My Grandfather – Lift Engineer and Electrician.

My grandfather worked for a company based in Calvin Street, Shoreditch, East London. He spent most of his working life as a lift engineer / electrician in London.




Pre and post WW2. Here he is in action, working on machinery that must now be very very old!

My Grandfather - Electrician

My Grandfather – Electrician

East London History - East End Facts

Malcolm Oakley - East London History - A Guide to London's East End.

I grew up on the fringes of London's true East End and have been fascinated by the ever changing history and landscape of the area.

Visitors and tourists to London may only ever explore the City centre but for those that care to travel further east, a rich and rewarding travel adventure awaits. So much of London's history owes a debt to the East End. Colourful characters, famous architecture, hidden treasures of changing life over the years.

Author by Malcolm Oakley.

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Posted in East End History

6 comments on “My Grandfather – Lift Engineer and Electrician.
  1. Royden Parker says:

    Hi Malcolm, just seen the photo of your Grandfather Frank. I was his apprentice for about two years of my apprenticeship. He taught me so much and I remember him so well. When he lived at Kings Cross he took any night phone calls. When he moved to Ilford I helped him fit a new bath. I lived in Dagenham at the time. Loved the photo of Frank working in a print shop. Much of our work was in the print industry. I worked most of my life after leaving Macdonald Syers in the Press. Any more photos would be great thanks for this one. Roy Parker

    • Hello and thank you so much for getting in touch. I always remember my grandfather telling me about the print presses and the breweries, oh and Drings sausages! He was a great influence on me and at age 16 I left school and went on to be a mechanical aircraft engineer with British Airways for 21 years.

      Even to this day I still have a healthy interest in all things electro-mechanical. Frank passed away in 2007 in Leigh-on-Sea aged 91. He retired to Essex around 1981.
      Sadly I don’t think I have any more photos of Frank at work, plenty of him and the family of course!

  2. Dawn says:

    How interesting Malcolm and nice to see a photo.

    My Step Father was also a Life Engineer working in London. Not sure which part – I know during his early working years he worked in some very posh shops in the West End. His apprenticeship was with Otis. He went on to work for Kone Marryat and Scott and then later Tyssens before retiring.

    It didn’t however restore my faith in lifts though and I always use the stairs!

  3. I’ve always been drawn to and fascinated by old photographs. Glad I stumbled upon your site! 🙂

  4. Couldn’t agree more, Im originally from Bow in East London and the values of the past were truly great but if Im in the area I cant help to just drive around for a while to see how it has developed over the years and what shops and bars have withstood that change like the salmon and bull in Bethnal Green

    • My biggest regret is not talking to my Grandfather more when he was still alive, about what life was like. He was born in 1916 and saw some great changes in East London. Just wish he had been someone who took photos at work but of course people didn’t really back then.

      Thanks for reading the blog, best wishes.

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