Newsletter 2011

A Channel Islander’s musings

Barry Edward Bridel

Even though I am not a Marconi Veteran in your definition, I worked at the company for almost 4 years.

My home is on the Channel Island of Guernsey. In September 1968 I joined the company as an apprentice and worked at Marconi till I returned to Guernsey in 1972. In 1968 it seemed that there were many hundreds of us apprentices. I was only 16 years old (I am now 58 and retired) and keen to start work. Straight out of school and ready for work! So what did Marconi do? It sent me to Colchester College, NE Essex. I was not amused as nobody had told me that would happen.

I remember many things now, including working in different departments and finally ended up working with Douggie in High Power Transmitter test.

I have looked at the various photos on the internet and feel sad that the buildings are now in such a poor state.

The more I look across the internet the more memories that come back to me and I realise what a fantastic place Marconi New Street was. I did a short stint at Writtle and remember the first flight of Concord as it did a circuit of Great Britain – we watched from outside the building.

Anyway, thanks for the memories posted through your newsletters. I am going to write down what I can remember whilst I can. Some really good ones. I left in 1972 because I wanted to get back to Guernsey. Home sick. Tektronix offered me a job there, then the Telephone company. I eventually retired from C & W last year.

I owe my whole career to Marconi. Thanks

In connection with Barry’s reference to Douggie, Chris Gardiner replied:

“I think the Douggie you refer to was Douggie Bowers. He was the power supply expert in the high power labs in Building 46 so was a 50Hz man rather than RF. The biggest power supply at the time you were there would have been for the 250kW broadcast transmitter BD272 although by the late seventies the B6124 transmitter produced 300kW. Douggie would have worked on the PSU design for the 500kW B6125 transmitter but this was never produced, and by the time the 500kW B6127 went into production in 1984 I think Douggie had retired.”

Since publication we have received the following comments from Andrew Sargent

‘The article from Barry Bridel “A Channel Islanders’ musings” brought back great memories.  I spent the first few months of my working life in the pit then it was off to Colchester College.  My first factory placement during my apprenticeship was in 1972 in High Power Test working for Doug Hills, however I can’t recall if Barry and my paths crossed at this time. It started me thinking of other colleagues I met at this time and one name I recall is John Bucknell and looking at the upper picture in section 22 “Established Design Group Christmas Dinner 1964” can I suggest his name for the second from the right.  Have no concrete reason for this suggestion, other than it looks a bit like him.  Will look forward to the 2012 newsletter to see if I am right.’


Perhaps the Douggie referred to is Doug Hills and not Douggie Bowers – Webmaster.