Those Radio Training Schools

3rd January 2007, 21:10
Hull Tech College (Park Street) was a busy training school in the mid 50s with people training for certification fo coastal, deep sea, trawlers, tugs & aircraft (yes we had one or two!).

The Morse code "Master" was called Smith (cannot recall 1st name) and he was impressive - could read the clicks from a desk top key, which beat most of us at the time but wouldn't be so hard now.
One day one of us sent a message across his table to his partner (you used to take it in turns to send/receive with each other) saying that "Smithy is a xxxx"

Smithy heard this from afar and slung the two perps out of the class.

Funnily enough, they were the two who passed their 2nd class tickets at the next session!

Some major parts of all that Radio Theory:-

1) Learning the circuit for the Auto Alarm by heart as you had to draw it in the exam.

2) Similar with a "Spark Transmitter"

3) All those Q codes - anyone still remember them all? I seem to recall one about "shall I shine my searchlight on the surface of a cloud....?"

Getting certificated at 25 wpm was a great challenge but felt good when you could read WSL news & weather straight onto a typewriter (used to come in at an automated 30 wpm -ish) as it was very difficult to get a pencil hand across the paper at those speeds!

Ah! Great days!

Any other ex Hull trainess out there?

K urgess
3rd January 2007, 21:43
Bit after your time, tedc.

I went to Hull Tech in '64 but we were at the new Queen's Gardens building. We used to go to Park Street once a week for something but I can't remember what. Probably metalwork or something.

It wasn't Redvers-Smith was it? He was in charge of the whole shebang when I went. Another one was Mr Wright (I think) who told us stories about convoys.

Great time. Lots of nurses at Hull Tech then and the deck crowd were tucked away down Boulevard out of harm's way so no competition. The new maritime college block on Queen Street hadn't been built then.

3rd January 2007, 23:47

Re. 3: Still imprinted in my memory banks after all these years - QUQ? Shall I train my searchlight nearly vertically on a cloud, occulting if possible and, if your aircraft is seen, deflect the beam upwind and onto the water (or land) to facilitate your landing? Really useful or what! Not one that you'd hear on the bands every day.

K urgess
4th January 2007, 00:47
Unfortunately that one is consigned to the memories of us oldies.
Because it's no longer relevent in today's world, a bit like us sparkies, it was deemed to be of no further use.:sweat:
It's deleted from the 14th edition (1975) of the "Handbook for Radio Operators" and Q codes about selective calling etc. have been included.
Thats the blue cover version that will be familiar to ROs with General tickets. I haven't been able to get hold of the orange covered version that was current when I took my ticket '64 to '66.

4th January 2007, 14:04
Morning all,

I did not go to Hull but just up the road in Bridlington. Last intake to actually finish their tickets there.

Talking of speedy tranmissions did anyone ever copy Eritrea US Navy station, cant remember if it was press or weather. That was mighty quick stuff.

Do you know I waited years to use QUQ but never once had the pleasure of a Sunderland or Princess flyingboat calling me!

Marconi Sahib, I am positive that 62-64 the handbook was blue, dont remember ever seeing an orange one, but I could be proved wrong.

4th January 2007, 14:11
The blue handbook was the one in force when I sat my 1st Class PMG in 1963and that was the version on the shelf on all the ships I sailed on. I have an orange one dated 1968 but don't know if there was an earlier version.

All the best,


K urgess
4th January 2007, 15:17
If I'd had this many crossed wires while at sea I would've been sacked long before I quit.(==D)

Of course you're both right. The one at college was blue and it was probably the one in some radio rooms that was orange.

Some things I can remember like yesterday others have faded.
Naturally I haven't a clue about the real yesterday.(Cloud)

The copy I have came from the local auction house in a box of unrelated books and is marked "Kingston Amber" on the inside.

Closest thing to a legitimate use of QUQ was when being buzzed by the USCG off the coast of the US in their Lockheed Neptunes.

BTW Hawkey01 - I don't suppose this was still there? From the Marconi Mariner Jan?Feb 1951

5th January 2007, 12:37

By 1964 they'd stopped doing radar courses at Brid but I'm fairly sure there were a couple of radar scanners on the roof, could be wrong though. By 1965 they'd stopped doing any courses.

What is odd is that before he was an Alderman, the Mayor of Brid was a Mister Man!

John T.

5th January 2007, 13:58

No radar at Brid. Maybe John T was more sober than me but cant remember any scanners. DF loop and aerials. Did have a photo but cant find it at the moment.


6th January 2007, 00:37

Neville, I found this photo on the NESWT site - ner ner! Not sure of the date but it looks a good while ago. Still can't remember if the scanner was there in '64.

Hope I've managed to transfer the photo OK.

John T.