I started there 3rd April 1951 to do a 5 year Mechanical Fitting Apprenticeship. In the week prior I was taken down to meet the foreman, Davey Taylor. On my way back I was escorted by The Mechanical Maintenance Engineer, George McQuoid (Berborough to most and I found out why). He charged through the Machine Shop, right turn round the large Radial drill past the old tool store on the left and on through the turbine basement. I was running to keep up.
As we went past the lift and the steam receiver in ‘B Station’ my impression of the place was; could be dangerous but an unmistakable feeling of ‘Power’. Whirring of turbines, hissing of steam and men going about their daily tasks. The place was full of energy.
Looking back over the 15 years til I left in March 1964, my most lasting impression has been the people I worked with. Apprentices who always enjoyed a bit of fun like seniors keeping juniors out on the river in a dinghy for ½ hour past lunchtime til Davey Taylor came looking for them or, Playing Rafferty Rules (our version of football) on the grassed area gasworks side of the railway line, ½ time was the end of lunch whistle, full time was when we spotted Davey’s hat bobbing up and down amongst the backyard junk. The unwritten rules were; all for one and one for all. We survived.
A great place to learn your Trade. Highly skilled tradesmen, most keen to pass on their knowledge and skills, each with their own wrinkle on the ‘Best Way’ to achieve the same result. You got the feeling no matter what their calling or, whatever their level of responsibility we were all pulling in the one direction.
Memories can sometimes be deceiving, but mine of East Perth Power Station are all still good ones Neil Byrne