Lance Thompson Wallsend Byker Heaton Wideopen Newcastle upon Tyne Electronics Engineering Apollo Space Race 1960s


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4-years-old me in summer 1961

Anyone that knows me will likely comment (something like) “Lance, with a football!??”


I look at this photo, some 60-odd-years later, and I like to think I remember it being taken. However, what I think I remember is the photograph itself rather than it being taken. I have no recollection of who took the picture – but I guess it would have been dad.


Whether or not I had an interest in football, two or three years later my interests changed course completely.


Speaking now, in my mid-60s, I was so fortunate to have been born just as the ‘space-race’ began. Whatever it was that triggered my interest in the American space program, it happened in 1963. My copy of ‘Timothy’s Space Book’, first published in 1961, was given to me in 1963. It would not have been top of the list of gifts for me from my parents, but I must have asked for it – or something similar.


I was, by all accounts, completely engrossed in books, newspapers and TV coverage of the ‘Moon-Shot’. That interest widened into engineering as a whole and specifically electronic engineering. Electronics as a hobby became electronic engineering as a career. And I feel immensely lucky to have had my profession emerge from my passion for that little book.