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Racal-Thermionics Ltd (the first time around)

I was home on leave form being at sea. I was bored, all my friends were working during the day and I had little to do. I had four months leave due to me, this was going to be a long summer…

Down in Hythe there was an electronics company called Racal-Thermionics Ltd., they make industrial tape recorders.

In early July (after being home about a week) I walked into their front door and asked for a job. Their reaction was ‘What can you do?’ We happened to be beside the entrance to a Test Department who were testing tape recorders. I was able to explain to the person what the function was of most of the components on the various printed circuit boards and their reaction was ‘When can you start?’

I started the next Monday morning on a salary only just a little less than my Marconi salary and thought ‘this is OK, I can stick this for a few months (I was on leave, being paid by Marconi too) then I can go back to sea.

I enjoyed working in this little test department, testing and repairing printed circuit boards, putting them into their chassis’ and then testing the whole tape recorder.

Now I should explain at this point that the Radio Officer’s ticket expired after 6 months of non use. Come the six month time I had a decision to take - to stay at Racal Thermionics or go back to sea. Racal Thermionics won, the comforts of being home won, the social life won, I liked my little MGB and it won, I had a girlfriend so I won! That was it, I never went back to sea.

After a year or so Racal Thermionics was re-branded Racal-Recorders and we moved up to a brand new, purpose built factory at Hardley Industrial Estate.


I left Racal Recorders sometime in mid December 1980 in order to move the the village shop in Hale.

The next part of the story can be found under the page ‘The Shop’


Work in progress…