THE TRANSMISSION GALLERY
TALES FROM A COLD FIELD
Being fairy-stories told to the author as a young engineer
© Ray Cooper, 2005 (2nd revised edition, Jan 2006)
The End of the Road
With the death of 405-line transmissions, there was a big change. By this point, the station was running fully automated and a good deal more reliably than in former days. There was no longer any requirement for a shift system, so far as the station equipment was concerned. About this time, though, the MICs (Monitoring and Information Centres) came into existence, and Sutton was to become one of the five of them. So there was still to be a shift requirement, and in general terms the staffing levels did not change much.
So it's time, as I promised at the start, to call a halt. At the present date, none of the equipment herein described remains in service.
Tears and Sweat
There was plenty of sweat, over the years (inside a transmitter on a roasting hot summer's day is no place to be). There were tears also: of frustration, and of rage (occasionally) but these were mostly made up for by the tears of mirth that seized us all from time to time, as from reading these pages you might well imagine.
Was it worth it? Of course it was. It was a totally fascinating job for most of the time (okay, dealing with overflowing cesspits at outstations might have taken the edge off it a bit, in later years) and one worked with such interesting people. And, as they say, it was much better than working for a living. In later years, a greybearded staff member might have been heard warning some new, young staff arrivals: 'Of course, you must bear in mind that most of the people round here are Characters. And all of them are fully accredited Weirdos.' Those were my very words.
Appendix A >