Prompted partly by the recent plea for memories of the move from Enfield to Harlow, I have written another longish piece with my memories of the labs at Progress Way in the 1950s through to the early days at Harlow. A copy of this has just been posted on the main STLQCC website under the heading “60 years in Harlow”. It is a light hearted companion piece to the account I wrote earlier about my later years at Harlow and then at ITTE in Brussels. That is also on the main website under “Memories”.
I hope some of you who shared some of these experiences will enjoy my accounts of them. And I would be delighted to read more of other’s memories of these important times, places and people – all of which are rich in my memory.
To take the Progress Way story full circle, 20 years after STL moved out, STL were back – In the early 80’s as a young engineer from Audio Products Division at New Southgate I was involved in productionising the Zero IF (direct conversion) radio chip and turning it into a real product we could sell to BT as the POCSAG Pager.
Progress Way was by then was a hotchpotch of a facility – STC were finishing up some railway line signalling equipment production. There was a demo of some ‘phone line test equipment, complete with a large rotary power converter (I presume more for 60Hz than the 110V).
The site was ideal for the initial production line, a flexible work force, enough space, a machine shop to produce the strange little jigs and fixtures we needed, and enough empty space for me to practice my unicycling upstairs in the almost empty office space.
The paging group were the vanguard of the move of the whole Audio Lab from building 30 (the wooden hut) at NSG to Enfield. Plans were drawn, spaces allocated and on a Friday a new security window put in the cash office. The following Monday the move was cancelled and the paging group were left on their own for a while longer.
I then went off to NPDU (New Product Development Unit) in West Rd, Harlow and lost track of Progress Way, I think STC moved out of it soon after. We certainly moved pager production to Monkstown where we reached levels of 200k units a year when we were supplying BT in the UK and Tandy in the US.