JOHN STOKES (SWE - HORSEFERRY HOUSE)

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Paddy Kelly
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Re: JOHN STOKES (SWE - HORSEFERRY HOUSE)

Post by Paddy Kelly »

Such sad news. I first met John when I transferred up to Horseferry House as a new CWT from the wilds of South Wales.

John was a lovely true gentleman - easy going and always with a quick dry sense of humor - but more importantly he always seemed able to give help and guidance with whatever problem or query that had crossed your path.

A real pleasure to have known him.

Rest in Peace John.

Paddy Kelly
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Steven Cole
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JOHN STOKES (SWE - HORSEFERRY HOUSE)

Post by Steven Cole »

It is with regret to announce that Peter Wakefield emailed me to say that John Stokes passed away, it is believed on Friday 8th September 2023. He leaves a daughter Adele. No other details or funeral arrangements are known at this stage.

During the 1980s John (J.F.A) was a senior engineer in Static Systems (SS3) Mobile Data and Radio Relay Development.

The following is an extract of an article that appeared in the Directorate 'Intercom 8 Magazine - June 1976' giving details of John's career up to that date:

"Wanting to give credit where credit was due, we looked about for those among us who have benefitted themselves and the Service through the attainment of qualifications in the near past. Our editorial eye fell upon John F.A. Stokes MIERE CEng (whom God preserve of the Central Communications Establishment, Harrow).

In reply to our questions about himself, he informed us that he was born at an early age in Swiss Cottage, London, and was cared for by the resident goatherd while his mother went out to work. This without a glimmer of a smile — which we thought also did him credit. He went on to tell us that, although he never fully mastered the difficult art of yodelling, he throve upon the yoghurt and goats' milk.

He was educated, he proudly informed us, at Harrow School and added, (rather soto voce it must be confessed), that this was not the one on the Hill, His interest in radio was brought on by a boy named Dickie Mann and upon whom he never set eyes after leaving school. Apprenticed to the GPO in 1955 at Dollis Hill, he was reared on valves and 250 watt transmitter loads which kept the lab at a comfortable temperature. During a visit to the Training School at Stone, he woke every sleeper in the establishment at two in the morning with a thrilling rendition of They're Changing Guard at Buckingham Palace on his trumpet.

Married in 1960, he left the GPO for TV Rental fatigues with a small company for more cash. A useful experience in seeing how the other half lived and one enjoyed by many Home Office technical men. On moving house to Bletchley, Buckinghamshire, he joined a firm involved in ultrasonic testing and later joined Marshall Amplification as a design engineer where his piece de resistance was a 200 watt guitar amplifier for the use of pop groups.

Sanity then prevailing, he returned to the Civil Service and joined GCHQ, Bletchley Park as a radio technician in 1966. During this period he also won world-wide fame as a lead trumpet player with Nitwits Band. (Their records are rare and considered as collectors items by aficionados. We also suspect that none were ever Issued). He became a Grad. IERE in 1968. He joined CCE in 1969 as an Senior Wireless Technician and so came back to the Great Wen, his birthplace. His niche is in Evaluation and Development Section where he was promoted CWT in 1972. He achieved membership of the IERE in 1974 and Chartered Engineer in 1975.

He runs a very close second to the Arch-Crank (of Corner fame} and possesses about a dozen pre-war receivers, mostly in working order. Our photograph shows him with his 1931 Scott-Taggart and horn loudspeaker. He still believes in cycles/sec and bright emitters and please can anyone get him a PM25, PM4DX and PM13 (preferably new and boxed for his DC mains Ekco receiver with moving-iron speaker? These are so obsolete that they are not even in the AVO valve books!)

His great ambition is to set up a living domestic radio exhibition, each receiver, if turned on, will play programmes of its own era. He is not alone in this; Jim Luxton of Cranks' Corner also has this dream, Anyone suggesting a location for this will be rewarded with some old radio bits.

John Stokes is also a locomotive fanatic and will cart his family miles In pursuit of a preserved engine 'in steam'.

(Editor: After all of which we can only follow with: 'It takes all kinds ...').

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