Gordon Scott Whale opened the North Wales Wireless College in Caernarfon in 1918, having trained with the Direct Spanish Telegraph Company and worked for Marconi’s Wireless Telegraph Company.
In 1920 the college was relocated to Upper Colwyn Bay and then to its more familiar home on East Parade during the summer of 1923. By 1930 continued growth in numbers of students led to Harry Nelson being employed as a second trainer, joining Charles Oliver who had been a tutor at the college since 1926.
Gordon Whale retired in 1935 leaving the college in the able hands of Messrs. Nelson and Oliver but would return in 1940 when the college became the major training establishment during the war and was responsible for turning out a significant number of Radio Operators, many of who sadly lost their lives at sea.he was responsible for the Morse training of countless Radio Officers across the years.
Harry Nelson retired in July 1966 after thirty-seven years of dedicated service to the college. Affectionately nicknamed by the college students as “Tubby”
Neville Whale, son of the founder, was principal of the college from 1966.
Closing in 1970, the building was eventually demolished when the A55 Expressway was built.
The Wireless College website www.wirelesscollege.freeserve.org.uk has, over recent years, reunited many former students, culminating in very well attended annual reunions being held since 2002. Former students have been discovered living in France, Ireland, USA, New Zealand, Australia, Kathmandu, Alaska, Canada, Trinidad, Nigeria, Nepal, Peru, Austria and Spain, and contact with other students is still being sought.
The Wireless College website also has a large collection of photographs of the college, staff and students.
This article appears in Eunice Roberts and Helen Morley’s book “The Spirit of Colwyn Bay: 2” and is reproduced here with their kind permission.