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My mother as Female Assistant in GPO Engineering

My mother’s name was Stella Zara during the war. She was 20 when war broke out. After working for Shell and London Transport where she would see bombed bus wrecks towed into the depot, she got a job as Female Assistant with GPO Telephone Engineering and, after training, began working on transmission systems. She lined up systems, used routiners and competed with any male engineers still working as reserved occupation, later used to talk about “81’s” and other typical Telecom talk to me when I started in GPO! When the war increased in intensity our family moved to Leicester and she had to go to Cambridge instead of Faraday for training due to the bombing in London, and saw the first thousand bomber raid pass over - or rather hear it first. She had a job to do as a GPO telephone transmission engineer at night, going to each of the ring transmission posts around Leicester to line-up circuits, a standby ring system in case the centre of Leicester got bombed.

Female engineer, 1942

Picture location: No picture supplied with story. Picture added by Connected Earth
Date: 1940s
Sent by: David Shelton
Category: Communication systems

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