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All Our Yesterdays.


Evans Electric

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Evans Electric

A few observations on how things have changed in the trade.

 

Every sparks seemed to have an apprentice , some had two , yet the government appears to think its a new idea.

 

Many electricians did not own a car.  This had changed by the '70s .

 

Tools seemed to be very expensive .  To tread on somebody's Stanley rule blade would be instant death.

 

No SDS drills , not even hammer drills.

 

Fixing holes in walls with a Rawlplug Jumper tool / hammer.

 

No meters onsite  unless it was a pyro job when there would be a wind up megger .  Later the battery powered Metrohms.

 

RCDs unheard of.   MCBs unheard of , other than Crabtree C50s.

 

Supervision and planning was carp . We once took delivery on site of a 5 ton oil filled  11kv - 440v  transformer on a flat back lorry , obviously dropped on by crane at the factory.  We had nothing onsite , just 5 of us. 

 

One firm had the old fashioned stores at the office .  If you asked for a 1/4" HSS drill you were given a 5/32" because " it was 1/4" clearance"      Thing was they didn't fit the manky old Enox tank cutters we had to use. 

 

Asking for a 12" hacksaw blade would be " Only if you are cutting 6" trunking ," So you had to have a 10"  (Cheaper)

 

Doubtless you can add to this .

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ProDave

I must either be younger than you, or I did my apprenticeship with a "posher" establishment, as I never had the joys of the rawlplug jumper. We had electric hammer drills (not SDS) when I was an apprenti. But NO cordless electric drills.  Brace and bit was king for drilling joists etc (with a ratchet action if you were in a confined space and could only swing it part of a turn)

 

110V tools were unheard of, unless you were in America.

 

High Viz hadn't been invented. Wooden stepladders were king. Hard hats only if you were in REAL danger of something falling on you.

 

PA testing had not been thought up.  If an extension lead stopped working, you fixed it.

 

No head torches or LED worklights. You used a lead lamp with a standard GLS lamp.

 

No electric screwdrivers. Instead we had the Yankee pump action screwdriver to drive home our slot headed black Japanned (soft as sh1t) screws. Yes of course a pilot hole was made with a (wooden handled) bradawl.

 

The wind up megger and Avo 8 were always available, but more often than not it was the bell box used to test continuity.

 

A pendant set was the ONLY type of light ever fitted in a house, well except sometimes you fitted a 5ft flory in a kitchen.

 

NON IP lights were okay in bathrooms, people then were not stupid enough to touch them while in the bath.

 

Calibration certificates had not been invented. If the wind up megger says 10Meg it MUST be right (but more to the point WFT does it matter if it's 1% out of calibration)  Has ANYBODY actually had a situation where the calibration accuracy of a tester makes the difference between pass and fail?  

 

P.S I learned fairly early on (when I did a stint in a calibration lab) that "calibrating" an instrument does NOT mean adjusting it so it reads correctly, but merely documenting it's level of inaccuracy and certifying that is how good it is.

 

Phart Phee did not exist. Any "man in the street" could do his own wiring. Nobody cared, and I don't recall lots of houses burning down or people getting killed. (see below, CU's didn't catch fire then)

 

A wooden wylex rewireable was the bees knees. (CU FIRES were not very common then)

 

Testing was, well the fuse doesn't blow and it works. Job done.

 

Standard work wear was a Donkey Jacket and bib and brace overalls.

 

Slide hammer nail puller.  I still have mine, well more correctly it was my dad's (who was a plumber) so it's probably older than I am.

 

Some things are still the same. My Hilmor bender (again used to be my dads) is also probably as old as me.

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kerching

We used to take the orange B and D from our shop,display, wrap,in placcy bag, drill gole, return to display

Billy cans

Great coats

Hand augers

Wooden handled cabinet drivers...wood is an insulator

Chain drilling, chooping between yoles witha chisel,then filing the hole out

We had a megger AND a loop,tester...other MAIN spark in area had neither. Used to borrow ours for Annual assesment

Black Rawl plugs

400W GLS lamps

RUBBER grommets

LUPUS MCBs

Old Army Surplus Cancas bag for tools

'D' shell bits

Joist brace...never had one...but I had and still have a short sweep,brace......fecking useless

Bit roll

Chisel roll

Insulateing pliers with Pyromsheathing

Wolf back handle drill

Theninvention of "double insulated" suddenly it does NOT need an earth BUT it has bits of metal on it

Being told we had to bond sinks

Rings. 2.5

Lighting 1.5

Cookers and showers 6

And we used to wrap,the cables up to keep,themmwarm

FP200 WITH ferrules.........it will never catch on, they will ALWAYS use PYRO, end of!

Buried PYRO garage mains

Eclipse padsaw handle that you put hacksaw blade in....still got mine

Gimlet

Bradawl

Floorboard saw

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Evans Electric

The first hammer drills we came across were being used by the sprinkler contractors on a new multi story car park .  We were all sitting on the top of steps,  (  H&S alert ! wooden,) plugging fixing holes for conduit by hand ,( H&S alert!!  no goggles , no hi-viz, no CDMS , no gloves) ..

 

We could hear this strange reverberating , Brrrrring noise from the lower floors , one of the guys went down ....returns to say the pipe fitters have special  hammer drills, takes them 5 seconds to drill a fixing hole ......takes us about 10 minutes of hard work on a concrete ceiling .  

 

A few more memories.

 

Installing 2" conduit ( Ridiculous )

 

Sweating cable lugs on ( originally with a parafin blowlamp)  later with a propane gas torch.

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kerching

Ah yes, sweating lugs.

Getting it a bit wrong and receiving a solder shower for your trouble

Wrapping the core with offcuts to bulk it out a bit in yhe lug

Tallow

Tinmans solder

1" lath nails and 2 1/2' flooring brads

Slot headed round head brass screws for Pyro

Lattice sided wooden steps

Clutchless drills that would break your wrist

Chippy dinner every day

Loose tea!

coffee? Must be a southern shandy swilling bottom bandit

16mm boxes for switches

Medium and high pressure labels on trunking

Being allowed to install phone points

No vans...going by bus OR ONE van and 12 of you piled in the back sat on barn tool boxes

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sprocketflup

Yankee screwdrivers! 

 

Still got the scars......

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kerching

Back before 'the day', Hospital job.

Wooden floor had to be overboarded and fixed at 4" centres, slotted screws. All done with Yankees. Clerk of Works watched EVERY screw being fitted...joiners were in tears

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Evans Electric

Yankee Drivers Eh !   They were banned at two firms I worked for  ,  because the big flush screwhead on the top of the handle was an integral part of the metal "business" end of the driver.

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Andy™

if you use a yankee driver to tighten a live MCB terminal, you deserve to get a shock...

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ProDave

Mine had a wooden handle, so no pretence of ever being insulated.

 

It wasn't for tightening terminals, is was a quicker way of driving in wood screws.

 

But hey that's another thing. VDE insulated screwdrivers, sidecutters etc were not around at apprentice time either.

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kerching

In "theory" in 99.9% of cases there should be no need for VDE rated stuff for everyday electricians as they should "not be working on or near to live electrical equipment.........."

Practically eveything I have is VDE.....socket sets, torque wrench, hex keys, box spanners, knives, hacksaw as well as the usual stuff

Just saying

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Evans Electric

Mine had a wooden handle, so no pretence of ever being insulated.

 

It wasn't for tightening terminals, is was a quicker way of driving in wood screws.

 

But hey that's another thing. VDE insulated screwdrivers, sidecutters etc were not around at apprentice time either.

Thats true Dave ,   uninsulated pliers would have meter tail sleeving on the handles and "naked" screwdrivers would have home made insulating sleeves, usually some 6491X with the copper pulled out of the centre.

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Blue Duck

I know plenty of DIY'er's that have cut the wrong cable without VDE cutters and lived to tell the tale. they dont do it again though!

Ahh the Yankee... still got one somewhere can still feel it on that flappy bit of skin between your thumb and index finger!

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Apache

I cut a live cable with VDE cutters. Turned power off to replace outside light, wife got in tried to turn on lights - nothing happened so she reset the breaker.....

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kerching

I cut a live cable with VDE cutters. Turned power off to replace outside light, wife got in tried to turn on lights - nothing happened so she reset the breaker.....

If only there was some way to lock off a cirrcuit breaker?....how easy would life be!

Imfeel a Dragons Den momen...........

Oh, hang on a minute,......

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sprocketflup

I cut a live cable with VDE cutters. Turned power off to replace outside light, wife got in tried to turn on lights - nothing happened so she reset the breaker.....

 

you have obviously not made the fortifications strong enough. Double the size of the moat and stock it with Pirhra.....Piranhh.....pihrana.......crocodiles.

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Apache

You didn't do the safe lockout procedure then ? No sign on the CU saying

 

"Vet at Work - Do not turn on"

Trying to concentrate on surgery is really difficult with an erection...............

 

:coat

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kerching

Trying to concentrate on surgery is really difficult with an erection...............

 

:coat

and dont I KNOW it!
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Pub by lunch time Friday.

 

When i was a kid my old man and all his cronies were in the pub by lunch time on a Friday.  By the time i started there was no pub on lunch time Friday. :(

 

 

Im sure there also used to be  lot of pub for lunch also.

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kerching

Ashley ceiling roses with separate Halo...designed to cover the hole left by the old wooden patress

Ivory accessories as well as white ones

Nettle vertical cooker switches with a socket at the bottom....i think someone has started remakingbthem

Perforated copper tape earth clamps

Cast conduit boxes that you could smash with a careful hammer blow

4BA and 2BA

Wooden 2 ' and 3' rules

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steptoe

Ashley ceiling roses with separate Halo...designed to cover the hole left by the old wooden patress

Ivory accessories as well as white ones

Nettle vertical cooker switches with a socket at the bottom....i think someone has started remakingbthem

Perforated copper tape earth clamps

Cast conduit boxes that you could smash with a careful hammer blow

4BA and 2BA

Wooden 2 ' and 3' rules

 

oh yes,

got a load of them a while back to fit,

dunno who made them, but really carp this time around.

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kerching

Used to be a council special

I,think it may be contactummthat make them now

Also Craptree cooker units.....big orange switch on them....nowt else fits their backbox!

BUT their Shower pull switches are fricking marvellous!

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steptoe

oh, cooker switches,

what about the BFO MK ones,

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kerching

I have a brand new, never used, ivory MK unit complete with on board 13a fuse for the 15A 3 pin round socket....if anybody needs one?

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ProDave

I remember adaptors. 15A round pin plug with three 13A square pin sockets.

 

Then of course the "plugs" that allowed you to plug stuff like radios a wireless into a BC light socket. Complete with a 2 way adaptor so you could still plug a lamp in.

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