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WW2 - People's War

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BBC Radio Engineer

by BBC Birmingham @ The Mailbox

Contributed by 
BBC Birmingham @ The Mailbox
People in story: 
Douglas Moyle
Location of story: 
Coventry
Background to story: 
Civilian
Article ID: 
A3503990
Contributed on: 
10 January 2005

During the early 1930s, I was in the Merchant Navy where I trained as a volunteer. I got out of that in about 1936 and ended up in Coventry where, before the war, I worked on Whitley bombers. When the war began, I was at work transferring and re-commissioning equipment from the RAF for use by the Fleet Air Arm. This chiefly involved testing transmitters.

At about this time, the BBC advertised for an engineer. One of the four engineers at the Adderley Park Transmitter (situated about 2 miles from New Street Station) had gone to join the RAF Reserve and they needed to appoint another to take his place. As the bombing raids on Coventry had increased, I realised I might soon be out of a job at the hangars and so I applied to the BBC.

I was told to report to 282 Broad Street, Birmingham, on a Thursday in November 1940. In between being told to report and actually going for the interview, Coventry suffered its heaviest raid on 14 November 1940. When I turned up, I was told that Adderley Park Transmitter had also been hit and destroyed. Three engineers were killed that night; their names are now on the BBC War Memorial which is in the BBC’s offices at The Mailbox.

So there I was at the BBC offices with no job to go to. The Controller said to me ‘Go and sit in the Control Room and I’ll phone London’. Whether he did or not I don’t know but when he came back he offered me a job in Birmingham which I took. I moved to a house in Frederick Street and worked as a studio engineer for the rest of the war.

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