I started with this company in January 2015. The reason for the change was totally personal as I absolutely loved my time with Knorr-Bremse and was very sad to leave.
My elderly father was becoming much more ‘labour intensive’ for my dear wife being left alone with him. Also I had realised that since we moved out of our local rental property in Melksham, EVERY Monday morning I was packing a bag to go ‘somewhere’. Anywhere between, Japan, China, Dubai, Saudi, all the rest of the far East or just Melksham. When I thought about it, although I thoroughly enjoyed the job and the people, it was starting to get me down. Therefore it was time for a change. I had applied for the job, somewhat tongue in cheek with the intention that if I was offered it, we then had a choice.
As it happened I was offered the job straight away and decided that it was the right thing to do for all concerned.
The company was very small, about 20 people when I joined and was still in a ‘start up’ situation and in the hands of the investors. The business that the company is in is remote monitoring of wheel bearing sets on railway carriages. To do this it uses the movement and vibration that it is measuring to generate power which is stored and used to power recording and transmitting circuits. The results are sent via the mobile phone network for the customer.
One of the first people I met was Billy Porter. We quickly found out that we had both been in the RN. Further discussion revealed that we had shared the same first ship, HMS Bulwark and then joined Defiance FMG together when we left that ship. All those years later, there we were sat opposite one another. Spooky!
My first project was with GE who were running a trial on a unit on a trial track in Colorado. The unit was actually 100 in number 100 tonne freight cars being pulled by 3 of the really large locos that the US is well known for. It was really like a grown up train set, running on a huge circular track in the middle of nowhere near Pueblo. It runs the train in one direction one night and then the opposite direction the next night. Always at night when the tracks are cooler to prevent damage with such a heavy train, but they still break the rails at least once a night.
It was a very interesting project and I had several more visits there to survey the train and fit the equipment. On the initial visit we had to have health and safety brief. This was as follows:- “Watch out for rattlesnakes. Don’t poke your hands in any holes that they may be in and by the way, the TYPHOON shelter is over there!!” What the hell have I got myself into this time?
As it happened, I had a total of four trips to the USA in my first year alone. Apart from Colorado, I also went to New York, New Jersey and Boston.
Well Perpetuum wasn’t working out so well so after three and a half years I decided to call it a day and move on. I will write a new feature on my time with them some time. lots of catching up to do actually.
I have been very lucky in my last job search and I am now working as an instructor in HMS Collingwood the RN electrical training school in Fareham. It is actually only a few miles from home and takes me about 10 minutes to travel in. No motorway traffic. great environment and people. I think I will enjoy this one. Also no travel which was beginning to wear me down to be honest.
The job is training Leading hands and Petty Officers. My initial subjects are, Health an safety, Project management and service management (ITIL). It is all a LOT more regulated than when I was previously here training young sailors in the ’80s. I have to train to level 4 certificate of education, which I could continue to level 5 if I wished which would qualify me to take on ANY teaching job anywhere in civvy street. I don’t think I want to go through that at my stage in the game. I fully intend staying here until I retire in a few years now.
Hi to my readers.
This blog was written mainly as a legacy for my daughter. However, it seems it is being read and hopefully appreciated by many other people.
Please would you give me some feedback on your thoughts and opinions of the blog so I know whether to continue or not.
Many thanks for reading my blog.
Hope you all have a good and safe seasons festivities. Thanks for reading my blog and a special thank you to those who have taken the time to reply or comment. Best wishes for 2017. Philip
I have always been very lucky in that I have seen a substantial proportion of the world at the expense of various companies. So far this year in the new job with Perpetuum, I have been to Colorado twice, Boston, New York, New Jersey, Jacksonville and Waycross Georgia.
Further trips to the US are on the cards for before the end of the year. Wonder what next year will bring??
Well, the new job is going quite well. Lots of work in and around London, including Ashford for the high speed Javelin trains.
I have had 2 trips to Colorado to the test track over there. First time to survey the trains and the second time to fit the equipment.
This Sunday (16th August) I am off again on another foreign trip. This time I am flying to Boston, then New York, then New Jersey and finally Erie, before returning to Boston for the flight home. Ten days in all.
Started my new Southampton based job with ‘Perpetuum’ on 5th January. No doubt there will be more stories to tell as time goes on.