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Former EE/BAC Warton Engineer Apprentices
Jock Hulse was the spitting image of Magnus Pike I agree ! He did take us for some math lessons ,tabulating chance by tossing coins ) but his woodwork teachings were his forte .Checking all tools prior to using them, checking again after use,and then getting other students to cross check, leaving little time for woodwork,but at least we knew everything was present and correct!
I thought the Tech was an excellent school, why can the teaching profession not leave well alone?
Yes, not many people appear to know how to file today, interesting observing their efforts eh ?
Alan M
Martin, Re - Square holes in Boring Bars. These bits of equipment were an essential part of many machining processes. It fell to the apprentices to have to make these particular features, which were in fact used to retain small tools used in the process of making large holes in Components. So much for this boring subject, I won`t "bore" you by describing the drills we used for drilling square holes, (they were triangular), or the dimensions of the "struggling bar" which young apprentices had to collect from the stores, these would make a novel in their own right. Some other time, perhaps? William R.
William R,
I must confess that I fell for the 'Go t'stores for a long stand', and after waiting 20 minutes the storeman told me I could leave, but not the 'Bubbles for spirit level' ruse, although many did.
Rocketman, Re the spirit level one - one of our apprentices was sent on the bogus errand to obtain a new bubble for a spirit level, and equipped with equally bogus Requisition, disappeared off site. He returned later with a replacement glass "bubble" and a receipt from the local hardware shop, having bought it there. he also had instructions on how it should be fitted. Enterprise - no, he had heard of this trick and done the required "groundwork" to ensure that, if it was tried out on him, the biter would surely be bitten. But what about the graphite loaded windmill with the split blow tube, which gave the victim a graphite moustache for the day, or perhaps the touch of prussian blue on the "spare" eyeglass for reading the scale of the Vernier Gauge, and the resulting blue/black eye.? Been there and seen it all. Cheerio, William R.
Am not sure I agree with all this 'cruelty'
Lady G
William R says that if you stood talking too long in Leyland Motors you ran the risk of having your shoe heels painted white.True???????
My Dad never told me about that one.
Lady G
William R, us apprentices used to put Prussian blue on the bosses telephone earpiece, with a bit of luck he would change ears as well. Lanolin loaded sandwiches was another favourite,usually on top of meat paste-no taste, but an awful stink. Apprentices were lead a dogs life and it was expected that we'd get up to all sorts of stunts to get our own back. I looked very young in those far off days and had to suffer every morning to a chorus of 'Baby Face' from the old lags. It went on for years.
Slightly different note, there was a fully grown barn owl lived on a window ledge in the machine shop I was in. It was'nt the least bit worried about all the racket and came out at night to feed on the numerous rats and mice.
English Electric,Strand Rd, working the Toolroom nightshift,three nights and for one year four nights a week nightschool.Pedal to Preston Tech.Corporation St. for school from 7pm till 9pm, cycle down Marsh lane to clock in and start work at 9;15pm. Lunchtime 2:15am untill 3.00am (on a nice night take a refreshing bike ride in the solitude of early morning Preston town centre,they actually washed the centre at night,alternatively take a ride around the docks and the River Ribble),back to work start up the lathe,milling machine,shaper,planer'grinder,jig borer etc/ until 7 am. Cycle home for breakfast and bed, overtime on Saturday and sometimes Sunday,then homework !
Tooling up for Canberra and Lightning, 90% of the machines in the toolroom were run by apprentices on two shifts.
Thursday payday, Friday,turn in the envelope and get spending allowance !
Would one do it all over again ?
I would start next week !
Alan M
Frank Damp...
I also know that Ronnie McMahon, the apprentice school second-in-command and tug-of-war genius, has retired from Bell Helicopter and is living in rural Texas someplace...

I knew Ronnie McMahon very well when I worked in the R&D shop, (25 Hangar), at Warton. Actually, Ron was foreman in the 23 Hangar, (landing gear testing) I was there from 1960 thru 1964. I remember Ron and Frank Walsh, and several other of the tug-o-war lads practising on the sports field behind 25 hangar. I knew he had emigrated to the USA but never was able to get hold of him.
The 'super' in our hangar was a Bill Armstrong, do you remember Bill by any chance, real easy going guy. I played golf in a tournament in Morecambe last July and one of the foursome was Bill's next door neighbor. Well he was, Bill died several years ago, but what a coincidense eh [?]
Did my apprenticeship with BAC from 1967-71. Did HND at Harris with Mick Brennan, Brian Voce and numerous others and then went onto Cranfield to do M Sc. Great times
Paul Bullivant

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