In the mid-1920s, Stanley was
dispatched to the Gibb's Nautical Training School (a college run
by the National Children's Home) in Penarth in
South Wales. Here he learnt about wireless telegraphy and graduated with
a first class Postmaster General's Certificate in September 1927.
month later he landed a posting on the SS
Bakana, although his duties there had more to do
with his proficiency with a broom than with a wireless set. He
also discovered very quickly - by the mouth of the Bristol
Channel, in fact - that he was very prone to seasickness but
that didn't seem to
put him off serving another short term on the ship.
He was due for a third outing
later that same year (this time on the SS Palma) but had second thoughts,
bringing his seafaring days - at least for the moment - to an
So it was off to the local Labour Exchange instead.
very quickly landed a job with the
wireless manufacturer Peto Scott in Hoxton in London and would
have probably made a decent career out of it had a practical joke
involving a Bunsen burner, some gas, an empty wooden trunk and his
boss's posterior not (quite literally) backfired.
was sacked on the spot.
it was back to the Labour Exchange again (without a reference) and another job - this
time at Huson's (Hughes and Sons), a nautical instrument makers
in Barkingside in Essex.
After about six
months Stanley was approached by the owner of
a local bicycle shop. Bert Trumble, a man remembered with much
warmth and affection by Stanley and his family, had been making and
selling bikes from his shop in Leyton for a number of years but had also developed a
neat sideline in electrical components and it was this side of the
business - mainly due to the flourishing amateur wireless market
- that was now taking off.
a frequent customer Stanley was a familiar face at the shop so
the manager, knowing Stanley's background in
wireless telegraphy, wondered whether he would be
interested in joining the business.
took him up on the offer and he stayed there for a while before
being tempted back to Huson's
to work on the amplifying side of the echo-sounding department
(no, I've no idea what that is either). Again, it wasn't long
before he got itchy feet and he slapped in an application to the Plessey
Company to work in a new field that was now being referred to as
interview at Plessey was notable for the following bizarre exchange:
see from your letter that you know something of
oscilloscopes. What would you use one for?" he
[Dennis Moody, Test Design department] asked.
was some confusion in my explanation as the words
modulakers on the output," I began.
on the 'Y' with tone on the horizole modulating the
carrier throom, left over right times 100%." I was
worried about conveying the information which I knew to
be right and hoped at least I was getting the cardinal
points in the right order.
about time bases?" he asked.
Thyraton discharbs. Hellumercry vapours. Then there's
the puckle..." Moody's manner was reassuring and
this increased my confidence. Gradually I found a better
grasp of the technical terms was coming and I was able
to give him satisfaction. I must have done, because I
got the job.