Phil Hooley

Phil Hooley
Family name: 
Work area/craft/role: 
Interview Number: 
Interview Date(s): 
5 Sep 2011
Production Media: 
Duration (mins): 

Horizontal tabs


 I was born in   Aintree Liverpool  October 1942. First school St Johns infants Aintree Moved to Watford Herts  in 1948 due to fathers occupation as as a printer. Attended Malvern Way infants school Croxley Green. An early memory - a friend asked me if I would like to see his television. “Whats television ?”I asked. TV had not reached the north by then - “radio with pictures”, he replied.  The kids made fun of my Liverpool accent and kept asking me to speak.  Moved to Harvey Rd. Junior school then to Durrants Secondary school. I left school aged 15 Xmas 1956. Started work Jan 1957 as apprentice photographer specialising in weddings and horse shows,very boring and poorly paid. Left in 1959 and joined Cassio Photographic in the Lab,testing photogaphic paper, Joined White Paper print union, I had to keep quiet due to union not recognised in Lab, I left 1961 and joined Rank Labs Denham, also ACTT, worked in printing room on Bell and Howel and Sound Union printing machines. Monochrome was king,Technicolor where the colour lab,worked on many TV progs, “Man in a Suitcase”,”William Tell”,”Danger Man”  among others. We enjoyed good conditions and pay and soon realised this was due to ACTT union. As a young man I enjoyed working with about 300 young women. It was  great times what with all those dark rooms. After a couple of years I transferred into Travelling Matte as a camera operator doing blue background and flying etc I moved to BBC dept as Assistant Contact 2 years later. My duties included viewing rushes , progress chasing, keeping in contact with editors and producers at BBC on progs .Most Assistants go on to become Contactmen, and they were all men. It became clear pretty soon that my trade union activities would bar me from any further promotion, so when I left 30 years later I had the same job. .