The EHRCA was set up in the summer of 1983 to enable retired staff to keep in touch via quarterly meetings and a quarterly newsletter. Since 1983, memories of Electra House - in it's day the world's major international telegraph office - have been kept alive by thousands of people who look back with nostalgia on their working lives at 'The Best Club in London'.
Some of the older members may tell you of the dark days of the war and the austerity of the 1940s and 1950s under Cable and Wireless, followed by nationalisation and then to be known as Post Office Cable and Wireless Services. Later renamed as Post Office Overseas Telegraphs, the service once again came into private hands when British Telecom came into being in the 1980s.
One common thread running through all the members' memories of their time at Electra House, is of the life-long friendships they made. In many cases people were to meet and marry their wives and husbands as a result of working there.
If you were never fortunate enough to work at Electra House you might well ask, “What was so special about the place”? Well, it was simply unique, with a telegraph system linking London to the rest of the world, working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The building was iconic with a canteen, or refectory, catering for all staff for most of the 24 hours each day. It had it's own (well-stocked) bar, together with a chapel and in it's heyday there was a staff doctor and dentist on the premises. Couple all this with at times unlimited overtime, one could, it seemed, spend most of one's life in the building. For many people it was a home from home.
The history of Electra House is unique and in some cases not all of it has been revealed. Although the controlling interest in overseas telegraphs may have changed from private ownership to nationalisation and back again, from World War II bombing to vice-regal visits and from being an important part of the logistics for Winston Churchill's funeral, the one constant has been Electra House, or EH as it was affectionately known by working people of all ages and from all walks of life.