Post Office Factory

Post Office Factory , Fordrough Lane, Birmingham

WHERE ARE THEY NOW PART 5 - THIS PAGE WAS STARTED 5th JUNE 2011.

ANDY RAVEN.


Started in 1981, in the 3rd year of my apprenticeship moved to the 6th floor J-Block (FL16) then managed by Ted Franklin. John Lewis took over for a short period followed by Graham Ferguson.
 
I spent many happy years as a filed service engineer working on MAC, M6000, RATES amongst others. Then Baj offerd an opportunity to get involved with what became Network Support Services (Civil Engineering to you and me)  in both of the startup areas of Dorset and Cornwall.

Following this I moved on to the helpdesk, which has now matured into a NOC (Network Operations Centre), as the point of contact for support of our deployed products.

In interesting journey... so far.

Andy Raven   - posted 5th June 2011.

STEVE WEBB.

Ernie,

What a great site, many names I recognise. It has brought back a great many memories of one of the happier phases of my career. I worked in FL5 in Electronic Repair from March 1982 to 1986. I left for three years to join the Home Office Telecomms dept., I then came back and worked in the Cal Lab until I took release in 93.  I remember walking out of the gate for the last time with a heavy heart.

What firm now, would allow me to educate myself via day release as an adult.   The J. Block Canteen was great.  We have a sandwich van now !   I am nearing retirement towards the end of a rewarding career in telecommunications, currently at Arqiva, a broadcast radio and TV transmission facilities provider.

 Thanks to Ossie for employing me back in 1982 and helping me to escape from the TV repair business, gain lots of experience and achieve some good formal qualifications.

All the very best to you all - Steve Webb - posted 5th June 2011.

 

ALAN ROBINSON

Congratulations Ernie for such an informed site, just came off the phone from Roger Spry who brought me up-to-date on your site.  Say no more, my time in the Post Office/Fulcrum was a one off in a life time. Having resided at Fordrough Lane from 1968 - 87.

Please pass on my e mail to all trainees, attendees of the Country Girl and to all fitness freaks, still pushing the weights at 61 years.

Hope your keeping well. Al Rob. (  arobinson@uwclub.net  )            Posted 22nd August 2011.

ROGER TURNER

Message received from Roger on Sunday 8th April;-

Hello Ernie,

Just found you, remember me ?   Roger Turner, you knew my Dad, Noel Turner. All I can say is thank you for all you did for me and my Dad, it was a long time ago (Fordrough Lane) but well, I'm a Grandad now.  

You got me from FT2 to FT1 1982 I think - I remember you jumping over Bob Cawley in the PCB Unit.

Yours very sincerely, Roger Turner.   (  hungryhossrog@aol.co.uk   )

Posted 9th April 2012.

PETER ALLGOOD.

Hi Ernie,                          Colossus      Wiring         Information Board.

Just spent a fascinating day at Bletchley Park viewing the Colossus rebuild project. I was so pleased to read on the information boards a reference to the construction work undertaken at Fordrough Lane - so much so that I exclaimed out loud to the astonishment of nearby visitors. Ken Govier's book mentioned the possibility but seeing it in print at Bletchley itself made it all real.

Although I can't make the final link, both my Mother (Olive - engraver) and Father (Les - Toolmaker) were at F/L at that time and might therefore have been involved in some way. If they were, they never talked about it but I know dad had some reason to work at Dollis Hill during the war.

Another interesting fact gleaned was to read about the Enigma decodes of the German plans to bomb Birmingham and specifically the BSA - where my mother worked first. By sheer good fortune she missed the raid but her workplace was destroyed - as a result she had to find another job which was at F/L - where she met my dad. Funny how the war played such a role in getting me here !

It's a fascinating exhibition but all the more so to know that our factory played a vital part. I spent ages gazing at the wiring and thinking of my apprentice days.

Regards, Peter Allgood. ( peter@allgoodtechnology.com)         Posted 27th September 2012.

     

PETER SMITH.

Ernie,

I left Fujitsu at the end of December 2007 after completing 39.25 years of unbroken service since joing the GPO in September 1968.

After three months of early retirement, starting-up a wine tasting cellar business and a ten day self skipper cruise around the British Virgin Islands, ably supported by my First Mate Tracey. I accepted a post with Huawei (that's the Chinese bunch) where I worked for three years during in which I juggled my time between work and yacht racing training in preparation for the Clipper 11-12 Round The World Yacht Race.

I left Huawei at the end of February 2011, completed my Yacht Master training and achieved YM-Costal Skipper Competence Certificate. Along with my Clipper sailing training, RYA Survival Course, RYA Radio Certificate and RYA Radar Certificate, I was ready to embark on an adventure the likes of which I had never encountered !

On the 31st July 2011, 10 identical 68 foot stripped racing yachts started the Clipper 11-12 Round The World Race in the Solent. Each yacht was crewed by 19 amateur sailors and one professional skipper. Around 20% of the 450 crew members had, like myself, signed up to complete round-the-world (RTW) and the remainder had signed up for anything from 1 leg to half way round the World. The race was in 8 Legs covering 15 races round the World. The route was Southampton - Qingdao - San Francisco - Panama - New York - Halifax NS - Derry (Londonderry) - DenHelder(Neth) - Southampton, arriving on the 22nd July 2012. On average each race was around 3 weeks, with a week or so on land at each stop over. In total we, the crew of Team DLL, clocked up 44,000 nautical miles.

During my 51 weeks away from home I met many new friends, visited places I had never been to before, experienced some of the most awesome sailing the oceans have to offer, endured some of the most gruelling conditions imaginable and had the time of my life! Throughout my journey I had great support from Tracey and other family friends, even visits to far flung destinations which helped to keep up my spirits.

Returning to the UK after such a long period of institutionalised living on a boat (daily shifts of 6 hours on 6 off, then night-time shifts 4 hourly), food served at set hours, it was a difficult time of readjustment. After around 3 months I had got used to my surroundings, I am now retired and enjoying the 7-day-weekend.

At the start of 2013 I was thinking what to do ? I had injured myself during the race and while the 5 ribs had repaired themselves, both rotator cuffs in my shoulders required surgery. With recovery time taking 14 to 16 weeks (12 of which in a sling ) for each shoulder, careful planning was required to select dates for holiday flights and of course, fitting around the 2013 Rolex Fastnet race in August (oh yes, I have developed a taste for the sea).

I am writing this having had successful surgery, still physio but moblie again. I really enjoyed the Fastnet campaign, training was a blast and the race was challenging.

I have a job as a Non Executive Director with Plancast Limited, which keeps me "busy" 2-3 days a month ! We are doing some work with Fujitsu and it was nice to return to the "ol place" recently for a meeting and see some familiar faces.

I shall be going to the reunion at Wilclare Road and looking forward to meeting up with some friends new and old.

I plan to continue sailing and will take part in the Sydney - Hobart race on 28th December 2015. I still live in Solihull and always up for a few beers with friends, and available to crew or skipper for those who have a boat.

Regards, Peter Smith.   (  prs777@btinternet.com   )         Posted   29th November 2013.