PAFEC – Strelley Hall in 1986/7 and Stapleford in 1990

A post I published here a little over four years ago with a couple of photographs of my office at PAFEC in 1991 has since attracted a steady stream of readers and comments. This week I’ve been sent some photographs by Derek Barley and Darren Seaton, both former employees. I’m grateful to both of them for their permission to publish them here.

Darren sent me this picture from the Strelley Hall stables of his desk that he dates to 1986 or 87. It shows a Westward graphics terminal (I’m unsure of the model, but it looks like it might be a 3219 or 3220) attached to a digitising tablet. There’s what looks like a DOGS 3.1 menu card taped to the back of the stall too.

A DOGS digitising station at Strelly Hall, 1986/87. Image copyright Darren Seaton. Used with permission.The set of photographs Derek provided date to around 1990. These show views of the exterior of the Stapleford offices and a couple of the first floor development offices, including the DOGS Mapping office.

PAFEC Stapleford office exterior circa 1990.Image copyright Derek Barley. Used with permission.PAFEC Stapleford office exterior showing the tower after renovation circa 1990.Image copyright Derek Barley. Used with permission.This picture was clearly taken after the tower (and the meeting room at the top of it) had been renovated and the years of dead pigeons that had accumulated up there had been removed. I remember it being somewhere I used to like to hold team meetings – provided that the weather wasn’t too hot or too cold. On the other side of the tower a microwave dish had line of sight to Strelley Hall, allowing the two sites to be networked with a very decent speed / bandwidth for the time.

The view from the tower at the PAFEC Stapleford offices exterior shThe view from the tower at the PAFEC Stapleford offices circa 1990. Image copyright Derek Barley. Used with permission.The view from the top of the tower. Strelley Hall is somewhere in the distance on the left hand side of the photograph.

PAFEC StapleSoftware Development office at PAFEC Stapleford circa 1990. Image copyright Derek Barley. Used with permission.It’s clear from this photograph that the company had already switched over to Apollo Workstations (probably DN3000s) from terminals linked to Prime minicomputers for software development purposes at the time this was taken. That’s a HP A0 pen plotter in the background I think.

Software Development office at PAFEC Stapleford circa 1990. Image copyright Derek Barley. Used with permission. Software Development office at PAFEC Stapleford circa 1990. Image copyright Derek Barley. Used with permission.In the left foreground of this image is the back of a Datapath X5A terminal – one of the least expensive colour graphics terminals on the market in the mid 80s. There were quite a lot of these spread throughout PAFEC’s offices and they were excellent VTxxx emulators too. I remember writing a lot of code using one of these as my display screen.

Derek has also sent me some photographs of the exterior of Strelley Hall from the same period. However, I’m going to hold these over for another post because I have a picture of everyone on the lawn of the hall in 1986 celebrating the company’s tenth anniversary that I’d like to put with them, but that will require me to take a trip into the attic!

 

4 thoughts on “PAFEC – Strelley Hall in 1986/7 and Stapleford in 1990

  1. I’m just clearing out my filing cabinet and discovered an old PAFEC Ltd compliment slip from the late 1980s. Names I’ve written on it are Dave Sharmen, Paul Woolfenden, Grant Walker and Tim Blackman.

    I worked for a company called Warner & Swasey in Telford, Shropshire and we used DOGS software Level 3.2 Rev 6f apparently. At least that’s what I’ve written on the compliment slip!

    1. I would have once been able to tell you the difference between 3.206f and 3.206g … but I do recognise those names even now!

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