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The GPO Film Unit in the  1930's

A Grierson film made by the British General Post Office (GPO) in 1933, promoting the automation of telephone exchanges  http://youtu.be/GFbRvAuJkXg  This was one of several films made by the GPO Film Unit and John Grierson.  Among others he made was 'Night Mail,' possibly his most famous film. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkLoDg7e_ns


GPO Training Film Erection of Aerial Cable 1950's plus links to more films https://www.youtube.com/watcv=v2Ube54Wraw&feature=youtu.be


Construction of the BT Tower (1967)  



GPO Training Film 1968 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-0OcBY1KSo


Take a look at BT circa 1981

Click on this link  http://home.bt.com/video/the-vips-1981-01366208534376?videoid=3094708012001


Telephone Apparatus - POEEJ Vol. 74 Oct 198!

For a very comprehensive review of  Telephones, Switchboards and other items with photographs and descriptions. Click here


Birmingham Area

Telecoms Engineering Apprenticeships Booklet C.1974. Click here to view pdf Submitted by member Steve Smith

Andy Beer's - Home Strowger Project

.                                Read More..


The Overhead Linesman


 I came across this Photograph in BT Past and Present Facebook Group.


As a Youth in Training way back in 1964 I spent 4 months with an Overhead Gang and was allowed to do virtually all jobs of the Overhead Gang and I learnt a lot.


I find the photo particularly interesting as it shows so many facets of the linesman's job.

 The photograph is of a large DP. pole possibly a 50ft. Stout, with 8way Cross Arms with Braces; 2 routes of Open wires and dropwire (70lb B&C drop wire?); Single 'J' spindles (No.5?); The linesman is belted under the Arm!; 3 Staywires one of which seems redundant; Power lines attached?.Is the linesman on the ground holding a coil of 40lbCC?So when was this photograph taken? Note the wooden ladder and opposite is that a Milk Churn on a Tricycle?


My guess is the photograph was taken sometime in the 1930's.Any comments: to billrees@nexusbroadband.co.uk 



Technical Engineering Developments Pages  Click Here

This page can be any peep into the past be it photographic, document or anecdotal. 

The photograph below is just an example but this page will rely entirely on members contributions. 

Men/Women at work, in training or at leisure could be interesting subjects 


See Members Photographs

We have very few photographs so would like members to send in their photographs for publication. Jpeg format is preferred.

We reserve the right to decide whether to publish or not, and without explanation 



The Morris van as used up to about 1959, by Fitters and Maintenance Staff

Darvel Private Telephone Museum

Max Flemmich MBE has created an absolute gem of a telephone museum in the former bakery beside his home in Darvel, Ayrshire. After spending his working life with G.P.O. Telephones and B.T. installing telephones and exchanges in all kinds of homes and premises his unbridled enthusiasm for his work demonstrably continues as he shares his experiences and knowledge with those who visit. He has working switchboards which connect the many different types of phones from through the years, and his interest coupled with his sense of humour provide an entertaining and enlightening experience. It is Open to Public and admission is free -see Website  http://billward.eu/tele/index_tele.htm

Telephone Museum Milton Keynes 

Volunteers Required If you have ever felt like getting involved in telephones, a unique opportunity is beckoning. The new Connected Earth communications museum, part funded by British Telecom, is set to open next year and is looking for volunteers to join the team immediately. http://www.mkheritage.co.uk/ttm

Director Exchange Trunking Diagram - Michael McNally (Birmingham) Y2YC Training Notes


My first Day with PO Eng. Dept.

I left school I July 1954 and spent a amazing two weeks away as a Sea Cadet, with the Royal Navy on board a frigate HMS Termagant.
Returning to my home in Shirley, Solihull after this adventure, I still had no idea what I wanted to do as a job. Many of my friends had become Engineering Apprentices with companies like Joseph Lucas but I didn’t want to go down that path.
Then I spotted an advert in the local paper for Trainees with the Post Office Engineering Dept. I don’t actually remember the application process or the interview but at the age of Seventeen I was just outside the usual age range for recruitment.
However, I was eventually accepted and at 9.00am on 9th August 1954 I reported to the Training Officer (Mr Rafe?) at Telephone House Birmingham, as part of a group of about twelve to fifteen other recruits, we were all referred to as ‘Mr’ which felt quite strange, when at school, we had been so used to being called by surnames.
We were given a talk about our Two years training program and career opportunities starting with the rank of “Youth 2 Year Course” (Y2YC) or YiT (Youth in Training) and on completion of training a Tech IIA and Tech Officer T.O. The Y2YC Starting pay way was around £3.10.0 per week more than most because I was seventeen.
As the morning progressed we were all given Notebooks, the now familiar S.O. Notebook, then issued with Lunch vouchers worth, if I remember correctly, 1/6d (7½p) and for which we paid just 9d. Lastly, reporting instructions for the next day were given to each of us, all reporting to different locations and departments.
Lunch was in the Staff Restaurant where we were able to use one of our lunch vouchers, after which we were allowed to go home early. We would not meet each other again until our attending the Youths ‘A’ Course at Shirley Training School about five weeks later.
The Next day following my instructions I reported to Mr Alf Stevenson, Springfield Exchange at 7.30am., the early start was a bit of a shock for me. Mr Stevenson was the T1 Overhead Gang Foreman and I was to be under his care for about three months.

Fifteen minutes later I was settled into the big Commer Truck with the Foreman, the TIIA Driver, Bill Matthews and two TIIB’s. Does anyone remember or know of Alf Stevenson and Bill Matthews they could possibly be still living but quite aged.






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