Sitting for the PMG at HQ London

Roger Bentley
9th May 2008, 16:29
As time and more importantly cash was running out, rather than wait for the inspector to visit the WT College at John Dalton St, M/c. Another chap and myself elected to take our chances at the GPO HQ in London. We had worked out in advance that during the practical test sending and receiving traffic that we would use QSG. As in QSG2 send 2 messages at a time and then wait for QSL. The examiner raised an eyebrow and asked did we normally do that? Oh yes we replied especially when conditions are good. (Although I never used that Q code again) He was obviously satisfied as come the Saturday after, my 1st Class duly arrived and having informed Mr Nutter the Bibby Radio Super, I was immediately sent to join the Lancashire as 3rd R/O. I had been on my first trip on her some two years previously. Did anyone else ever brave the holy of holies? Regards, Roger

Tony Selman
9th May 2008, 17:33
Roger, I didn't even know that was an option. Did the option of going to GPO HQ under your own steam disappear by the 60's or did I just not know about it? As far as I can remember at this distance I took all my PMG exams on fixed dates which we knew well in advance.

I must say I cannot even remember QSG let alone having ever used it.

K urgess
9th May 2008, 17:49
Same as Tony, Roger.
Didn't know it was an option and I can't remember using QSG at any time.
Going elsewhere for the exams was never mentioned and we just sat them when we were told about them. Sheep?[=P]


Roger Bentley
9th May 2008, 19:42
Thanks for the response Kris and Tony, As far as I remember you had to apply to the GPO and there was I think a fee. I do remember when we entered the place we began to wonder if we had done the right thing, but by the friendly attitude of the examiners I got the impression that it was not unusual for candidates to turn up there. It is just possibly in 1952 that this was a hangover from the war years. The courses at the bigger colleges afterwards would have been geared to definite exam times. Regards,Roger

10th May 2008, 08:34
I went to the place at Tower Hill for a morse retest in about 1956, I think. I can remember the key being on a small rickety table that wobbled and the examiner's morse was bit difficult to read. But I passed!
Morse never came easily to me and until I was in the DWS my speed was always a struggle. DWS had different meanings for some of the more common Q codes and that caused quite a few embarassing moments for 'new boys'.

alex page
11th May 2008, 03:57
I heard of R/Os going into the DWS what did they do marry ex Bond girls and work in exotic embassies ? learn Japanese morse ?

Ron Stringer
11th May 2008, 07:53
I heard of R/Os going into the DWS what did they do

Whoa there, Alex! If he told us he would have to kill us.

11th May 2008, 08:01
I heard of R/Os going into the DWS what did they do marry ex Bond girls and work in exotic embassies ? learn Japanese morse ?
I think that was GCHQ not DWS. We just worked at embassies.

Ron Stringer
11th May 2008, 15:08
Don't be so modest, Ted. I've seen the James Bond movies.

Gareth Jones
11th May 2008, 15:25
When I worked for the GPO I was given to understand that the facility was made available for those R/O's who might want to study under their own steam whilst at sea (e.g. correspondence course), also for resits when the failed candidate had been obliged to go back to sea i.e. end of study leave.

12th May 2008, 08:45
Don't be so modest, Ted. I've seen the James Bond movies.
I'm afraid the DWS preferred married men to take their wives and families on postings. Not much chance of Bond girls for us.
The only time they tried filling a post with single men was in St Helena because of limited accommodation but it got out of hand when the lads had too much action with the local girls and it was changed back to married men with pre-school-aged children.

Mick farmer
12th May 2008, 20:27
I did my 1st Class at Post office in 1963 as there were no exams scheduled
at Earls Court at the particular time.

Very Interesting as they keep files on all ticket holders including misdemeanors
(of the radio kind)

Tai Pan
19th May 2008, 10:57
In did my 1st class at London. think it was Waterloo Rd. I was the only person taking it, very friendley. that was about 1954. it was organised by Brookes Bar Manchester

19th May 2008, 11:42
I did both 1st & 2nd class at Brookes Bar Manchester. One 1961 the other a couple of years later.