JOE McQUILLAN (CHIEF WIRELESS TECHNICIAN - BILLINGE DEPOT)

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Steven Cole
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JOE McQUILLAN (CHIEF WIRELESS TECHNICIAN - BILLINGE DEPOT)

Post by Steven Cole » Thu Jan 19, 2006 11:41 am

From Howard Marshall (19/1/06)
It is with regret I mention the passing of Joe McQuillan, ex Billinge and the undisputed King of Installations. He died on New Year's Eve of prostrate cancer after a 6 month illness for which there was no treatment available; he was 75. His physical state was "uncomfortable" throughout this period but which deteriorated rapidly after Christmas such that the last 72 hours were spent in a hospice. His mental attitude throughout was typical Joe ... " I shall keep going until my body fails me".

From Steven Cole (19/1/06)
I have been advised that Joe's funeral was held on Monday 9th January and was attended by a number of Joe's ex-DTELS colleagues from Billinge. More details will be posted to this forum when they are known.

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Steven Cole
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Posts: 188
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Update from Howard Marshall

Post by Steven Cole » Wed Jan 25, 2006 8:09 pm

My thanks to Howard Marshall for the following text, that was written in quick response to a request from Joe's niece to be included at the funeral service.

"Joe McQuillan Background
Born and brought up in Wallasey, Merseyside ?. got bombed out during the war and the family moved to St Helens. First job ? apprentice fitter/turner for Pilkingtons (St Helens) called for National Service ? volunteered for 3 years as a "RAF regular" instead in order to get his preferred trade of radio technician. Demob from RAF in early 50?s (poss 1954) and joined Ministry of Defence (MOD) at a depot of name unknown but later transferred to MOD Burtonwood.

In 1959 he left MOD Burtonwood and joined the Home Office Wireless Directorate (HOWD) at the Billinge depot again as a radio technician
HOWD catered for all the radio requirements for Police, Fire, Prisons and Civil Defence from handheld radios to the equipments at hilltop sites and control locations. Much of the planning and design was evolved by Joe and he of course oversaw the procurement and installation of all associated equipment.

Between 1959 and retirement in 1990 Joe graduated through the 4 promotion grades and will be remembered in particular for his efforts involving the Local Government Reorganisations in 1974 and 1985. The work was a massive undertaking for the Billinge staff with Joe heading the installation team ?. his technical expertise and thoroughness was an example to all with all projects and target dates met. Joe merited public recognition in many people?s view but although that was not forthcoming he did get the sincere thanks from all Police and Fire Service Communication officers for outstanding work.

Joe left his mark on many colleagues and they were proud to be his friend. Joe had time always for a trier and would offer help to all those who asked. His technical notes (the setting up of equipment, systems,etc) were famous as they were over simplified ?to the point that the saying was even a cook could successfully set up equipments and schemes (apologies to cooks). The last paragraph says a lot about Joe ? he was always aiming for others to get it right as he did.

There was a good turnout at the funeral (0930 on a Monday) and more would have been present if the timing had been more agreeable and some contactibility problems had been resolved. The DTELS list is as follows:-

John O'Connor, Roy Hutton, Howard Marshall + wife
Stuart Powell, John Alexander, Joe Morris + wife
Graham Dean, Peter Needham, Peter Rutter + wife
Lew Robinson, Kevin Painter, Mick Burke
Roy Waring

Eric Davidson and Ken Blakey from Greater Manchester Police were also present. Greater Manchester Fire, Cheshire Police and Fire and Mersey Police and Fire Comms Officers from the past were not present as they are not now in post or were non contactable.

Image

This photograph is of Joe taken in early 2005 with the dominoes championship shield. Up until the summer 2005 Joe enjoyed 2 nights a week playing dominoes, one night with John O'Connor and friend and one night with me. From mid summer all his outings stopped abruptly and his computer, TV, VCR and books used his time + friend visits of course. As mentioned previously he was mentally 100% throughout and pottered on not wanting to know how much time was left to him. In the end it was so sudden."

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