'Always Open' Sign To
Go After 77 Years

Commercial Cable Company To Close
Office At Weston

  WITHIN the next few weeks, an office at Weston-super-Mare
  which has been open continuously since 1885, will lock its
  doors for the last time, Inside, the busy chatter of teleprinters
  and monitoring sets, and the steady hum of amplifiers, will stop,
  The office, in a smart, fawn-painted building at 3 Richmond
  Street, is that of the American firm, Commercial Cable Com­
  pany, and it is being closed in the interests of efficiency and
  From the sea-front office, four
cables run out to sea--the route is
marked by the familiar tall beacon
in the middle of Weston Bay--to Ire-
land, and from there they stretch
across the Atlantic to America.
  For the past 77 years, thousands
of messages, from both sides of the
ocean, have been passing through the
cables every day. Each one has to be
boosted in strength by the complex
installations in the little known but
important Weston relay station.
Over the door is the promise
"Always open," and technicians
have to be on duty 24 hours a
seen many changes and improvements
through the years, is itself now out-
  The company has obtained facili-
ties in the new transatlantic telephone
cables which cross the Atlantic from
Scotland, and all the messages pass-
ing between England and the U.S.A.
will in future be transmitted along
  All the technicians working for
the company at Weston have been
offered other jobs.
  Mr. E. F. A. Mullholland, who
worked there since the 1920s and
was superintendent since 1958, has
already taken a similar post at the
firm's offices in Bristol.
  Mr. E. F. Duff who has been work-
ing for the firm for 41 years, and
has served all over this country as
well as in the Azores, is in charge
for the last few weeks.
  The Weston office was opened
  in 1885, in two small cottages. But
  as the years went by, these
  premises became inadequate to
  deal with the ever increasing flow
of words crossing the Atlantic by
  cable, so they were enlarged. A
  second cable was laid in 1901, a
  third followed nine years later, and
  the fourth was laid in 1926.
  With the increasing use of the

Operations room at the Commercial Cable Company's Weston office, Left to right, Messrs, C,
P. Lewton, C. R. Hancock, L V. Haley and E. F. Duff (acting superintendent).

cables, so the methods of sending
the messages were improved. Now,
in the age of automation, technicians
do not have to take down each mes-
sage received, and then re-transmit
them, They are automatically boosted
by a complex system of amplifiers,
which improve their strength, and
ensure that there are no distortions.

  During the 1939.45 war, when im-
portant Government messages and
secret information was passing
through the cables. the building was
surrounded by barbed wire, and
guarded by troops. Access to Rich-
mond Street was barred, except to
those carrying special passes.
  The future of the building is un.


The entrance to the Cable
Company's offices

day, ready at a second's notice to
trace any trouble which might
occur in the equipment.
  But now, all this will be coming
to an end. The office, which is the
company's main relay link between
London and New York and which has

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