A Happy New Year to all our readers, and here's hoping for something better than 2021! Keep checking in on the website, as we strive to bring you more memories of years gone by!
On Your Bike!
You've received it, you've gummed it, you've copied it, you've padded it, you've maybe phoned it - now this young man is about to deliver it. C&W telegram delivery rider photographed at rear of Electra House (Tweezers Alley?) in 1950.
THE WORLD AT THEIR FINGERTIPS, written by Geoff Boudreau, is still on Special Offer, price £10, including delivery - a saving of £4.50 on the original price.
The book documents the history and development of the technology that led to a worldwide telegraphic network, relating the untold story of Electra House, for half a century the centre of world telegraphy.
Welcome to the Electra House Retired Colleagues Association (EHRCA) website which is dedicated to the memory of Electra House and all the people who worked there over the years.
It also honours the Overseas Telegraphs Area Offices (OTAOs) - Broadway, Livonia Street, Falcon House and St. Botolph's, as well as the Central Telegraph Office (CTO) and it's successor, Fleet Building.
The website has been designed to share news, photos and memories, together with information concerning forthcoming events.
We welcome any contributions, suggestions or corrections that you may wish to make - click HERE to send an email or go to the Contacts and Links page.
Check out the Contacts and Links page for web links to other related websites, including CAWPA, the Cable and Wireless Pensioners Association, a recent addition.
We hope you find your visit to the website interesting - please keep returning as we add new content over time.
Updated Newsletter Archives - Click here
About the EHRCA
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.