Posted on October 23, 2011
All back to normal tomorrow the wife is back at work after a two week holiday.
Really nice to have Sue at home but not really got much done, so have a backlog to get through.
Went mad on the day of our anniversary, and we went to Tesco and bought two mouse mats, never let it be said I don’t like spending money.
I must admit I do find Hampton Shopping Centre a bit clinical, it has no soul and the staff in the shops all generally look as miserable as sin!
Mind you when I was in retail and worked in a shopping centre I was never very happy either, you can’t beat looking out at the sunshine or for that matter the rain!
I have memories of working above Birmingham New Street Railway Station in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I don’t mean to say it was rough but the security guards patrolled with Alsatian dogs and carried handcuffs as standard issue.
Come to think of it I don’t know which was harder, dealing with the local criminals or clearing out the rail passengers when it was time to close who had come up from the station for a warm when their trains were late. It was certainly a rough place to work. Last time I went in there some years ago it had all changed and parts of the centre had carpet down and the security staff had jackets on with not a dog in sight.
That’s a picture of me in the mid1970’s when I worked in Solihull for Dixons, shame I did not realise that it was going to be the most enjoyable part of my retail career. It was lots of fun even though there were some snobs in Solihull.
I remember one day when a man asked to speak to the manager, he wanted us to sling out a fairly young couple because they were in torn jeans and it downgraded the town centre!! I can still remember the look on his face when the manager informed him that the gentleman he was asking us to remove was a Lord and the woman with him was his wife. They were a nice couple as well and spent lot’s of money.
Back at the tender age of ten I discovered a hobby which remains my favourite hobby today and that’s amateur radio. The picture above shows me listening away I would guess around 1970 give or take a year. I obtained my licence in 1979 and took my Morse test for a full licence the following year. For those interested my callsign is G4PYR. I still get a kick out of contacting people around the world especially using Morse code which is my great love in the hobby, though a small garden and the business have dictated that I have not been able to be as active as I would have liked for a few years.
The local radio club in Solihull used to provide a demonstration station for the yearly amateur radio exhibition that used to take place at the NEC. The above picture shows me operating Morse using the callsign GB4NEC. It was a busy exhibition and a few days hard work but very enjoyable.
My inspiration in amateur radio as a youngster was Ralph G3PYR, and it’s in his memory I have the callsign G4PYR.
This is a picture of Ralph G3PYR, most of his equipment was home built by him and he was always happy to help, assist and encourage youngsters, and he inspired me, he also taught me and many others Morse code as well.
So there you have a potted history of my early working years and my favourite hobby. I did not plan to write any of the above when I started this entry, but what the hell they were enjoyable days when people helped other people gain knowledge. I think that’s one of the reasons I enjoy the railway so much, the people who give their time and knowledge freely really make my days at the railway enjoyable and I am looking forward to returning next year again. In so many aspects of modern life people seem not to want to help others they just want to have everything for themselves and that’s truly a shame.