MVA Newsletter 2018 – edition number 20

He never needed 2 or 3 visits

Ron Wilson – a tribute from Ron Stringer

Born and raised in South Shields, Ron Wilson left his safe position as an apprentice in Swan Hunter’s shipyard to volunteer as a radio operator and was employed by International Marine Radio (IMR) during WW2.  There he had a very exciting and incident-filled time; the story of some of his exploits was posted on the SN site (shipsnoslalgia.com) last year and was also published, in serial form, in the house magazine of the Radio Officers Association.  After the war he was retained by IMR as a technician and covered the North-East coast ports, installing repairing ships’ radio equipment.

Later he joined MIMCo‘s Newcastle depot and worked for many years as a technician out of the South Shields base, which is I where I met him in I966 when I came ashore.  He supervised my initial period of probation and did a fantastic job, as far as I was concerned.  He was an excellent, methodical technician, working steadily and logically to track faults and carry out repairs. He was not necessarily the fastest but was always successful and never needed the 2 or 3 visits required by others.

Having started life as an apprentice shipwright, his guidance was invaluable when it came to installation work and there was no trades-foreman in any of the yards on the south side of the river that he didn’t know and didn‘t owe him a favour.  Electricians, welders, shipwrights, joiners, all were available at the drop of a hat for Ron. None of the “everyone is working, come back tomorrow morning” that was the answer I usually received when asking for assistance. He was made redundant by MIMCo in one of the many cuts that followed the arrival of the late GG Hill but we kept in touch by letter with occasional visits north by my wife and I, and one visit to our home here in Hatfield Peverel.