Daniel Quinn Sr. - Short bio notes...

26-Feb-2010 : Bits and pieces I have put together on my father's youth in Walthamstow.

Daniel Quinn, his father
Daniel Joseph and mother Eliza

My father Daniel, son of Daniel Joseph (see here) and Eliza Ellen née Stacey, was the youngest of five (Ernest (Ernie), Norah, Albert, John & himself). He was born in St. Albans in 1915, his father being temporarily working in that area for a rubber company (tyre manufacturers, I think), before returning to Walthamstow.

Very little I know of his childhood, since he rarely spoke about it. I'm sure he did his infant schooling in Walthamstow, and started working at a young age.

The following periods are summarised in his own words, on some handrwitten notes I have recently found:

1930 - I commenced an apprenticeship in the Electrical Dept. (Engineering section) of the London Cooperative Society, which covered all types of installations and maintenance of power equipment in the North London area. Gained considerable knowledge through the vast organisation of the L.C.S. in complete installations of departmental stores, factories - including bakeries, dairies, laundries, offices shops, etc.

Daniel at abt. 15 yrs old (on left),
with his brother Albert (died in WWII)
and mother Eliza Ellen.
The picture is at some sea resort c1926.

Daniel in 1934

      1936 - Upon conclusion of apprenticeship, at 21 yrs, wishing to gain a greater knowledge of the electrical trade, I entered Messrs Henleys Cables training school at Forest Hill, to acquire experience in both Low Tension and High Tension distribution, commencing with Plumber Cable Jointing, coupling of high & low tension transformers and sub-stations, etc.. I also gained considerable experience with oil filled cables and upon work up to 132,000 volts. During my engagement at Henleys I was sent to all parts of the country and, on one occasion, carried out assistant engineer work, involving the employment of local labour, laying of cables and arranging the coupling of these to various equipment at a mining colliery.

      1938 - Wishing to further my experience still more, I left Messers. Henley, of my own accord, to take up employment on the electrical dept. of the - at the time - Finchley Borough Council. Here I was engaged upon change-over work, from D.C. to A.C. I remained here until after the break of World War II, being retained on reserved occupation for some months, until, through all future distribution work being abandoned, practically all the outside staff was dismissed.

      1939 - Still under 'reserved occupation' and finding at that time some difficulty in obtaining a position, I volunteered for service in the Merchant Navy. Here I was accepted upon the base of my past electrical experience in the position of 6th Engineer. After several journeys on the vessel "Jamaica Planter" to the East Indies, I was unfortunately forced to leave the M.N. through poor health: the vessel was built to carry bananas, rather than living men, and purposely 'rolled' to an unbearable extent for me, making me constantly sick!

      1940/41 - After my discharge from the above, I was sent to Scotland by National Services, to be engaged by an electrical firm (Kilpatrick?) carrying out the high & low tension distribution to the large munition factories at Bishopton. My work there mainly dealt with 11,000 volt distribution and, before I left, I carried out a 132,000 volt take off for I.C.I.

Daniel Quinn - 1942 Algiers

1941 Bowbridge Camp (Daniel Quinn at far right,
with microphone)

     1941 - I was finally called by H.M. Forces to serve with the Royal Engineers. I served three years overseas both in North Africa and Italy and during this time I was continuously engaged upon electrical work, mainly in complete installation of hospitals, operating theatres, etc... I reached the rank of Sergeant and concluded my service in Rome, where for a period of about 12 months I was responsible for all military installations and maintenance, having a civilian staff of electricians and some sappers. My last large work there was the Ciampino airport.

     1946 - After my discharge from H.M. Forces, I returned to Italy to marry my present wife and take over, with her, the management and organization of her late father's business, which dealt in production and retail sale of Florentine leather. In spite of the many difficulties soon after the war - and my own lack of experience in this field - we were able to build up and expand enormously, increasing our staff continually (in summer periods up to 12 sales staff).

Daniel Quinn Sr. - 1960s
Daniel Quinn - 1960s

Listen to Daniel Quinn singing "Too young" in Florence in 1962...

      1960 - Apart from the above main activities, I also have closely connected with the musical world, and in order to retain this "hobby", I built my own recording studio, complete with control cabin. In this studio I have carried out work of sufficient quality to be put on discs, and these have been available to the general public.

He did have a strong interest in music (must be Walthamstow's air to inspire this!) and formed his own band. back in the late '30s (see picture below)

May I add that in 1936 Daniel married, in Walthamstow, Esther L. Clark. They had a daugther, Patricia (Pat), who lived for many years in Barkley Rd., attended the Joseph Barret Secondary school in Barret Road and Brooke Rd E17, during 1948-1952. Sadly, Pat died in April 2011 [read about Pat here].

Daniel J Quinn

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