Changing Times

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Glitch

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Globalisation has changed things greatly in my lifetime - cheaper to get stuff made abroad. Far less need to develop traditional skills here. Used to be the simple stuff but the more complex manufacturing goes abroad too. Based on cheap labour which will eventually get more expensive and less value.

I worked with some great programmers but the industry decided to outsource to India. Then it took 5 (cheap) resources to try to do the job of one home grown resource. After you've got rid of your own skilled resources they have you over a barrel. Now they're trying to bring jobs back onshore!

Also, we now live in a throwaway society. If something breaks you often just throw it away and buy a new one. Built in obsolescence makes you buy more.
In the old days you could repair stuff, or make a new one from salvaged components. Few people really know how things work these days.
I sometimes despair at my sons lack of practical skills but in reality they don't need them.
 

Cooper

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I've found this thread rather depressing, as a retired D&T teacher. I had very few colleagues with proper practical skills. only those who had converted from industry weren't frightened of a lathe. My replacement was even scared of a CNC lather we had been given by the Worshipful Company of Turners and passed it on to another school. Even the 3D printer was put away!!
Anyway the chat about phones has cheered me up. This is our one.
Cheers
Martin
1609586150783.png
 

MikeJhn

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I can remember our first telephone number, North 5532 none of this 01 nonsense.
 

Phil Pascoe

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I remember speaking with the late Patrick Moore at the time of the eclipse. He told us he 'd found papers belonging to his grandfather - his phone number was London 2.

I remember my mother's house being finished in 1979, about the time the regulations had changed - you could buy your phone instead of having to rent it. A chap I knew was a telephone engineer and we were chatting one night about it. He said tell your mother under no circumstances should she stop renting one - there was three quarters of a mile of line from her house over quite rough country she'd be liable for if she used her own phone.

I remember having to phone for a coastguard on Alderney in 1968 - a yacht had hung itself due to being roped too tightly and the tidal drop being so great - it was a wind up phone, the only one I'd ever seen let alone used.
 
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Droogs

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I've found this thread rather depressing, as a retired D&T teacher. I had very few colleagues with proper practical skills. only those who had converted from industry weren't frightened of a lathe. My replacement was even scared of a CNC lather we had been given by the Worshipful Company of Turners and passed it on to another school. Even the 3D printer was put away!!
Anyway the chat about phones has cheered me up. This is our one.
Cheers
Martin
View attachment 100053
Whitehall 1212 please
 

NickVanBeest

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Telephone nostalgia! :cool:

Grew up in South Africa, and when visiting my sister on the farm, they still had those winding telephones, where you would pick up the receiver, listen whether anybody was busy, ask "Line free?" to be sure... then replace the receiver, spin the handle, pick up, and wait for the operator's "Number please?"

They were sharing the line with 8 other farms, and each farm had a different ring sequence (short, short, long, for instance) and that would be how you knew there was an incoming call for you!
 

Keith 66

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Every year though there are a handful that have some sort of switch thrown. They fall in love with a lathe or a mig welder and you can't teach them fast enough. They want to work through breaks and are asking for extra work - so I haven't entirely given up hope ! :D

I worked in a 6th form College as D&T & engineering technician for 12 years then 5 more as D&T in a secondary school.
I echo "Peri's" sentiments as my experience in college was very similar. When i went to work in the school i was lucky enough to work on a one to one basis with a very good lady teacher who was seriously good at inspiring the kids, she had next to no metalworking experience & her woodwork experience was similar. However her CAD & laser skills were excellent & she saw that i knew what i was doing.
And so we made a good team, the kids did really well & in the two years we worked together the results were the best for years.
After she left i was lucky to work with three more good teachers but the sylabus had changed & the new GCSE is so awful as to be embarrasing. I found it really sad that every year we would get new kids coming in & a goodly proportion of them really wanted to make things. But the sylabus did not allow for it. Today the D&T gcse is 99% theory & the year 11 final project is given just 7 hours, Teachers are not allowed to mark for quality, rather the idea behind it gets better marks.
And so a project that has a good idea behind it but is made of cardboard dollops of hot glue & duct tape may well attract better marks than a finished article well made that a kid has taken pride in making.
To see the kids who were of a practical bent being disillusioned in this way was soul destroying.
Our system is letting kids down.
On the bright side my son is now a qualified electrical engineer & can turn his hand to just about anything! He is lucky that he has access to my well kitted workshop!
 

doctor Bob

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I remember my Nan having a shared line, somehow by the ring she could tell whether it was for her or Mrs Duckett. Never knew how I would have been about 4 or 5.
 

paulrbarnard

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I remember our first phone number was 287. A few years later they added 64 to the front making it 64287. After that they added STD codes and another digit.
 

Vann

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I still remember our first phone number: 2758-D. It was a party line and we knew when the call was for us because the operator would ring long short short - morse code for "D".

As for kids. My 29 year old son is an economist, my 19 year old daughter works part time as a waitress, but my 16 year old daughter has both interest and skills at making things. I've taught her to use my 30" bandsaw safely, and the SCMS. But I still insist she has my supervision when using the 18" Wadkin table saw.

Early last year she asked a teacher if they had any Forstner bits. "What are they?" was the reply. I'm proud.

Cheers, Vann.
 

Gavlar

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(My turn to sound like my dad)

I work in the engineering dept of a technical college, and we staff often say exactly the same.
All the 'hands on' staff (those teaching milling, turning, welding, pneumatics, hydraulics etc etc) - and we're all, without exception, over 50 - grew up with parents either in the trades, or who took working with tools as a very serious hobby. A lot of the 16 or 17 year olds we get through the doors have never even held a spanner before coming to us. Many of them will limp through one of our courses, having no real interest in being there, doing the bare minimum, and will never own any tools in their life - as their parents don't.

Every year though there are a handful that have some sort of switch thrown. They fall in love with a lathe or a mig welder and you can't teach them fast enough. They want to work through breaks and are asking for extra work - so I haven't entirely given up hope ! :D

I do wonder what education will be like in 20 years when we've all retired though. Not so long back we had a young 'university qualified engineer' join us - he asked a staff member to give a talk to his group about pillar drills because he'd never used one. "I'm not the type of engineer that gets his hands dirty". :(

I was a civil engineer once, and although career changes have happened along the way I still think in 'engineer'. My son, 16, is a term into an Engineering BTec at the local 6th form. He has taught himself 3D printing, has two printers and is constantly upgrading them. He's designed and made all sorts of stuff, yesterday a mitre fence for my table saw and a new handle for a file. He wants to do an engineering apprenticeship after the BTec and I am hopeful for his future. Engineering is changing but it's still very relevant.
 

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