Clive Kessell interviewed by Frank Paterson

2018-10-08 in London
Frank Paterson

Oral history interview with Clive Kessell, conducted and recorded by Frank Paterson at the Union Jack Club, London on 8 October 2018. Duration: 1 hr. 21 min. 17 sec. Education; Crewe workshops; Derby divisional drawing office; Watford power box; seconded to GEC Telephone Works Coventry; Derby; Stoke power box; Deputy Telecoms Engineer Nottingham division 1970; radio systems for Advanced Traffic Information(ATI); Telecoms Engineer (General) at British Railways Board Headquarters (BRB HQ); standardisation; Telecoms Engineer (Radio) at BRB HQ 1975; driver only operation (DOO); creation of National Radio Network (NRN); Telecoms Engineer Southern Region 1979; completion of National Telecoms Plan and Extension Trunk Dialling (ETD) system; telecoms information sharing; Telecoms Engineer BRB HQ 1984; high capacity digital transmission systems; NRN; Polmont accident; Overlay Radio Network (ORN) project developed using NRN; Deal concluded with Mercury for fibre cable in British Rail troughs 1984; telecoms seen as a source of income by BRB; sectorisation; creation of British Rail Telecoms [BRT]; BRT not seen to be taking safety seriously; Racal and Apex Holdings potential buyers; sale to Racal; initially not interested in railways; sale to Thomson CSF/Thales; asset swap deal with Alcatel; retirement 2011; BRT relationships with other departments and rail industry pre/post privatisation

One of over 150 oral history recordings made as part of the Britain’s Railways All Change (BRAC) archive project. BRAC was set-up to cover gaps in documenting the railway privatisation process in the United Kingdom, between 1994 and 1997, when the government-owned British Rail was dismantled into over 100 privately-owned companies. The interviews capture the recollections of people involved in the planning and implementation of the privatisation process, the management of change and running the railway during privatisation.


Oral Histories
Britain's Railways All Change
Object Number:
oral history interview
Britain’s Railways All Change (BRAC) oral history archive, created in partnership with the Friends of the National Railway Museum, the Retired Railway Officers’ Society and the National Railway Museum.