Steven Rose – Apprenticeship Memories

I left school at 16 and joined the Royal Navy as a Radio Operator. At 17 I decided that bouncing around the North Sea wasn’t for me and took advantage of the release scheme. I started as an apprentice toolmaker with Esdale Ltd in Heckmondwike and spent the next 12 months learning the various disciplines in a training school run by BLD. However, not only was I by then quite old to start my apprenticeship but I had started in November when training had begun in September so I had some catching up to do. The training manager had painstakingly designed a chart to record our progress which was a magnificent piece of work and had 12 names on it except mine. One lad called Trevor Bray had left the scheme and rather than spoil his chart and put my name on it I became for the next 9 months Trevor Bray, at least as far as the training was concerned. Fortunately, my first year certificate had my real name on it but it was an anxious month I spent waiting for it.
Confusingly, when I went into the workshop I was then called Stuart for quite a while.

Steven Rose – February 2021