Oral Histories

Pye staff in 1926                                                                                                                                                With thanks and acknowledgements to all who provided their thoughts and time

Oral histories can provide a unique insight into the day to day lives within a big company. The Pye History Trust has collected a wide range of such from  many ex-employees of the Pye company. From directors to shop-floor operatives they paint a vivid picture of life at Pye. 

Most interviews are in excess of one hour in length, but some short snippets are provided here as examples. The recordings and transcripts are archived by both the Pye History Trust and the Cambridge Museum of Technology.

Enjoy some of these excerpts by clicking on an individual.

Corporate Memories

CO Stanley addressing shareholders in the 1950s

CO Stanley - opening a review of the Pye company in 1958

(114 secs)

CO Stanley in latter years  (1970s)

Richard King - describing CO Stanley's management style

(86 secs)

EJW Stanley

John Hodgson - recalls the kindness of EJW Stanley 

(150 secs)

Pye Unicam Memories

The GCV Chromatograph launched in 1976 and mentioned by Phil

Phil Ford recalls his apprenticeship at Pye Unicam

(120 secs)

Pye Unicam, York Street site in 1970s

Chris Barrett - early days at Pye Unicam

 (160 secs)

The new Pye Unicam building in York Street 1960s

Charles Wisbey recalls the Unicam move to York Street 

(163 secs)

Pye Product & Project Memories

The Pye Record Maker (1950s)

John Hodgson - recalls the Pye Record Maker


Assembly Line for Outside Broadcast vehicles

Donald Grimwood -delivering an Outside Broadcast vehicle

(156 secs)

Pye Achoic stereo record player of 1964

Tony Dugdale -recalls problems at the launch of the Achoic record player 

(138 secs)

Pye Apprenticeship Memories

On the Pye factory floor as described by John Easthope

John Easthope – recalls Pye apprentice training

(157 secs)

Toolbox contents that apprentices made for themselves

Tony Sharpe – describing life as an apprentice 

(87 secs)

Instrumentation being manufactured by Unicam Instruments in Arbury Rd

Andrew McKeown  - early days in Arbury Road 

(122 secs)

Pye TVT Memories

A Pye TVT camera used in many projects

John Easthope – projects for TVT 

(201 secs)

Factory entrance to Pye TVT

Charles Hattersley - describes TVT factory life

(109 secs)

Pye Logo

Michael Cosgrove - his abiding memory of Pye

 (177 secs)

Pye Social Life Memories

A scene from the twice yearly Cambridge ADC Theatre performances

David Drury - Memories of Pye Amateur Dramatics 

(185 secs)

Part of the 1932 Pye Netball Team

Kay Bond - talking about her social activities 

(119 secs)

Dorothy Ballroom, Cambridge

Ann MacNab recalls Unicam social events and recruitment

(139 secs)

Management in Pye

Pye Engineering Services in St Andrews Road, Cambridge

Jim Langford - when I was promoted to Managing Director

(138 secs)

John Stanley

Malcolm Hensby recalls removing the paintings from J O Stanley's office

(63 secs)

The Pye factory in Larne (NI) where the radio sets were being manufactured

Colin Stewart-1957-Exporting radio and tv sets

(185 secs)

Pye Customers & Demos

Customer Service

Roy Moreton - 1956 - Pye Telecom customer relations

(105 secs)

BBC 625 line test card

Jimmy Yuill remembers the 625 special road show to promote the introduction of 625 line TV

(75 secs)

Manchester ship canal

Brian Armstrong - problem demo to the Manchester ship canal

(259 secs)

Life at Pye

The Pye Chauffeur

Elsie Dethridge recalls her lifts in PYE 1

(195 secs)

The Pye Tower in St Andrews Road, Cambridge

Richard Ellis recalls the Pye Tower and Matilda

(93 secs)

EK Cole (1901 - 1966)

Sidney Grimes compares EK Cole to CO Stanley

(40 secs)

Work at Pye

A Capstan Lathe

David Hall - 1958-Working in WG Pye machine shop

(129 secs)

Early attempts at colour television

Richard Ellis talks about the first colour television work

(119 secs)

Cathodeon made a wide range of camera tubes

Rodney Dale remembers making camera tubes at Cathodeon in the 1950s 

(74 secs)

Product Development at Pye

Unicam SP500 Spectrometer

Lyndon Davies - the start of spectrometers at Unicam

 (118 secs)

Early Pye mobile telecommunications

Roy Moreton - Pye Telecom equipment reliability in 1953 

(153 secs)


Chris Barrett - software or hardware engineering? 

(92 secs)

Experiences with CO & John Stanley

John Stanley

Geoff Griffiths recalls John Stanley and the Pye Aeroplane

(63 secs)

CO Stanley

Jim Langford on his first meeting with CO Stanley

(128 secs)

Poll card for 1966 AGM resolution

Malcolm Hensby recalls organisation of the 1966 AGM to remove CO and JO Stanley

(113 secs)

Memories from Three Pye Sites

Newmarket Transistor factory in Newmarket

Geoff Griffiths recalls innovation at Newmarket Transistors


York Street Pye Scientific Instrument Centre

Dr Lyndon Davies recalls the merger of WG Pye and Unicam

(154 secs)

Pye Radio Ltd factory in St Andrews Road, Cambridge

Geoff Griffiths recalls the librarian in Pye's upper research labs

(41 secs)

Different Aspects of Pye

CO Stanley - Reviewing a TV Problem in 1958 

(144 secs)

The problematic Pye VT14 television set
The new Pye Unicam building in York Street 1960s

David Hall - Returning to WGPye after National Service in 1962 

(233 secs)

Pye CS17 television set

Tony Dugdale - recalls holding the Pye Television Awards and meeting Princess Anne 

(43 secs)