In an ESI career that lasted almost 35 years from 1970 to 2004 (since which time I have spent 10 years working for two Energy Management Consultancies), I spent 10 years in Generation & Transmission with the CEGB (5 of which being a 1 year Craft and then a 4 year Student Apprenticeship in Generation), before 25 years with MEB when the 132kv system was transferred in 1980 and I decided to take the plunge as a Senior Authorised 3rd Engineer on the 132, 275, & 400kv at that time. I was fortunate to be able to take SVS from the ESI when Aquila (MEB) merged with Eon's EMEB acquisition to form Central Networks - although it is of course all now a part of WPD.

Nechells 'B' was my CEGB Midlands Region Base Station as an apprentice (I recall as an apprentice there amongst other things - Nechells 'A' just before it was dismantled, having to operate 3 chain grate boilers on my own on shift at Nechalls 'B' when Industrial Staff went out on strike, and, the 'accidental on purpose' burning down of 'A' Station's wooden cooling towers by contractors who were told they could not do this - due to the cooling slats being arsenic impregnated & Birmingham's main Natural Gas Storage works being just 25 yards away!!!).

However I also spent time at all 3 Hams Hall Stations, Warwick, Wolverhampton, Ocker Hill, Drakelow etc - should you need any info or names of some colleagues that I recall - please see below. Starting as a Craft Apprentice I transferred to a Student Apprenticeship after my first year (as I studied an additional G Star course at college at night that year - like a number of my colleagues).

I think that I was in the very first group to go to Brantwood for an 'outward bound type course' in April or May 1971 and must have been in one of the first groups to attend the then new Drakelow Plant Training Centre. We were also guinea pigs on the first 2 week 'Lindley Lodge' (a Nuneaton commune!!) & 1 week Peak District Boot Camp Leadership Course.

From the many names from those CEGB apprenticeship years, my wife and I spent yesterday evening with one of 'those names', together with his wife. 'Rowland Pound' and I turned 60 on 1st and 6th April this year respectively, and although he now works and lives in Queensland, Australia; he is over here for a short holiday at the moment 44 years after we first met (he returns to Oz in about 14 days time). Row (who we used to call 'Rolly') and I spent a great deal of time together during our apprenticeship - on the same courses and sharing CEGB 'digs' and 'dens of inequity on nights out'!, etc - we started at Erdington Tech on the same day - in September 1970!!

Craft & Student Apprentices I was with included the following (I think I might have some group photos in my loft still of them - I will have to look them out - from memory there were 30 Student Apprentices in my year):

A Few Names from Nechells 'B' circa 1970 to 1976:

A Few Names from Hams Hall 'C' circa 1976: