My name is Robert Calvert, I was born in Great Harwood, a town in East Lancashire, in May 1945 around the end of World War 2. Some of my earliest memories are of ration books - rationing continued until the early 1950's.
23 May 1945 was quite an eventful day :
I went to school in Great Harwood, first at St. Johns School and then two years at the County Secondary School. After passing a 13+ exam I went on to Padiham Technical School for three years. Padiham Tech was an interesting school with only about 50 pupils and three teachers. It had produced "tacklers" (textile technicians) for the cotton mills in years gone by - there was a working Jacquard loom in the basement, although textiles was no longer taught. The five subjects taken for GCE were English, Maths, Engineering Drawing, Engineering Workshop Theory and Practice and a modern innovation (it was only introduced the year I arrived there) - Physics. The Maths teacher, Mr Goodwin was known as "Clem" because, it seems, his classroom was No. 10 and some years previously the resident of a better known No. 10 was Clement Atlee.
On leaving school in 1961 I gained a form of apprenticeship with Post Office Telephones, part of the GPO. For the first 25 years or so the work was very parochial, being centred around Blackburn, Burnley, Bolton & Rochdale. Later on with the liberalisation of the telecommunications industry geographical limits extended until my "patch" covered the whole of the U.K. The type of work I did was design, planning, project management and technical support (not all at the same time) for our business customer's installations. I retired from what had by then become BT in 2003.
During the 1970's the work I did meant using a couple of early desktop computers, they cost about £4000 each and were tiny in modern terms (two 64K floppy disks) and used CP/M - a predecessor of MS-DOS. I became interested in them and taught myself assembly level programming at lunchtime and in the early evening. I still have an interest in computers as well as using them as "a typewriter that does sums".
Until I started work I had always been called Robert, but at work I became known as Bob and to this day it is probably true that I am only known as Robert to family, and anyone who knew me at school.
I married in 1985 and moved home to North Lancashire which is where my wife lived.
My interests over the years have included radio (I hold an Amateur Radio Licence, although I am not currently active in this area), public speaking, photography, and computers. For a time I was a member of the original "Service Team" at Bowley Scout camp just after its opening in the mid-1960's. This was mainly working on ditches and drains together with general site maintenance.