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Westrex Manchester in 1968

Back in the dim past round Manchester were some of the most helpful engineers I have ever met. Ernie Dodds had been a Western Electric engineer all his life, when offered promotion he refused it as he like being out in the field (The field being the Davenport cinema Stockport where he could be found most afternoon drinking tea with the chief Burt). Then there was George Green who had been a Kalee engineer. What George did not know about GB Kalee was not worth knowing.  When I was working at the New Oxford Manchester George had come on service. At dinner time I was having a go at building my first transistor amplifier, George took one look at it and said "It looks like my mother knitting and she could not knit!" an hour later the amplifier was working.   Jimmy Haslam was another Kalee man and his number one service was the Gaumont Manchester, Manchester's flag ship cinema. Jimmy serviced the Gaumont till it closed in 1973.  Jimmy also had a way of catching me on my bike sneaking off to see my girl friend in Chorlton. I would be ridding along then his dark blue Mk1 Escort would come past sounding his horn. Ron Wild I always found to be very quiet till he had finished his work and had a cup of tea.  George Blackmore was an RCA man. I had bought a Ross GC 3 from Gordon Rowley (No relation) for £10 and then George Blackmore tuned up with an RCA 9031 sound head saying "You have to have the best sound head" There was only one drawback, no adaption gear for the Ross to the RCA. George was back an hour later with a gear.
Next was dad (Jack Rowley) Dad was a BTH man from 1958 so when BTH closed the cinema division dad was taken on by Westrex to service all the BTH sets in and around Manchester. Dad always aimed to get to a cinema just as the cleaner were having their morning cup of tea. At cinemas such as the Lido Bolton and Carlton Salford he would have to play at least one tune on the organ before the cleaner would give him his cup of tea.

To me these were some of the best years of my life. Going to work with dad in school holidays and days off but, this was not just for fun as dad had a very bad heart and would not stop work when he was unwell so, I had to watch how meany of his angina tablets he was taking. I was also shown how to do CPR and told when to call an ambulance for him.

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