I took a shovel into my memory to see what I could dig up concerning RRE and
the Hostel. The following is a randomly ordered set of fragments. I wonder
if anyone else would be triggered into a bout of reminiscence by seeing
them, and hopefully adding to the list.
The small wooden frame that you strung a mesh of tinned copper wire onto,
and then soldered all the crossovers for practice.
Tantalum capacitors into all the bench mains sockets, then turning on the
Shorting a big charged up capacitor into a ball of wire wool on a workbench.
Making a set of toolmakers clamps, particularly thread cutting the long
screws on a lathe, and Chunky bending the result with a hammer if he thought
you had cheated and used a die. I still have, and use, my clamps, and the
Making a 'scope almost from scratch, using loads of components that were
originally for the cancelled TSR2.
Going to Chunky to be assessed on a piece of test equipment, and having it
ticked off the list. (or not).
The Aladins cave on South Site where they dismantled equipment and put the
bits on shelves for re use.
Seeing the hand held radar being tested, that was later to become a speed
trap in the hands of Mr Plod.
George the warden and his smiling scottie dog.
Meals in the long room at the Hostel. (They were actually quite good).
The !!colour television!! room at the Hostel. BBC2 had priority. And
watching Pot Black on it, some things don't change.
Organising the students union coach to London for the Motor Show.
Film shows in the lounge at the Hostel. Fortnightly I think, and arranged by
Martin Hobson. Good up to date films too. Only one projector, so pauses at
each reel change.
The POND in Priory Park.
Mr Plod and the Guarlford straight.
Brian Kemp (Best Man at my wedding) picking up a soldering iron at the wrong
Jacko's scrapyard. I used to go there regularly for bits that I wouldn't
dream of using second hand now.
The Flamingo Cafe (I think that was the name). And the regular clientele.
Mr Plod coming to the Hostel whenever he needed a load of suspicious looking
characters for an identity line up at the police station.
Visiting Strencham Services for a late night meal(!!), going in and out by
the back way where it said no entry, (or exit).
Condoms full of water dropped from a great height at the Hostel.
Buying a huge great maroon Ford Zephyr from West Malvern for £30. At 2.5
litres, it was the biggest engine I had driven with until quite recently.
Bench seat, column gearchange, must have been designed with an RRE
apprentice in mind.
Mr Matthews driving the Queen's Landrover at the Three Counties Show.
A certain person rebuilding the engine on his Ariel Leader motorbike.
Running it in religiously until exactly the required mileage, then
immediately thrashing it.
Four of us holding up the back corner to change the wheel on a Ford 100E
when we had a puncture and no jack. I suppose we were lucky to have a spare
The sobering thing is, this was over !!30!! years ago.