There's no big rush

1 min read
17 January 2018

Our resident engineer-turned-technical copywriter - Keith Wilson - shares some of his stories of working as an apprentice in the 1960s. Keith worked for a large controlgear manufacturing company and during this time, did and saw things that would today rightly be considered horrific. He's going to share some of these with you...

No rush copy.jpg

The whole of industry was much more relaxed in the 60s than it is today. Delivery dates were routinely missed by months, and no one seemed either surprised or concerned. In the controlgear company where I worked, a lot of the delays occurred in the test department, and they were often of our own making. In those days, complicated control systems would incorporate hundreds of relays with thousands of connections. While these panels were being tested, there was wire everywhere so, we apprentices decided, two more wires would never be noticed!

We simply connected a normally-closed pushbutton, on very long leads, into some vital circuit. Every so often, while the harassed tester was trying to work through the operational sequence, we'd push the button, just for a second or two. The sound of relays dropping out, and the curses that followed could be heard at the other end of the factory, especially when we pulled this stunt for the tenth or twentieth time! We should have been fired but, amazingly, we got away with this and similar tricks time and time again!

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