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History: ECA - S. Wales EB Conference

 The "Wireless and Electrical Trader" article from December 22 1951 gives an unusual insight into the activities of the two big organisations getting together.  The emphasis on TV repair was very pertinent - TVs at the time required a service engineer, on average, about four times a year.  This article also contain an interesting aside about the (proposed) Severn Bridge.


E.C.A. - S. Wales E.B. Conference
Evidence of Friendly Relationship at Cardiff

A joint conference of the Electrical Contractors' Association and the South Wales Electricity Board took place in Cardiff on December 6.  It was the second event of its kind arranged by the ECA - S. Wales Electricity Board Liaison Committee, which was set up in the Area in October, 1949, to maintain the fullest co-operation and to secure close and friendly relationship between the Board and ECA members in the Area.

Approximately 120 delegates attended, and the representation was almost equally divided between the Associations' members and the Board's officers; there were a number of guests.  The conference, held at the Board's electricity showrooms, The Hayes, Cardiff, was opened by L. Howles, CBE, chairman of the Board.

The business of the morning session was devoted to a paper delivered by H. J. Shaw, Broadcast Radio and Television Section, General Electric Co., Ltd., entitled "Television Service and Interference Suppression."  In the course of his paper Mr. Shaw emphasised that service personnel handling television need a higher degree of skill than those employed purely on the servicing of sound radio receivers, and must have a thorough understanding of the basic principles employed in television receivers. 

L. Howles, CBE, presided at the dinner held at the joint conference of the Electrical Contractors' Association and the South Wales Electricity Board.  On Mr. Howles' right is A. F. Plummer, vice-president of the Association and on his left P. G. Wallis, immediate past-president of the Association.  Other occupants of the top table are guests and committeemen.

Manufacturers' TV Courses

In his opinion a manufacturer's course for service engineers already familiar with basic radio techniques, should be able in a week to impart the basic principles of aerial design and use; methods of connection to the set; and understanding of the special problems involved in the signal frequency amplifiers used; a knowledge of the special techniques used in noise-suppressor circuits; the function of detector or demodulation circuits; sync separator circuits and the special time-base circuits employed; the operation of the cathode-ray tube circuits and high-voltage supply; and two day's practical bench experience of methods of detecting and clearing faults.

The afternoon session was devoted to two papers, the first "Installation Practice" by Major A.G.J. Davy, a member of the ECA.  This paper dealt very fully with wiring systems and modern trends in plant and equipment.  The final paper entitled "Earthing of Electrical Installations" was delivered by J.W. Bird, MBE, DL, the Board's chief engineer and J.F. Smith, the Board's chief commercial officer. 

The conference was followed by a dinner at the Royal Hotel, Cardiff, when the response to the toast, "Our Guests" was made by AF Plummer, a vice-president of the Electrical Contractors' Association.

Following the dinner, a film of particular interest to South Wales was shown through the courtesy of the Central Office of Information.  This was entitled "River to Cross" and dealt with the design of the proposed bridge to span the River Severn near the present Beachley/Aust Ferry.