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Jim Hogan

Page history last edited by Ian Gillis 7 years, 1 month ago


Family Tribute

I’m honoured to share with you a little bit about Jim’s life that Pat has written.

Jim was born in a small town called Shaw, which lies in the foothills of Lancashire Yorkshire Pennines. He attended the St Joseph R C school until leaving at 15 to take up an apprenticeship as an electronic/electrical engineer at Mather and Platts in Manchester. He progressed through day release and evening classes to attain his Higher National Certificate.

 He met Pat in 1951. They both enjoyed dancing to the Big Bands of the era, sometimes locally in Oldham or Manchester and occasionally a trip to Blackpool to dance to Ted Heath with his vocalists Dickie Valentine and Lisa Rosa, performing at the Tower Ballroom, dancing to Joe Loss at Winter Gardens. They married six years later in 1957.

When they had been married for nearly 2 years, they had a baby son, Peter. Jim was called to do his National Service before this was finished in 1960. He presumed he would have been deferred this as he was still studying. He reported to RAF Cardington, three weeks after receiving the letter, and began a radar course at Locking, Somerset. The house in Failsworth, Manchester was sold, Pat went back to teaching, bought a car and a caravan (which was sited at Locking RAF camp) and gave two very proud grandmas the daytime care of Peter.


Three years after Peter was born, along came their daughter, Julia, followed five years later, by Michael, who was born in Essex.


After National Service, Jim joined Marconi Radar in Chelmsford, where he worked from 1961 until retirement in 1998. During his time with Marconi he traveled the world and made many many friends.

 As a young boy he played cricket for Lancashire school boys and football for Manchester youth team. When moving to Essex in 1961, he played cricket for Braintree and then, on joining Braintree Golf Club, he gained a low handicap of 5 and made many more friends.

His time in Essex, both during his working life and retirement, were the happiest with his wife Pat, his children and their partners and his granddaughters. 

The last two years after his diagnosis of thyroid cancer brought gentle pace with his home and garden in Gosfield. We celebrate and mourn a lovely, much loved husband, father, grandfather and friend.


Tribute from Jim’s work friends

The early 1960’s were a very busy time for Marconi Radar – then known as the Radar Division of Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company. A very big order for NATO combined with military contracts for the Middle East (Jordan), South Africa, South America, and Sweden plus the ongoing work from the RAF Rotor System, provoked a big reorganisation and an urgent need to staff the projects with system engineers.

Most of the orders were for Static Radar systems, which would comprise of Surveillance radar, Heightfinding radar, a Display and Data Handling system, Communications and associated buildings. Some of the Radar Systems were housed in mobile vehicles.

Jim in 1961, on completing his National Service with the RAF, joined the Company. The inspiration for selecting the Marconi Company as a place to work came from being on a course at RAF Locking, the RAF’s radar school.

Initially Jim was working at Church Green, a backwater of Marconi Radar in Broomfield Road, concentrating on the installation planning and design for the South African Phase 1 project which comprised a Master Radar Station plus three Satellites, VHF, UHF and land line communications.

The project systems people had noticed Jim – his quiet, self-effacing, but firm and conscientious professional attitude to work produced accurate designs. So much to the regret of Church Green Jim moved into Systems Engineering to work on the South African project.

Systems suited Jim – not only was he good at his job he had a quiet sense of humour with a twinkle in the eye that could defuse difficult situations both with other employees and with customers.

He was popular and well liked by all that worked with or for him. There was a particular occasion when a reception committee from the installation team, bearing bottles of beer, once met him at the erstwhile Jan Smuts airport– sadly they had forgotten the bottle openers. It must have been quite difficult to smile at the end of a long and tiring flight when greeted by a bottle with its neck broken from being opened on a Ford Transit bumper.

At home Jim wasn’t a great fan of DIY, fortunately he had chosen his wife, Pat wisely; well trained by her father she could undertake all kinds of building work which was in those days usually the province of the male. Jim, however, made an excellent supervisor of this work. Such relaxation was important; so that he could indulge himself in his other great love, that of golf!!

Between 1964 ad 1971 Jim was very much involved in the quotation preparation and implementation of Phase II which was an extensive updating of Phase I including provision of an underground building housing a digital data handling system.

It was during the latter part of this period that we had another big reorganisation. We changed from being the Radar Division of Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company to being a separate company called Marconi Radar Systems At the same time we moved to Writtle Road Works that was the old Crompton Parkinson works.

From 1971 to the mid eighties South Africa still featured with various projects being implemented. There were also visits to other countries like China to promote Marconi Radar systems plus proposals and implementation for other countries such as Jordan and Thailand.

At the end of this period Jim moved from Air Defence Systems to Manage the ATC (Air Traffic Control) Group to promote the sale and implementation of ATC products to several countries including Germany, India, South Africa, Spain and UK.

After running the ATC group for a few years Jim came back to Air Defence Systems to promote Martello 3D surveillance radars to Malaysia and to provide support to the team on the initial bid and the subsequent implementation for the large Malaysian contract.

In 1998 the Company wished to reduce the average age and so made an offer for anyone between the age of 60 and 65 voluntary retirement. The offer was too good to refuse so Jim along with a very large number of others retired on 6th April after an illustrious career spanning 37 years.

All the people that know Jim either as just a work colleague and/or as a close friend mourn the passing of a truly lovely man.


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