in a house match. Left hand bat. Not sure where that memory came from.
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18-Oct-2017, 03:01 PM
Post: #494
RE: Balshaw's Grammar School
You're correct, Noel. Graham's younger brother was Tim. Maybe two years younger.

Frank
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19-Oct-2017, 04:04 PM
Post: #495
RE: Balshaw's Grammar School
A year below me Frank so must have started 1958.
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19-Oct-2017, 08:07 PM
Post: #496
RE: Balshaw's Grammar School
The middle of the Spring term in 1958 was when I gave up on BGS and took an apprenticeship with what was then English Electric Aviation. It lasted 7 years and I finished up with a Diploma in Technology in Mechanical Engineering. It was changed to a B.Sc (Mech. Eng) before the paperwork for the Dip. Tech. was released. Many people regarded the Dip. Tech. as being much closer to an M.Sc., but Boeing didn't!


Frank
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19-Oct-2017, 08:34 PM
Post: #497
RE: Balshaw's Grammar School
(19-Oct-2017 08:07 PM)anacortesdamp Wrote:  The middle of the Spring term in 1958 was when I gave up on BGS and took an apprenticeship with what was then English Electric Aviation. It lasted 7 years and I finished up with a Diploma in Technology in Mechanical Engineering. It was changed to a B.Sc (Mech. Eng) before the paperwork for the Dip. Tech. was released. Many people regarded the Dip. Tech. as being much closer to an M.Sc., but Boeing didn't!


Frank

Yes the old Dip Tech was well-regarded in UK industry, but it had finished as you say Frank before I reached that stage.

Was that English Electric on Strand Rd or did they have Warton site then?

You escaped BGS just before I started there in Sept 58.....with my new satchel and cap! I didn't know a soul there. What a culture shock after little Farington school.

John
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19-Oct-2017, 09:32 PM (This post was last modified: 19-Oct-2017 09:33 PM by anacortesdamp.)
Post: #498
RE: Balshaw's Grammar School
EE Aviation had facilities at Warton, Samlesbury and Strand Road. The Strand Road factory complex had airplane construction in the long building on the Preston side of the street. Planes were built in modules small enough (with appropriate Police escorts) to be moved by road to Samlesbury. There, the complete airplane was put together, had an initial test flight, which landed at Warton if all was well.

Most of my industrial experience for my Dip.Tech. was at Warton. EE and its follow-on BAC, were excellent mentors for an engineering apprentice. Each of my two years at Blackpool Tech and subsequent 4 years at Salford were "Sandwich Courses" - Six months full time at college, then 6 months full time in the industry. The industrial sessions were a whirlwind, as students were moved from group to group every month. I was lucky to get three successive months on Flight Test Instrumentation, reading and copying flight test recordings for use in our early computer design systems.

The experience was very useful after I joined Boeing. I was able to get up to speed very quickly and got good performance reviews. I worked firstly in Hydraulics and Flight Controls, doing lab tests on systems. Later, I was in Crew Training Simulator Engineering, updating the software to keep up with airplane design changes. My last 11 years was in Customer Engineering, where I acted as a liaison between Boeing and the engineering departments of airlines buying new airplanes.

I eventually got fed up with all the overseas travel. Most of the customers I dealt with were in the Middle East, a 20-hour journey through Heathrow. I asked for a different assignment and was refused, so I took early retirement just 3 weeks before my 58th birthday. A few weeks later, I went back in as a "job shopper", the local name for an employee of a company which supplies short-term engineering help to bigger companies. I finally bagged the whole thing, only to come out of retirement a year later to be a bus driver for our county's transit agency. Two years of getting up at 03:30, 5 days a week, to go drive a bus for 8 hours finally got to me, and I took full retirement.


Frank

Frank Damp (wife Eileen, nee Nixon)
Leyland resident 1941-1965, emigrated to the US in 1968,
retired to Anacortes, Washington State, USA in 1999.
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22-Oct-2017, 10:26 PM
Post: #499
RE: Balshaw's Grammar School
(19-Oct-2017 09:32 PM)anacortesdamp Wrote:  EE Aviation had facilities at Warton, Samlesbury and Strand Road. The Strand Road factory complex had airplane construction in the long building on the Preston side of the street. Planes were built in modules small enough (with appropriate Police escorts) to be moved by road to Samlesbury. There, the complete airplane was put together, had an initial test flight, which landed at Warton if all was well.

Most of my industrial experience for my Dip.Tech. was at Warton. EE and its follow-on BAC, were excellent mentors for an engineering apprentice. Each of my two years at Blackpool Tech and subsequent 4 years at Salford were "Sandwich Courses" - Six months full time at college, then 6 months full time in the industry. The industrial sessions were a whirlwind, as students were moved from group to group every month. I was lucky to get three successive months on Flight Test Instrumentation, reading and copying flight test recordings for use in our early computer design systems.

The experience was very useful after I joined Boeing. I was able to get up to speed very quickly and got good performance reviews. I worked firstly in Hydraulics and Flight Controls, doing lab tests on systems. Later, I was in Crew Training Simulator Engineering, updating the software to keep up with airplane design changes. My last 11 years was in Customer Engineering, where I acted as a liaison between Boeing and the engineering departments of airlines buying new airplanes.

I eventually got fed up with all the overseas travel. Most of the customers I dealt with were in the Middle East, a 20-hour journey through Heathrow. I asked for a different assignment and was refused, so I took early retirement just 3 weeks before my 58th birthday. A few weeks later, I went back in as a "job shopper", the local name for an employee of a company which supplies short-term engineering help to bigger companies. I finally bagged the whole thing, only to come out of retirement a year later to be a bus driver for our county's transit agency. Two years of getting up at 03:30, 5 days a week, to go drive a bus for 8 hours finally got to me, and I took full retirement.


Frank

An interesting career Frank...........were you at BAC at the time of TSR2? I can't remember just when it was though I recall the disappointment when it was cancelled.
Did you find a marked difference between the work regimes and cultures of BAC and Boeing?
When I was a project manager at Leyland we were joined by a Chief Engineer from GM and a team of project people ex-Ford......the contrast in style between them and us was interesting!

I retired early from lecturing, after opting to go part-time for a couple of years. I thought I'd try to develop my painting business which had ticked over for more than 30 years, but somehow lost a lot of inspiration despite having much more time! I still exhibit pictures and sell a few locally but far fewer than I used to do.
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23-Oct-2017, 08:00 PM
Post: #500
RE: Balshaw's Grammar School
Yes, John, I was with BAC all through the TSR-2 program. I went through the "shop floor" experience at Strand Road in September and October of 1963.The first two airplanes had been completed and moved by road to A&AEE Boscombe Down for flight trials. Eight more were under construction at Strand Road, two of them about 70% complete. I went back to RCAT Salford for my final year on 02 Jan 65.

After Wilson's Labour candidates had all agreed NOT to cancel the program, the miserable Bu---rs did, shortly after my college year started. Not only did they cancel it, they destroyed everything to do with it. All the airplanes under construction were sawn up. All drawings, documents and computer data were destroyed and the construction jigs were broken up and sold for scrap.

They announced also that the two complete airplanes would be destroyed. The first one had already flown at Boscombe. When Chief Teat Pilot Roland Beamont heard what had been done, he and his deputy announced to Boscombe tower that they wanted to get some more engine run data, since the engines were slated to go on the Concorde program. Permission was given. It was quite early morning, not much flight activity. The pilots got on board, fired everything up and taxied towards the run-up pens.

As they got to the end of the runway, they turned onto it, fire-walled the throttles and took off, taking the Boscombe tower by surprise. They flew back to Warton and hid the plane in one of the little-used hangars on the Ribble Estuary side of the field. Just to tick off Wilson and his cronies, they'd get it out from time to time and do very visible engine runs and taxi tests,

Eventually the Tories got back into government and politely asked if BAC would let them have the #1 airplane for (I think) the RAF Museum. Whichever museum got it, I think it's still on display.

I was assigned a crappy draughtsman position at Warton after graduation and decided to get out. Many of my co-workers had already emigrated to the USA. I stayed in the UK for three more years, first with a machine-tools company in Coventry, then 18 months with Norton-Villiers in Wolverhampton.

My wife and I and our two daughters emigrated to Seattle in July of 1968. We're now retired but still in Washington State, in the seaside town of Anacortes.


Frank
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