The final irony was I had been away from HQ so long they had changed the Security passes and I was refused entrance and had to get someone to sign me in. Shortly after this I had to ask for a transfer back to CCE due to my wife’s ill health and was eventually transferred to Tech writing. I must say that I was thoroughly disgusted with the treatment and consideration or lack of it shown to me so much so that I was on the point of resigning.
I took up post in Tech. Writing working to George Reynolds and spent a pretty uneventful time both at CCE and at Bishops Cleeve, after a period of time the post of CWT in charge of the Maintenance Unit became vacant and I applied and was accepted.
The post in the MU working to the RWE at Weyhill, began one of the most pleasurable jobs I’d had since I started in D.TELS. After a while I got to know the staff and managed to establish a regime where certainly the majority of staff were happy and yet the output of repaired equipment continued to exceed previous output figures.
The skill levels of many of the staff in the areas they were employed was very high but because of the narrow field i.e. Pocket phones and Fireman Alerters they had very poor chances of promotion. I began to press for more diversified equipment to be repaired at the MU and eventually got the Mascot 200 and attachments to the Cheltenham Detachment to get at least some idea of County schemes etc. but this didn’t last long.
Photo: Gordon Wasserman, Rt.Hon Douglas Hurd (Home Secretary) and Eric Davies
The highlight of my time in the MU has to be the visit of the then Home Secretary Mr. Douglas Hurd. I had the pleasure of giving him a conducted tour of the MU with explanations of the functions of the various sections and where we fitted in the overall picture. I have to confess I was amazed at how quickly and how much information he could absorb in a short time. When he arrived at Bishops Cleeve he was briefed by the departmental heads on the various functions carried out. He then went outside and spoke to the Press with all the authority and knowledge as if he was the head of the Unit, he never put a foot wrong.
Later on Ken Staves the CWE in charge organised visits by Comms Officers from the various Police Forces and Fire Brigades. They came down and were given conducted tours of the Site I think this was an attempt to stop privatisation if it was we all know now that it didn’t work.
The final chapter in this little ramble was my promotion to SPTO in charge of the Northern Region Civil Defence based in Manchester. I was in charge of the Comms equipment in the regional Bunkers and was responsible for the National Training of volunteers who would man the Bunkers if required. I also had to liaise with all the County Emergency planning Departments in the North of England. My employment was terminated on my 50th birthday in February 1991 by a massive heart attack and stroke.
I would like to say I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Directorate, I met hundreds of very nice people whom I’m glad to have known I can close my eyes and see faces but due to stroke damage which has affected my memory I cannot remember many names and I would like to apologise to all those I’ve forgotten. I would also like to apologise for my grammar etc but this is for the same reason and I’m totally dependent on spell check.
8th January 2008
Photo: Eric pictured here with his wife, Barbara in 2007
Other Photos from Eric Davies
Eric has kindly sent in a number of photos that have been added to the relevant galleries in this site. Click on the links in the left hand menu bar to view.
Following the Directorate’s involvement with the Lero C12, the control system became the preferred choice for many English and Welsh Fire Brigades during the 1980’s. There may still be a number in use prior to the rollout of Firelink, the replacement digital telecommunications network. Please let me know if there are.
Acknowledgement: Eric Davies