Oral history of British science

Raynor, Frank (Part 6 of 18) An Oral History of British Science

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  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, Abingdon

  • Interviewees

    Raynor, Frank, 1922- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)

  • Abstract

    Part 6: [38:41] Comments on School of Military Engineering, Gillingham: well connected classes in electric theory and practice, such as on motors; main generator coupled to national supply; motor vehicle course; college atmosphere in School of Military Engineering with other keen students; [05:20] Saturday morning drill; building radio, oscilloscope and television equipment as a hobby activity, FR building radio set for home; anecdote about building illicit army pack sized radio to listen to radio Luxembourg for dance music, DJ Ralph 'Muffit' Moffet; hard working, spending spare time building radio and electronic devices; [10:30] becoming an instructor; basic but sufficient quality of education; match of theoretical and practical education; value of education in electronics from Army to FR; posting to refresher course as Chiseldon to prepare him for demobilisation, a location used as a Science Museum store. [14:40] Remarks on life after leaving library: deciding not to work for EIL because he didn't want to move around; applying at Wessex Electricity Board for a job; starting to work as a domestic electrician for the Southern Electricity Board; anecdote about former EIL supervisor offering him a job locally; travel arrangements, working near Medmenham. [18:15] Remarks on working for electricity board: more petty atmosphere than EIL regarding who could do what; division of work area by Kennet Canal between foremen; foremen running staff and materials around in single van, arrangements for FR to get to work from Yattendon by bicycle; anecdote about van's loose bodywork; anecdote about meeting boss while waiting for night school classes and realising limited prospects of job; arrangements for FR to cycle to work; electricians restricted from doing certain types of work, such as conduit work; limited discussions amongst staff, who were working independently at dispersed sites; apprentices. [25:15] Remarks on domestic electric installations: lack of ring main and earthing at first; description of ring main; description of independently fused circuit for each plug; appliances, such as electric cookers, being limited to wealthier homes. [29:30] Remarks on attending night school: FR trying to formalise army education, but leaving classes due to work time pressures; FR studying from textbooks and journals independently to improve his work, rather than studying for academic qualifications. [31:50] Remarks on job for EIL: internal electrical installations at Medmenham, as well as doing external supply and sub stations; later division between cable jointers and electricians; applying to Atomic Weapon Research Establishment [AWRE]. [34:00] Remarks on applying to AWRE in 1951: security clearance and start in October 1951; Aldermaston being built at time; electronics experienced electrician Eric at EIL applying to post for Ministry of Supply and suggesting FR apply too; FR interview by Ron Ellis; security checks on FR; FR offered post at rank of Research and Experimental Mechanic Special temporary at slightly less than he was earning at EIL; wife agreeing to FR taking a pay cut to do job. [mic trouble]

  • Description

    Interview with technician, Frank Raynor

  • Related transcripts

    Frank Raynor interviewed by Thomas Lean: full transcript of the interview

  • Related links

    Visit this interviewee's page on the 'Voices of Science' web resource

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