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Why I remember East Grafton

East GraftonThere are certain places that bring a poignant reminder to me when I drive through them - and one of those is the village of East Grafton, near Hungerford in Wiltshire. We passed through there on Saturday - for the first time in years - on a winter's drive around some of the parts of Wiltshire that are further from where we live.

"Who sold you THAT" ... I can remember the sentence, and the furrour it caused, when Jim Longmead, a field service engineer with Tektronix, question what one of our sales team had sold to a customer. Jim had a reputation for calling a spade a spade - for not mincing his words, even when perhaps he should have done so ... and for having a bit of a grumble when asked to do something. But that grumble was just a front - and Jim had a heart of gold.

I joined Tektronix as a very junior member of the team in 1976 - providing the software support over a side range of products, to compliment both the team of 5 or 6 hardware service engineers, and a dozen or so salesmen. And however busy he was, Jim would always find the time to help me with some issue or other - a little grump as was his way, then help over, above and beyond.

As the company grew, Jim moved "out West" and indeed so did I - the East Grafton link is because that's where he lived and we would meet there occasionally when doing a join visit; I have become one of those 'dreaded' salesmen, and he was the one who was going round installing, maintaining, and occasionally fixing the products that I had sold. I felt privileged to have him on my 'patch' and I think he enjoyed having a saleman who was a little more technical than most, and could ensure that most of the orders were actually right for the job.

Jim was out at Rolls Royce in Filton one day, dealing with some equipment that I had probably installed, when he had a brain haemorrhage and passed away "even before he hit the ground ...."





Other pictures from Saturday - a grey day, so "record" shots really ... East Grafton, Great Bedwyn, Little Bedwyn and Wilcot
(written 2008-12-02)

 
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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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