Geoff Tootill: TRE's Flying Rockets concert party

Geoff Tootill recalls TRE's wartime concert party, the Flying Rockets.

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We had a concert party, the Flying Rockets Concert Party, and we used to have a touring show which we’d take round the Worcestershire villages, do it in village halls. We had two magicians, one was pretty good and the other was a magnificent, real professional, top professional standard. There were singers, there were chorus numbers, chorus boy and sketches was my role. We installed a variety of electronic equipment in Malvern College assembly hall of course. The first thing of course was stage lighting and the control of this was done by variable auto-transformers. And the lighting plot was wired up on a plug board I seem to remember, and we could change from one lighting plot to the next with a stepping switch, such as is used in telephone exchanges, which was the province of the telephone exchange equipment group of the establishment. So we profited from the presence of these people by having this highly automated stage lighting, much more sophisticated than in any professional theatre of the time. My contribution was a combined telephone and queuing system.

Did this little recreational activity with electronics feed back into your work then or?

Oh well no, the knowledge obtained in our work fed into the recreational activity [laughs]. This was all child’s play, chicken feed, compared with the technical aspect of our real day’s work.

  • Interviewee Geoff Tootill
  • Duration 00:02:25
  • Copyright Geoff Tootill
  • Interviewer Thomas Lean
  • Date of interview 12/3/2009
  • Shelfmark C1379/02

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