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A brief bit about me.
Until my early retirement on 15th August 2009, I was an Instructor Operator on the Northern Line, I joined the Underground as a Guard in 1973 when there were lots of vacancies and trains cancelled regularly due to staff shortages. I passed out as a Guard Mortorman in 1976, having worked as a shunter / panel shunter at Morden depot in between. Other than three weeks at Kennington as a Guard and one year on the Piccadilly Line as a driver at Acton Town in 1978, I’ve always been at Morden.
I became a Motorman road trainer in 1979/1980, and then an Instructor Operator in June 93 when the grade was created. I’ve never really looked for anything higher, being happy with what I’m doing and also the fact that the T/Op / I/Ops grade is probably one of the most secure at present.
I have always taken an interest in what I do, whether at work or elsewhere, believing that I get less bored that way and it makes time pass quicker. I enjoy taking trainees and I’m of the firm belief that if you are talking about something, you need to understand the subject you’re talking about and have a good background knowledge, rather than just knowing something parrot fashion. Over the years, this has led me to delve into things and try to understand how they work. I like to think that this knowledge helps me with what I do.
I have been very fortunate over the years to get involved with various projects, all of which have added to my knowledge and understanding (although I’m still learning!) and would advise anybody to do the same if they are given the opportunity.
Over the years, I have also created various things, such as books and diagrams, and a series of notes. Home publishing has changed a lot over the past thirty years. From the humble beginnings of a Commodore 64 and pen plotter then, later on, the luxury of a dot matrix printer, with no such thing as DTP software or even Microsoft! to the wide range of hardware and software that is available today which makes things a doddle.
When the Train Staff Operating Manual was created in 1990, the only work that could be done on a computer was to type in the text, then put it on a floppy for the publisher, who then reformatted most of the text anyway. Diagrams were hand drawn to be redrawn later. Everything else had to be done by the publisher. This service was also very labour intensive and expensive, apart from the cost of the printing.
Now, I can sit at home in front of a computer, design and complete a whole book from
scratch and have it available in a PDF copy which I can just e-
Technology has also changed in other ways. In the past, information was restricted to the few. Now, something can be published on the internet or intranet and it’s available for anybody to see, whenever they want. Just imagine that thirty years ago.