Industry: water, steel & energy

Camsey, Granville (4 of 16). An Oral History of the Electricity Supply in the UK

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  • Recording date

    2013-04-18, 2013-05-02, 2013-09-26, 2013-10-22, 2013-12-10, 2014-01-14, 2014-01-28, 2014-03-17, 2014-04-15

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, Buckinghamshire

  • Interviewees

    Camsey, Granville, 1936- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 4: Comments on GC HND [Higher National Diploma] at Salford Technical College: focus on technical education at technical colleges, often sponsored by industry; CEGB consultative machinery and establishment fuelling likely candidates to HNDs; interview at Didsbury with V J Speller; course mates from Avro, Metropolitan Vickers, Mather & Platt; course mate Jack Vippam's death in Royal Navy; GC finding change in routine to academic life initially difficult; GC enthral at metrology lecturer Mr Miller's measurement technologies; theory of machines lecturer; anecdote about GC interview for research officer post, demonstrating the limits of his knowledge and inspiring him to learn more; [06:05] GC marvel at Salford Peel Library; anecdote about GC's technical drawing skills complimenting Jack Vippam's mathematical ability during a laboratory class. [07:55] Remarks on JC placement with Richardsons Westgarth: mentor Jim Hunter's support for his children's education; CEGB teaching GC value of educating the mind. [09:25] Further remarks on HND: range of subjects studied; anecdote about GC difficulty passing English O-level; Eastern European theory of design lecturer; GC realising need to become member of professional body on advice of senior director Bill Cusworth; GC later membership of Royal Academy of Engineering [RAEng] and Engineering Council; GC difficulties learning English, anecdote about Frank Ledger impressing GC the importance of letter writing. [14:10] Remarks on value of CEGB placement experiences on GC: exposure to different technology; excellent people, such as Drake; feeling of some importance being sent to placements; feeling of being stimulated; comparison of GC varied career with father in law and fitter Norman Macleod's years of routine work. [17:15] Further remarks on GC placement at Brown, Boveri & Cie [BBC, later ABB] in Switzerland: GC giving presentation to ABB many years later; GC requesting placement after discovering 145MW Richardsons Westgarth machinery was designed by BBC; anecdote about GC asking John Vaughn Harris for permission to go to ABB; anecdote about GC consciousness bothering him about being paid by CEGB and ABB; anecdote about GC lessons in German from people from Swiss owned silk mill in Lower Darwin; GC start at BBC in drawing office; anecdote about accommodation problems of GC and wife in Switzerland; anecdote about house mate's unexpected speaking of English; [24:40] description of BBC drawing office; GC design of time and motion study; English colleague Herr Schpanner; anecdote about window opening and the Swiss attention to order and rules; high quality of BBC; high quality of food in Swiss canteen; GC offered job at BBC; influence of experience on GC. [29:20] Description of education and training officer John Vaughn Harris: subordinate of regional personnel director Mr Maddocks; Harris' organisation of training and support for GC; avant-garde home d├ęcor; John Vaughn Harris development of training school on Anglesey to support Wylfa and Trawsfynydd nuclear power stations; commitment to rounded and creative education. [33:40] Remarks on changes in status with promotion: different grades of overalls; status of engineers and engineering within CEGB; hierarchical payment structures and grades, starting at G14; status of being in newer and bigger power stations; trade union disputes over grades for jobs; overall uniform distinctions between grades of student and apprentice; importance of uniforms showing knowledge of safety regulations; change from wage to salary; provision of work towel for people with staff status; anecdote about charge hand teasing foreman over loss of overtime with staff status; dirty nature of work in power station; anecdote about Jack Dawson's overalls standing up on their own due to impregnation of dirt.

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