Oral history of British science
Raynor, Frank (Part 2 of 18) An Oral History of British Science
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Interviewee's home, Abingdon
Raynor, Frank, 1922- (speaker, male)
Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)
Part 2: [1:04:44] Comments on installing electricity in 1930s: unpopularity of yellow electric light compared to Aladdin mantle lamps; local suppliers' offer of 5 lights and a 5amp plug for free; installing electricity on farms for machinery, robust installations to withstand farm environment; customer's reactions to electricity; electrical appliances, radio and irons; [03:35 pause] safety warnings; amount of work involved in installing electricity in houses and bungalows; safety considerations; arrangements for two way switching; purchase of electrical components and installation in house; porcelain and Bakelite switches replacing brass equivalents; anecdote about dangerous electrical switch in grandmother's home; FR duties on installation; further details on farm installations of motors, star delta motors; [10:30] FR working for father but not with him much; father's 1937 Austin Ruby and trailer, paid for by Calender Cables; sale of appliances, without hard sell; father's stand at 1936 Lincolnshire county show; father's unsatisfactory arrangements for paying him; disagreements with father, aged about 16, leading FR to find another job. [14:30] Comments on job at Joseph Ogle and Sons sawmill: hardwood and exotic empire wood dealer; foreman offering him job; FR learning much about timber, keeping collection of timber blocks; processing of wood, seasoning, sawing, selling Elm and Oak coffin boards to undertakers; supplying pitch pine for trawler soles, seasoning wood in docks; [19:10] speciality nature of timber business compared; differences between pines and other softwoods; FR duties as sawyer’s mate; different sorts of saw; FR interest in types of wood; skill of work of sawyer, but limited prospects of work; anecdote about FR avoiding a practical joke; FR enjoying work and learning new things; FR return to work for father. [24:00] Remarks on radio: father's electrician, Dick Wilmore, interesting FR in radio; father's earlier interest in radio; working of radio, resonance circuits, rectifiers; FR learning about television in 1930s; lack of money in 1930s; reading 'Practical Wireless.' [28:10] Discussion about interest in model aircraft: FR making a model plane from scratch while he was in hospital aged about 16 with diphtheria; description of making model aircraft balsa to plans; elastic band power; expensive American model engines; flying model aircraft with friend Fred Hildon; disruption of friendships by war. [35:00] Remarks on: working with father on construction of RAF Binbrook for Air Ministry; father's practical skills; run-down of father's business in favour of airfield building work; FR apprenticeship with Electrical Installations Limited [EIL] from 1939 until call up for force. [37:45] Remarks on grandparents: kindness; grandfather's cycle business workshop and previous employment for Elswick Hopper at Barton-upon-Humber; FR's childhood Hopper cycle; grandmother; FR attending Welholme School Grimsby; FR feelings about grandparents; Uncle Bob living at home due to wartime gas injuries; moving back with Father when he remarried Lillian Reading in 1927, after which FR lived with them in Brereton Ave in Cleethorpes, Algernon St in Grimsby and Holton le Clay. [44:20] Remarks on: family moves, possibly for father to buy house; father's brothers and business activities. [45:30] Remarks on stepmother: kindly, treated him well; difficult conditions at home; childhood memory of mending his shoes with cardboard; spending last happy 27 years of her life living with son; persuading all her children into joining forces; anecdote about FR rejected from navy after failing medical due to knock-knees; FR limited confidence when growing up; anecdote about father's parenting style; father's influence on FR, FR's happy marriage. [51:40] Comments on FR's four half brothers: dates of birth; FR getting eldest brother an electrician job before he became a truck driver and then had a military career; next brother's RAF career; third brother's career as a hotelier, eventually owning Carlton Hotel in Blackpool, death from liver troubles; family Christmases in brother's hotels; youngest brother, electrical goods salesman for Braun Bavaria, after army service; differences between brothers military service; [1:02:00] experience growing up with brothers, more connection as adults; father's engineer job at RAF Warton.
Interview with technician, Frank Raynor