Stanley Evans: playing with radio equipment as adult and child

Stanley Evans discusses how his work at Jodrell Bank in the 1950s reminded him of playing with radio equipment in his childhood.

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Day to day, I realise – in thinking about it now, I don’t think I thought about it at the time, I realise I just loved the apparatus that was used and building it and the freedom we were given to sort out these vast piles of government war surplus equipment that was just sold off. 

When you say piles of equipment, literally – 

Literally piled up. 

I’m imagining a rubbish dump of – 

Yes, exactly, piled up, stacked, you know. Well, I don’t think we had – we had tipping lorries then, we didn’t have forklift trucks, but – and bulldozers were just invented [laughs]. They just came into use after the war. But anyway, piles of equipment in that sense. 

In a hanger or shed or …? 

Well, they came in truckloads to Jodrell Bank. I don’t remember where the biggest sales were. But certainly as a schoolboy, before I went to Jodrell Bank, I can remember going to government war surplus dumps to look for equipment and buying it as a schoolboy at something - you know, sixpence a pound or something like that, 6d. 

For what reason? What were you doing with it at that time? 

Oh, making – yeah, I suppose this hasn’t been mentioned, making radio apparatus of one kind or another, not very successfully. But certainly you could buy cathode ray tubes and their power supplies and I certainly was using microfilms and cathode ray tubes and looking at audio wave forms in my own garden shed.

  • Interviewee Stanley Evans
  • Duration 00:01:47
  • Copyright British Library Board
  • Interviewer Paul Merchant
  • Date of interview 5/31/2011
  • Shelfmark C1379/51

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