Northern Counties Radio School

Hugh Wilson
25th January 2007, 23:42
There never seems to be any mention of R/Os who attended Northern Counties Radio School, Preston. I was at NCRS from Sept 65 to June 98 and on leaving joined Marconi. A total of 32 trainee R/Os started at the same time as me, but only 7 of us completed the course and were issued with PMG Certs. Interestingly, the 7 of us were the only students who were not paid for by the local education authority. I suppose we couldn't afford to fail. At the time, the college head was Callaghan, with George Rawcliffe and Mike McCreary as instructors.

Hugh Wilson

Hugh Wilson
25th January 2007, 23:43
Should have said Sept 65 to June 68. It's 'Old Timer's Disease' catching up again.

Hugh

trotterdotpom
26th January 2007, 12:41
Should have said Sept 65 to June 68. It's 'Old Timer's Disease' catching up again.

Hugh

Hugh, you restarted just after I got the bullet - well done on your re-training. Wish such a system had been available down under.

John T.

PS I never went to Preston but always recall a story I heard once about a coaster captain who who was on a promise there. A mighty storm in the Irish Sea prevented several ships from entering the port, but testosterone won the day and the coaster surfed over the bar and entered the port. The Skipper even got a mention in the local rag for his derring-do. The following day when it was time to sail he said: "Oh not just yet, it's far to rough!"

Hugh Wilson
28th January 2007, 23:24
Totterdotpom

Thanks for the reply. I went to see the DHSS Empoyment Dept. to see if I could get help with the college fees when I decided to return to sea. They were unable to help, despite me having paid National Insurance and Income Tax for close on 25 years. However, they did offer me a course in Childminding!! I eventually borrowed the cash from a family member and once again I couldn't afford to fail. Coming back to sea was the best move I ever made.

Hugh.

Frank P
29th January 2007, 08:56
Hugh, the Northern Counties Radio School, is that the one that was in Ormskirk Rd, Preston?

Cheers Frank

Hugh Wilson
29th January 2007, 23:05
Frank,

It was at 91 Lancaster Road, above Watson and Wrigley's workwear clothing shop. The Golden Cross pub was just down the road where you could get pie, chips and peas plus 1/2pint of Watneys Red Barrel for 2s 0d at lunch time.

Hugh

Frank P
30th January 2007, 08:25
Hello Hugh, my mistake Ormskirk Rd was near by. A friend of mine was there around 1965/6 his name was Paul Reynolds, he also went on to work for Marconi.

I asked a question about the school in a previous RO thread but I did not get any answers, maybe because I thought the school was run by Marconi.

Cheers Frank

Ian Whitehead
12th November 2008, 15:52
I started at Northern Counties in November 1955 and my brother, David joined three months later. Principal was Callaghan and lecturer was George Rawcliffe. I left in June 1956 to join TSS Mataroa as 2nd RO, others joined Empress of Britain. David joined troopship Asturias as 4th RO in November 1956 for Suez, I joined him at Cyprus as R/O of Tudor Prince. There was also Anthony Houldsworth who left the school to join the Household Cavalry and fell off his horse. Eric Isaacs also left about the same time with a ticket. In 1957 my cousin Hugh Beesley went to the school for his Special Ticket and sailed on trawlers from Fleetwood, as did several of the other students.

niggle
15th November 2008, 20:48
The building is still there but not sure who if anyone is occupying the old school area upstairs, downstairs is a Bridal wear shop but alas The Golden Cross is currently boarded up, another casualty of the decline in the local pub trade. I remember visiting the school as a prospective student as I live in Preston but eventually went to Fleetwood Nautical College 1974 to 1976.

Niggle

Ridgway
8th April 2009, 02:22
Finally found Northern Counties Radio School mentioned, starting to think I had imagined going there. Got my ticket but couldn't pass the Radar exam so ended up at an electronics company instead of going to sea. Very disappointing.

Mayday
4th June 2009, 02:43
NCRS,
Yep I did my time there, probably 1970. Marconi, CNCo, CFL. OCL thence P&OCL Containers.

Remember the pints and pies well...ish.
Regards, John McKay.

jonesboat
24th October 2009, 11:17
Well here's a blast from the past, only just found this thread, In 1958/9 Principal Sean Callaghan, senior lecturer George Rawcliffe, his son Jed also lectured at the intake class above a butchers shop on the other side of Lancaster Rd. in tech. elec. theory & also morse, there was also another lecturer Grimble Deston. Mrs Bolton's butty shop/cafe just up a back street from there got alot of N.C.R.S. trade. Anyone remember the crest, anchor & lightning in a shield. I was there for a short while to get some comms. experience, then to Fleetwood Navigation School, Pr. Capt. Caruthers, housed, if memory serves, in the old Customs building (this was pre Nautical College days) nothing fancy then, you 'larnd' your lights & shapes with what looked like chessmen holding coloured spheres, on a table top. Spent the rest of my days on pilot boats, misc. small craft, and the Coastguard service, now a well retired old fogey.
For a bit of nostalgia, here's a pic of the NCRS radio room (G3SE registered as an 'experimental station') at the time.
Mike

Ron Stringer
24th October 2009, 12:12
Mike,

I'm intrigued. What is the apparatus fitted to the top of the cabinet of the Type M autoalarm receiver? Everything else is very familiar but that looks like a 'home brew'. What did it do?

jonesboat
26th October 2009, 10:04
Sorry Ron, just don't know, never had any dealings with the auto alarm rx, those that did seemed to have alot of difficulty with it, there was plenty of old equipment kicking about in there, which also intrigued me, including a vintage df in wooden case under the bench. I think the 'Irishman' liked to hoard things.
cheers... Mike

K urgess
26th October 2009, 12:40
It must be the Rx, Ron.
Usually the selector mechanism went to the top with the receiver in the middle and the PSU at the bottom.
Probably re-arranged by some enterprising lecturer to confuse the students, or vice-versa.

Kris

Ron Stringer
26th October 2009, 14:46
But, Fubar, what has happened to the cabinet? Never sailed with a Type M (or even saw one) that had a cut-away cabinet. Just don't understand what was going on there.

I was lucky to go to Brooks' Bar, where the equipment was as God/Marconi made it.[=P]

K urgess
26th October 2009, 17:23
It's a Vigilant Auto Alarm, Ron.
If you mean the thing to the right of the top of the auto alarm I think that's just a cupboard on a couple of shelf brackets and nothing to do with the Vigilant.

Kris

Ron Stringer
26th October 2009, 21:17
Ah, all becomes clear, Kris. It was an optical delusion.

I hadn't recognised that it was a cupboard in the foreground cutting off the upper part of the cabinet side. Silly me, I must need a drink so that I can see straight again.

jonesboat
27th October 2009, 10:07
Glad that's cleared up the query chaps, haven't slept for 3 nights bothering about that cupboard, can't remember what was in it after 50 years, wasn't very good with the old box brownie in those days either.
Mike

Vic Heaney
2nd November 2009, 19:48
I started at Northern Counties in November 1955 and my brother, David joined three months later. Principal was Callaghan and lecturer was George Rawcliffe. I left in June 1956 to join TSS Mataroa as 2nd RO, others joined Empress of Britain. David joined troopship Asturias as 4th RO in November 1956 for Suez, I joined him at Cyprus as R/O of Tudor Prince. There was also Anthony Houldsworth who left the school to join the Household Cavalry and fell off his horse. Eric Isaacs also left about the same time with a ticket. In 1957 my cousin Hugh Beesley went to the school for his Special Ticket and sailed on trawlers from Fleetwood, as did several of the other students.
We must have been there at the same time, Ian, although I don't remember any of the names, except of course Callaghan and Rawcliffe. I arrived in summer 1955 and was there for however long it took.

aussiesparks
12th November 2009, 09:32
You must have been there about the same time as my brother Terry Kavanagh,, I went there slightly later 58/59,, we both finished up working for AWA on the Australian coast.
The pub we used to use there was the Blackamoors Head,, which was still there a couple of years ago. There also used to be a small snack bar up a side lane where we used to get bacon sandwiches for lunch.
One trick they used to do there was press the transmitter key and then using a pencil see how long a spark they could draw from the dummy aerial. That was OK untill one day someone not knowing what they were doing put their finger on the bare lead at the bottom of the pencil. He nearly knocked the wall down behind him !!

Colin

Frank P
12th November 2009, 09:54
The pub we used to use there was the Blackamoors Head,, which was still there a couple of years ago. There also used to be a small snack bar up a side lane where we used to get bacon sandwiches for lunch.

Colin

The Blackamoors Head was still there a couple of weeks ago, I think it must be one of the few pubs in Preston centre not to have changed its name.

Cheers Frank(Thumb)

Vic Heaney
12th November 2009, 13:30
You must have been there about the same time as my brother Terry Kavanagh,, I went there slightly later 58/59,, we both finished up working for AWA on the Australian coast.
The pub we used to use there was the Blackamoors Head,, which was still there a couple of years ago. There also used to be a small snack bar up a side lane where we used to get bacon sandwiches for lunch.
One trick they used to do there was press the transmitter key and then using a pencil see how long a spark they could draw from the dummy aerial. That was OK untill one day someone not knowing what they were doing put their finger on the bare lead at the bottom of the pencil. He nearly knocked the wall down behind him !!

Colin

Hello Colin

Sorry, don't remember the name Terry Kavanagh. I would probably know the face. I think the snack bar was overlooking the market, wasn't it? I have a photo somewhere, of some of the radio school miscreants sitting on a wall outside the snack bar.

Vic

valencia59
9th November 2010, 21:07
Hi folks, this seems a long ago thread ! I have looked thru the colleges that are mentioned most of time but never seemed to come across ncrs. I was there from 1976 to 1979, the jobs at sea were a bit short but I managed to get a job at GKA which was one of the best places to ever learn how to be an R/O. I then went on to work for Italian/Greek/British shipping companies before coming ashore.
The Blackamore is the pub we used to frequent in my day and it is still there though a bit rougher than I remeber, the Golden cross has opened again but not as it used to be. Times change, but I still cannot drive past Dan Kerrs without looking for the radar mast on the roof.

Vic Heaney
10th November 2010, 11:42
I found all this information about NCRS very useful.

This summer I walked back through my life, from where I now live, in the French Pyrenees, to the house where I was born, in Blackpool. I took 70 days for the walk of nearly 2,000 kms and arrived at my birthplace exactly 70 years, to the day, after the event. All this to raise funds for Pancreatic Cancer research (my first wife died from this appalling illness).

I have just finished writing a book about this. Of course I walked through Preston and wanted to mention my connection with Preston, and of course with NCRS. So it was good to get the reminders of the address and the name of the principal and the lecturer George Rawcliffe, et cetera.

Anybody interested in my Big Walk will find information at the following addresses:

--
My blog: - http://vicsbigwalk.blogspot.com

Donate to Pancreatic Cancer UK: - http://www.justgiving.com/Vic-Heaney/

Vic's Big Walk - The Movie (BBC TV News coverage of the walk finish)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXEsgaK8EL0

Devans47
28th April 2013, 22:16
For a bit of nostalgia, here's a pic of the NCRS radio room (G3SE registered as an 'experimental station') at the time.
Mike[/QUOTE]


Well that picture brought back some memories, was at NCRS 1964 through june 66, took me awhile to get my 2nd class PMG. Got word of passing, went to the school the same day to pick up my ticket and then to Liverpool the next day and signed on with Marconi. First ship was Benarty out of Southampton.

Dave

Peter Hodgson
19th October 2013, 20:13
There never seems to be any mention of R/Os who attended Northern Counties Radio School, Preston. I was at NCRS from Sept 65 to June 98 and on leaving joined Marconi. A total of 32 trainee R/Os started at the same time as me, but only 7 of us completed the course and were issued with PMG Certs. Interestingly, the 7 of us were the only students who were not paid for by the local education authority. I suppose we couldn't afford to fail. At the time, the college head was Callaghan, with George Rawcliffe and Mike McCreary as instructors.

Hugh Wilson

Hi Hugh

Believe I was in the same class as you. I was a big fat lad got a 2nd class. Your Dad had the lovely job of inseminating cattle if I remember rightly.

Peter

Vic Heaney
20th October 2013, 12:37
I mentioned some time ago that I had, somewhere, a picture from my time at Northern Counties Wireless School (I don't think we said "radio" in those days).

I have found it and here it is. I think the five "stars" of the picture are sitting on the wall next to the cafe at the market.

The one on the left is yours truly. Then there is a chap whose name I can not remember - maybe somebody can enlighten me?

In the middle is Paul Hughes, who I am now in touch with again, through this forum.

Second to right is Nigel "Ginger" Womersly, from Blackpool.

On the right is "Enoch". I can't remember his name. I believe he was from Lancaster.

Hugh Wilson
21st October 2013, 01:16
Peter,

You are absolutely correct. He was the Milk Marketing Board AI man for most of Lancashire.

I remember you very well, red hair and freckles and I thinkyou lived in Longton.

Good to hear from you after over 45 years.

Hugh

Peter Hodgson
21st October 2013, 10:34
Hi Hugh, yes it's been a long time.

After getting my ticket I failed the medical for Marconi for being over weight - lucky as it turned out.

After the big trawler tragedies of 1968 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hull_triple_trawler_tragedy_(1968) all trawlers going to Iceland had to carry an R/O and I went to Fleetwood on my motorbike and signed on Wyre Vanguard the same day.

I lost 3 stone and got a job with Blue Funnel/Ocean Fleets which was a big deal at the time. One of the other lucky applicants was that bastard bully John Peters who subsequently became my friend! He was last seen by my brother driving a black cabin in Preston about 15 years ago.

I did a couple of years with Blue Funnel then went to Aerospace after I got married. In the late70s early 80s I went cowboy and joined Sanko on Liberian flag. Was on $3750 a month - big money at the time. My licence had expired due to no recent sea time but the Japanese got me a Liberian licence anyway.

After that I was divorced and tried various things including a business restoring old Rolls Royce which didn't succeed and working as a Rolls Royce mechanic in Stockholm for 2 years.

Came back in 91 and found myself unemployed for 2 years. Taught myself computer programming for something to do and in 95 blagged myself a job as a programmer. Good old computers kept me ever since - in some style as well. I work with multi-user software design, call centre software, data warehouse etc.

Went to Cornwall 3 years ago to fix up a house my wife inherited with a view to selling it. I have wandered all my life and at last found a home there, made wonderful friends and found true happiness for the first time in my life.

Where are you living Hugh? I am back in Blackburn for a couple of weeks as my wife is not coming to Cornwall and I'm here to sort stuff out. Not what you expect at 64 but life has been a roller coaster ride for me , all started by a leaflet on the School notice board. 'join the Merchant Navy as a Radio Officer, see the world and earn 15 a week after training'.

Kind regards

Peter

Hugh Wilson
22nd October 2013, 03:48
Peter,

Thanks for the reply. I've sent you a Private Message

Hugh