Graduating in 1968 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Ken Keable went on to become an activist in ‘the secret War against apartheid’. In his own words, Ken tells us his story.
Born in 1945 and leaving school in Walthamstow in 1963, I secured a student apprenticeship with the London Electricity Board (a fine, publicly owned organisation that offered good opportunities for working-class people). I was put on a four-year “sandwich course” (six months in industry alternating with six months at college) with the college part being at the Northampton College of Advanced Technology leading to a Diploma of Technology. However, while I was there the college was upgraded to a university and my diploma was upgraded to a BSc in electrical and electronic engineering. I paid no fees and I was paid a good wage – a fact that I love telling to young people I meet today, as it shows that things were not always as bad as they are now, and could be better again.