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GEC Spon Street

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NeilsYard
Coventry
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46 of 52  Sat 21st Jan 2017 10:20pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1552

Yes Helen - I love markers like that given I was a very late '60's kid with no recollection of pre-ring road Cov and a lot of the old layouts.
GEC Spon Street
Helen F
Warrington
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47 of 52  Sat 21st Jan 2017 10:34pm  
Off-topic / chat  

Alan
Rugby
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48 of 52  Mon 30th Jan 2017 4:55pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2017  Total posts:1

I was a Technician Engineer with GEC back in 1980 (6 months at Cov Tech and 6 months in the factory over 3 years) my first job after completing the course was in Production Engineering in Spon St. Great times and learned a lot. I heard that since the building used to be the old Rudge factory, all of the wooden floors were soaked in oil and if it had caught fire the whole place would have gone up like a bonfire. I believe it was a listed building but obviously not that important as it was demolished to build a new PCB plant.
GEC Spon Street
krg1965
Oxfordshire
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49 of 52  Mon 6th Nov 2017 11:41am  
Member: Joined Nov 2017  Total posts:2

My first post here, so apologies if I'm breaking any etiquette rules (then again, I am originally from Leicester, so I guess it's to be expected :-) ) Cliff Titterall was indeed connected to Test Equipment, as when I was a fresh-faced Technician Engineer in 1984, he was the team leader for the Test Equipment team for the Ghz Radio and Multiplexer department, up on the 5th floor of Spon Street. It was still very 'traditional' up there - we sat in rows of benches, facing Cliff at the front of the workshop. As a 19-year-old, this was my first placement doing 'real' work and I was incredibly nervous. As it was, everyone was really friendly and made a lot of allowances - even the grumpy chap who ran the stores and wanted to know chapter and verse of why I wanted (e.g.) a twist drill bit. I was assigned to work for Brian Wathen, who was a lovely bloke and helped along a lot. I was amazed that we were allowed to smoke in the workshop and so brought my own ashtray in - felt very 'grown up'! Keeping with the traditional workshop feel, we had a lady come down from the canteen every day with a tea urn and some bacon batches kept warm on top of the urn. As the training school was at Spon Street (Ken Marshall and Dave Jackson in charge of us Tech. Engs), I have fond memories of the place.
Karl Greenow - Coventry resident & GEC employee 1983-1994

GEC Spon Street
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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50 of 52  Tue 7th Nov 2017 6:27pm  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1043

Hi Karl, and welcome to our little forum! I hope you don't mind that I've copied your post into this Spon Street topic, to keep the continuity going. Although I didn't know you by name, it's possible that we bumped into each other at times, because from 1984 until the factory closed in 1990 I worked down on the 3rd and then later the 4th floor with Radio Test (under Ben Moore), and I regularly liaised with Test Development up on the 5th. You'd have probably known a fellow apprentice of mine, Dave Sapiano, and another friend Glyn Dymond (who's also a member of this forum)? We've remained in touch quite a bit over the years. I also recall Brian Wathen, who I saw a few years ago at the Cocked Hat playing trombone in a jazz band. A few other names from your department I recall are Jim Kearney, Mark Smith, Pete Houghton, Chris Averil, Dave Farmer.... and several other faces who I can't put a name to right now. All nice people and very clever, too. And yes, I remember Charlie in the stores, who if you asked for anything he reacted as though he'd paid for it all with his own money! Typical storeman's mentality! I'd love to see more photos of Spon Street around - they seem quite rare, although that could be partly because of the Official Secrets Act, which banned cameras from the site (although a few obviously got through). Wink
GEC Spon Street
Rob Orland
Historic Coventry
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51 of 52  Tue 7th Nov 2017 6:36pm  
Webmaster: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:1043

On 30th Jan 2017 4:55pm, Alan said: .... I heard that since the building used to be the old Rudge factory, all of the wooden floors were soaked in oil and if it had caught fire the whole place would have gone up like a bonfire.
Hi Alan and welcome, I heard the same thing about the wooden floors, and it was a bit of a concern. I recall being told that the Spon Street factory was Coventry's second biggest fire risk.... until the city's first biggest fire risk burnt down (the old Morris factory in Gosford Street) - that left us top of the pile, so to speak! Lol
GEC Spon Street
NeilsYard
Coventry
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52 of 52  Tue 14th Nov 2017 11:34pm  
Member: Joined Aug 2010  Total posts:1552

Apologies if the owner is here but had to show this one from FB - scarce image from the era from Croft Road.
GEC Spon Street

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