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The Baby Boon!

Born in the post World War II years, a Lancashire Lad, in what was known as the baby boon years. I was destined to become in my early teens, what was later labeled, a sixties child. History tells us it was an era of mods, rockers, drugs, flower power, free love and the Beatles. Like many others this revolution closely passed bye with the lasting memory being simply the music from these formative days which still ring in the ear.

Times were hard, well I would say that wouldn't I. My dad did in his time so I'm damn sure I will in mine. Brought up on a ration book, a basic two up and two down with an outside shared thunder box. Lighting by gas mantles, a coal fired cooking range, and ice on the inside window panes with liberty bodice's being the essential ' in fashion' thing in those days.


Infant school years and I was taught by nuns, enjoyed the daily quart of milk and an afternoon sleep in the school hall on camp beds.


But Sir Tom (Finney) was doing wonders for "The Invincible's", "The Lilywhites" or simply PNE whichever you want to recall, and kept up everyone's moral. Ee by gum they were the good old days!


Best Dad in the World
(Errol Flynn, Johnny Depp or what?)

Springfields 1964 Apprentices

> Click Image <

The way to success was to have a 'trade'. For this it was important to have an indentured apprenticeship with one of the big four in the area:

Goss (printing press works), English Electric (later to become BAe), Leyland Motors (trucks & buses) and UKAEA (most of it later to become BNFL).


After selection exams I was fortunate to be offered an apprenticeship with the UKAEA which was naturally going to determine my future career direction. Even though I stayed on at school, with a handful of others, for what was then quite novel a 6th form, I was still only 15 years old on the day I started work. My birthday being at the very end of the educational year, I always felt in my educational development that I was always just the one year behind. I know others will probably think differently and believe more than this!

University at this time was just an everest except for the very talented, or well connected, who could secure a fellowship. The traditional further education process was one of commitment. Several evenings of night school study and if lucky, as I was, your employer granting you a one day a week release to go to the local college. Then on completion of a full time-served apprenticeship of five years and subsequent further work experience in say a design office along with further study it was possible to achieve chartered engineer status.


Alas, after completing all my study and final exams and much to my disappointment the goal posts were changed in 1972. One years full time study was introduced as a requirement for chartered status, with no grandfather clause permitted for those who had followed the traditional path. Domestic commitments ensured it was impossible for me to take up a full time educational course for one year in order to secure an official professional status. Other opportunities would of course present themselves in later life, but this was of no consolation at the time.


At least there was no National Conscription, although even today I feel it was something lost from our commitment to country.

© 2008 Kevin Goulding