Friday 16 October 2009

Just arrived today - history of Siemens Engineering Society

First I should explain to any readers under 60 that Siemens was a large factory near where the barrier is today. Like so much of Greenwich and Woolwich industry it was a world leader in expertise and innovation in its field of electrical engineering - much of what we take for granted in telecommunications today was pioneered there. After the factory closed in the 1960s the group of young apprentices continued with a programme of lectures and technical visits - and now, all OAPs, have published a history of their Society.

The book is fascinating - but I am just going to quote some of the letter that comes with it from Secretary, Brian Middlemiss.

"The Engineering Society was founded in October 1897, its first President being Alexander Siemens. The Society flourished until 1968 when the Company was taken over by GEC and closed. The feelings of loyalty, memories and fellowship were such that reunion meetings began in 1969. The 40th Anniversary of this reformed Society has provided the spur to produce this history.
Ever since the Society embarked on this project our object has been to recored, as far as has been possible, the pioneering research, development, engineering and manufacture of Electrical Cables, Telegraph, Telephone, Signalling, and Measuring Apparatus, Wireless Equipment, Lamps, Lights and Batteries undertraken by Siemens Brothers and Co., Ltd for over 100 years.
The age profile of the members of the Society suggests we will not be undertaking any more major projects.
I hope you find reading our history informative and enjoyable."

The history is indeed amazing - and it is very very touching to find the devotion they have to the achievements of an employer which went out of business over forty years ago! The book will be on display at the GIHS meeting next week - and would be available to loan to anyone who promised to bring it back. And the Heritage Centre has a copy. I do not think copies are to go on general sale - but we are happy to pass contact details on if anyone asks for them.


M said...

Brian Middlemiss writes:
your note about our book on your blogspot, much appreciated after all the hard work.
Just to clear up a few points for you and your members.
The Reformed Society was started in 1968/69 by ex-officers of the previous formal society, not by a group of young apprentices [hence the problem with our age profile].
The Greenwich Heritage Centre, being our focal point, will receive 4 copies of our History and all the associated documentation as listed at Appendix 4 of the History. This will all be delivered in about 3 weeks time, due to final sorting and other commitments.
There will be no general sale of our History. Siemens plc printed the copies free of charge for us and they have now been distributed around the heritage world and to our members.

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