Submitted By Guest: Malcolm Page
I was a mobile Repair Man for DER out of the Maidstone Office 1961–1963 we were give a Ford 5cwt Van 100e engine in Bright Red livery and after 6 months upgraded to a brand new Anglia Van. I had a huge area to cover. This was defined as Maidstone (but excluding the town) north to Isle of Sheppey east to Faversham south To Ashford and West back to Maidstone. This included all the towns and villages within this boundary.
I was driving about 150 miles (241.4 km) a day and repairing anything from 5 to 20 sets a day. These were all B&W mostly 14 inch but a few old 12 inch and increasingly 19 inch. I was allowed to make any repair except Tube (CRT) change had to leave a loan set and take them back to base workshop.
I recall the busiest day of the year was cup final day!! There are many strange things I remember well. One is, nearly every day I had at least one fault where the customer had forgotten to plug the set in to the wall power point. The other thing I will never forget is the way people live. The worst house I ever had to visit was in Ashford on a council estate. The front door was opened to a terrible stench, picking your way through the “Dog Turds” to find the TV covered in Jam and Butter with kids having a food fight with several dogs. The extreme opposite was where you were asked to take your shoes off on entry and they would write to Head Office if you left a fingerprint on anything.