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I expect you have all heard the sad news by now that Derek Fleming and Keith Drynan passed away in March. Derek and Keith were two founder members of the Last Thursday in the Month Club and will be sorely missed.
Derek had been ill for a very long time and not able to get up to London to see us all since our move from the Newton Arms.
Keith was a real character and our leader, especially around Christmas Party time. He never seemed to miss our meetings and managed to be there until a few months before the first Covid lockdown.

Are You Up For It

If everything goes according to plan, and there are no upsets to derail the easing of the Covid restrictions, we could be back in business on Thursday 24th June. I've made tentative enquires at the Shakespeare's Head and we are still remembered there. Martin the manager said that he should be able to accept a booking nearer to that date. If you are all willing I will do that. What I don't want is to book a table and be the only one to turn up, so don't be shy let me know if you are up for a pint on that day.

R.S.V.P.

The following is an exchange of emails I had with a guy named Errol who found our website on the internet. Some of you may know him.


The Administrator,

I enjoy reading your articles and viewing the photographs that you post, however time flies and some of faces look familiar but I can't put a name to them. Therefore, I am requesting that you put names to the faces and I sure that would bring joy not only to me but to many others that view your fine publication. Another addition is a "where are they now?" which would allow us to offer names up and respondents could reply to the question.

My name is Errol G Rowe, I started as a TTA on August 26th 1968 and during my apprenticeship worked all over the North Central Area as well as meeting other PO people at Hackney Tech. I completed my apprenticeship at Bastion on trunk exchange construction with Alfie Ormes being the TOA. As a TOIT I worked in PABX construction then moved to Gulliver exchange as a TO in construction.

I resigned in September of 1975 and joined The British Columbia Telephone company in Vancouver, Canada. After many positions in North America, I retired as a National Director of Technical Support in Tampa, Florida USA.

I often told fellow telecom people that the training I received and the people I learned from as a TTA set me up for life and for that I will always be grateful. For that reason, I would love to be able to put names to faces other than Alfie Ormes, Johnny Petch and Terry Harper.

Thank you for your time and I'm sure there are more "old geezers" like me who wonder what happened to Peter Holmes, Jimmy James, Tom Craig, John Page, Jim Collins, Cliff Chang, to name just a few.

Errol

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Hi Errol

Thanks for your email. It's nice to get website feedback out of the blue. Attaching actual names to faces on our published photographs  is not something I will do without the permission from each guy concerned. I will put it to everyone when we next meet, whenever that may be. If you say it's OK, I could publish your email on our website or sent it out as an attachment  with the regular monthly emails I send the guys. Do you have a photo of yourself from that era I can show around?

Between 1968 and 1975, I was a TO in Citadel and Cavendish trunk exchanges in the Old Long Distance and City Areas, so never did meet meet any of the younger North Central guys at that time.  However a lot of engineers from the Long Distance Area,  who I knew, were sent to North Central when that was set up.  Brian Ormes (Alfie), John Beeby, Roger Holttum, Derek Fleming, Terry Harper, Johnny Petch, Ian Robinson and Terry Short, who all went on to become member of the Thursday Club. All these guys are or would have been over eighty.  Some were regular attenders at our meet-ups until the Covid lockdown but unfortunately not all of them are still with us.

  I am not familiar with the names you listed at the end of your message, but hopefully some of our younger (70 +) members are from your era and maybe know of them.

Baz.

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Baz,

Thank you for such a prompt reply. I have no objection to you posting my email and I can understand the need for permission to publish a person's identity. Attached is a picture of me from 20 years ago, all the ones I've got of the 68-72 vintage are recreational.

A couple of names from the great PO diaspora out of Faraday long distance who I worked with in Vancouver are, Bill Allen and George Lincoln (RIP). From one old geezer to another, take care, keep safe, keep up the good work on your site and live long in your retirement.

Errol

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Hi Errol

Just letting you know that I knew Bill Allen in Faraday when I was a apprentice, he would be a bit older than me. I worked with Georgy Lincoln for a few years when we were both TO's on Toll A exchange. I was there when he got married. If I remember right , he and his wife showed Old English Sheepdogs, we called them Dulux dogs.

Baz.

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Amazing what a small world it is. 
In Vancouver George and his wife continued to own old English sheep dogs.
He was as fit as a fiddle and played on my Engineering football team and was a standout midfielder who could run for miles and miles. Bill Allen was also a very good football player, much in the Johny Haynes style, and played on my team.

Unfortunately George died in 1996 and suffered from a dementia type illness prior to his death. A truly A1 person and a very good friend of mine.
I moved to Tampa and my technical support position  in 1999 and to my knowledge Bill is in good health, owns a couple of apartment blocks and I'm sure is still the same Bill Allen you used to know. Very small world.

Most of those guys I mentioned were on the construction side of the business,  maybe that's why you didn't know them.

You've made my day. Errol.