May 23rd 2008

A sad day for the VT Oldboys with the death of Don Kershaw who many of us knew and respected all our working lives and into the days of retirement. Neil Pittaway has written an appreciation which you can find from the main menu pages. Rest in peace Don.

May 16th 2008

A major update with the first 50 (or so) of the course photos from the Wood Norton DVD. This has also meant a major rejig of the ETD section with separate sections for TA Course, C Courses etc. I have also removed the jump menus which became totally unmanageable.

May 1st 2008

cpart2_125Finally the DVD from Wood Norton has arrived – thanks to John Paroussi and Royal Mail! Just to give a taster of the course photos, here is C Part 2 Course 125 Group C – no dates, but at least two familiar faces for VT Oldboys…………..

Over the next month, or so, the ETD section will therefore be expanding ……….. quite a bit!!



April 22nd 2008

Technicians-weekHaving forgotten to wish VERA a Happy Anniversary on Monday 14th (the 50th Anniversary of the Panorama Transmission), I have since applied myself to catching up with the photos I have been recently sent, and trying to tidy up some of the errors that have come to light on various pages – I must thank Howard once more for his input here.

I have added a News section to the 1960s and more course photos to ETD.

Chris Dymond has sent me the picture here – it might well bring a few smiles and remind Shift 1 VT folk of Edgie’s “Detweak” tests…..! Click the poster for a bigger picture.

I have also added a new page to Programmes, VT on TV, featuring stills and an excerpt (1’53”) from a film made by Peter Bruce about Match of the Day. I must apologise about the quality as it come to me via a devious route. If anyone has a good quality version, please let me know.



March 24th 2008

Our document archive is increasing by the day. I’ve just added Dave Braithwaite’s notes on the HS-100 from 1968. Like all paperwork in those days, it was produced in foolscap format, so the ‘modern’ version doesn’t look quite the same, as the original wouldn’t fit fully in my scanner! These old instructions and memos do provide a valuable historical record of the developments in the department, but I will not be scanning the Intersync manual by the way.

March 22nd 2008

I mentioned documents of interest a few days ago on this page and, today, I have added what is probably the definitive document on the art of videotape editing. It was written in May 1966 by Alan Watkins and marked the beginning of the departments editing service and the appointment of Engineers (Editing). It’s in Downloads and is entitled Principles & Practice of Video Tape Editing.



March 21st

The Martin family(!), who organise the annual Christmas Lunch at Surbiton and other events for Radio, now have a dedicated website at which has contact details and information on forthcoming events. Do pop over and have a look as their contribution to the continuing contact between ‘us oldies’ (and the newer retirees) is enormous. Do come to an event – you never know who you might meet!


March 18th 2008

We seem to be getting quite a few documents of interest. I have just added a pdf of a handout by Jeremy Brown on the AVR2 Time Base Corrector which is in the Downloads section. Also I have added a link (in Links) to a website that features vintage tape recorders including our much loved TR90. More documentation to follow in the next few days.

February 5th 2008

From Cliff White via John Vigar comes this picture of PTA1 – it’s their 50th Anniversary this year.


Back Row, Left to Right

Osborne J.F.V.P., James F.A.F., Lock R.C., Pulford R.C., Howse D.J., Cranefield D.H., Williams M.B., Brindley A.J., Bird P.

Middle Row, Left to Right

Dunmall D.R., Mount D.J., Hiscox R.E., Lewis R., Lawson J.L., Bartlett M.J., Wynne J.W., Vigar A.J. Palmer J.A

Front Row, Left to Right

Thomas D.P., Tristem D.J., Gittins R.W., Hussey A.G., White C.J., Mead P.E.J.

I am attaching a photograph of a group of young men who joined the BBC back in 1958. We were among the first ever school-leavers in this country who did not have to do National Service.
Until then, the BBC always took on engineering staff who had a Services or University background, so we were the very first eighteen-year-olds to be employed by BBC Television.

This happened on Monday 13th October 1958, when what became known as “Junior PTA Course Number One” were given a weeks introductory tour of all the engineering departments in London, then dispersed to London and the Regions to become pioneers (and guinea-pigs!) in the task of educating youngsters to the highest levels of BBC Engineering standards.

Half a century later, of course, a very special anniversary is looming, and some of us were wondering if the BBC itself would be interested in helping us to celebrate this momentous occasion by organising a grand reunion. We would obviously need a lot of assistance from the BBC and the BBC Pensioners Association to track down the whereabouts of all the (surviving) members of
this very first intake, and perhaps a little bit of sponsorship in arranging a date and a venue would be nice, too!

In the first instance I would be grateful if you could publish this letter and photo in Ariel, Prospero, and on the Heritage website and then, depending on the response we get, we will take the project up to the next level.