Rediffusion Branches By :
REDIFFUSION CENTRAL SERVICES LIMITED
Training and Publications Division,
The Manor, Moorland Road, Poulton-le-Fylde,
Blackpool. FY6 7HA Tel: 0253 882278
The Manor Poulton Le Fylde
When training at Poulton started in 1953 the very first course was studying the technicalities of the Plessey 9" valve television.
Things changed in the early 1960's with the introduction of Transistors and Printed Circuit Boards in television design.
Next to follow was the change to 625 line transmissions and the move to Colour Television.
On June 23 1933, Poulton celebrated its 3,000th training
course for technicians.
Since 1953, something like 15,000 service staff had passed through its doors, learning how to repair Rediffusion's own
TVs and cable systems.
Poulton, once part of Rediffusion Engineering, became a division of Rediffusion Central Services in 1980.
This meant that the facility became responsible for
organising all aspects of company training, including sales
Over this 30 year period some 15,000 staff members had passed through the doors of "The Manor" and received some of the finest training that was available to the industry during that period.
There were 30 courses in Poulton's curriculum, not only catering for a variety of subjects, but also for differing stand-
ards, from the skilled technician wishing to take a refresher course, to the school leaver who is just starting his training.
The main courses which were run at Poulton were the servicing of TV receivers, the maintenance of equipment installed at aerial and repeater kiosks, and network maintenance, which dealt with the outdoor cable part of the system. The last was sub-divided into Rediffusion's own H.F. system, and coaxial network maintenance, which operated at the higher frequency bands of V.H.F. and U.H.F.
Poulton also offered plenty of opportunity for women, and a number attended the planning course, which involved map work (deciding where a cable should be run) and also the
Poulton acted as a grading authority, and twice a year it set internal examinations, modeled on those set by The City and Guilds, but geared towards Rediffusion methods and
One of the main reasons for the training school being at Poulton was that when the school began Rediffusion's
involvement with television was largely on the cable side, and most of the group's cable networks were in the Northern part of the country. However, with the company's extension
into the aerial television business, the need came also to train personnel in this new field. As in those days aerial
television operated mostly in the Greater London area another training school was opened in 1964 in Morden.
Later it was moved to Hampstead with one instructor, and eventually to Walthamstow, in bright new premises, which included three classrooms.
The second important role carried out at Poulton was the production of technical publications. It was here that the informative, glossy, technical journal Rediffusion Engineering was produced (though not printed). The Engineering Manual (their engineers' Bible), together with a number of other technical handbooks, were also produced here. Also written and printed at Poulton was all the technical material which was supplied to trainees who attended courses at Poulton or London. And with a little help from outside friends Poulton produced a number of training films and colour slides, variously aimed at trainees, supervisors and sales staff.
Why did Rediffusion spend the time, money and effort to train its technicians? What were the advantages of a company training scheme over no such facilities? The aims, ideals and advantages of the technical training and publications department were summed up by the depart-
ment head, 'Jake' Loddington.
IN 1895 Benjamin Corless Sykes, then the Blackpool Borough Architect, instigated the building of The Manor at Poulton-le-Fylde, near Blackpool, as a residence. Subsequently the building served as a private house, a vegetarian guest house and then, for a number of
years, stood empty. The Manor was offered for auction in 1951, remained unsold, and was re-auctioned in 1952. Paul Adorian, then Managing Director of Rediffusion, had suggested Blackpool as a suitable area for the establishment of the newly proposed Central Training School, so Oliver Berry, then General Manager of North West, asked Bertie Williams, Branch Manager of Blackpool, to investigate.
Following those investigations Ralph Gabriel and Dick Scrine visited Poulton in 1952, and made an offer which was accepted. Thus, The Manor became the home of the technical training and publications department of Rediffusion Engineering, and Mr. Scrine became its first head. There were eight training rooms at Poulton with, three full-time instructors. There were also two senior instructors with other duties but who also did some teaching.
Early 1960's A course in TV Engineering
Early 1960's Training Cable Systems Engineers in Annex Building
Early 1980's Training Course on the Video Cassette Recorder
Associated Companies in over 175 towns in Great Britain and in Barbados, Bermuda. Canada, Ceylon, Guyana,
Hong Kong, Jamaica, Malaya, Malta, Singapore, South Africa, Trinidad and West Africa etc.
The very first course held at Poulton was on the 9" Plessey TV. 1953
"To describe our aim in a single sentence is difficult but let us say that it is to provide technical training and publication facilities to meet the present and future needs of the operating companies of Rediffusion. A commitment to a continuing programme of staff training is an essential part of modern management thinking, at least in an industry such as ours whose basic products are already very technical and complex and becoming more so at an increasing rate. It is no use expecting the technical colleges to provide us with all the training we need; the syllabuses in further education are based on very long term time scales and it might be several years before a college trained technician is ready to do a useful job for us. Of course, the theoretical knowledge which he gains at college will stand him in good stead later but we are far more concerned for instance to teach him quickly how to repair faulty colour receivers than to understand some obscure details of A.C. theory. Nowadays, any technician who is to handle the servicing of modern receivers and systems must be adequately trained and clearly that technician must be provided with the right service information to do his job. No-one could carry in his head the full circuit diagram of an PC100 frequency converter, for instance, so the demand for our technical publications service is increasing and we are providing a wide range of service information in many different formats. We are ready to help the regions in any way we can and we like to think that the help we have given in the past has made a positive contribution to the group's efficiency."
General Office Poulton
Stuart Wright - Colour Training Room
Technical Training Poulton
Eddie Losty, Terry Duckmanton, Dixie Lee
Instructor Arthur Ruse at Walthamstow
Audio - Visual Aids Dept.
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