Hoping to learn trade
After leaving Whitehawk Secondary Boys School in 1955, my first job was at Lyon & Hall, 92, Western Road Brighton, I worked in the radio and television department on the first floor of the building. I started as an “Improver”; this in theory, meant that the company would teach you a trade. In my case I was supposed to learn to become a radio and television salesman; in the beginning it meant that you would do whatever they asked you to do.
My original aspiration, when joining Lyon and Hall was to work my way up to training as a radio television engineer, this did not happen
I was a ‘dogsbody’
I had to do all the usual ‘dogsbody’ tasks which included dusting the showroom stock of radios, radiograms and televisions. I helped to rearrange the showroom which involved hauling stock either up stairs to the showroom, or down stairs to the van for delivery. In some cases I had to go with the delivery drivers, particularly if there were stairs involved at the other end. I actually learned very little about being a salesman, but I did become an expert in how to lift very bulky and heavy radiograms and television sets.
A new job at Lanes Radio
Eventually I heard of a more inspiring vacancy and joined another company in Gardner Street by the name of Lanes Radio Ltd. Lanes Ltd were a somewhat unique company, in that they supplied kits for build-your-own FM tuners and amplifiers. They also sold a vast range of individual components for the radio enthusiast and constructor; the term DIY had not yet been coined. I stayed there for several years and learnt a great deal by handling the hundreds of electronic component parts and delving into the workings of equipment.
Do you remember?
Did you ever shop at Lyon and Hall? When did you get your first TV? Did you ever own one of those posh ‘radiograms’? If you can share your memories with us, please leave a comment below.