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Joe Soul

(Electrical Engineering, 1948)
Joe shares his photographs and memories from his time in Sweden as part of the Student Exchange Programme, Summer 1947

On BritanniaStudents from Imperial College went to various places in Sweden to obtain two months of work experience related to one's area of study. With rationing still applicable in the UK and the available food being low in variety, I felt that I had gone to heaven in Sweden. This feeling even started aboard ship en route to Gothenburg when we students travelled in the lowest class, steerage. The meals were wonderful. I was quite impressed at breakfast on the first morning, when I saw an obviously Swedish man begin by downing a schnapps in one shot before any food!

We were treated like royalty in a country where few, if any, of us knew Swedish. It began at the University of Gothenburg where we experienced the greatest smorgasbord I have seen since then. Many of us then took a train to Stockholm. As an electrical engineering student, I went to a branch plant of L M Ericsson. (Photograph above; Ron Hopkins, Ian Rolls and Donn Webb aboard the SS Britannia bound for Gothenburg, July 10th 1947.)

Ermi GroupPhotograph on the right; Ermi group: Engineering section of L M Ericsson plant where I worked.




L M EricssonPhotograph on the left; L M Ericsson: Midsommarkransen Plant, 5 September 1947

Town HallPhotograph on the right; Stockholm Town Hall, September 1947




Tug BoatPhotograph on the left; Tugboat in Gothenburg Harbour, July 11 1947

FlyoverPhotograph on the right; Stockholm's 'flyover,' July 20 1947



Old StockholmPhotograph on the left: Old Stockholm




Traneberg BridgePhotograph on the right; Traneberg Bridge, a bridge I often crossed by street car that continued on railway tracks to more outlying areas, 20 July 1947



My host was Nils Wahlström, aged 24, an ex-pilot of the Swedish Air Force who had flown the North-American Mustang. He was an electrical engineer working for the Swedish Railways, and belonged to the Stockholm Flying Club. His wife was staying in the country for the summer. Nils was the perfect host, and the whole experience was most memorable.

FlightPhotograph on the left; Nils and my flight; Monoplane at Norrtalje, August 31 1947




MustangPhotograph on the right; A September 1945 photo of a trio of Mustangs with Nils as one of the pilots.



Nils and myslefPhotograph on the left; Nils and myself in Stockholm






Further to the August 31 flight of Nils and myself, it was my first flight ever and easily the most interesting since then. Over a quiet part of the route to Norrtalje, Nils performed a series of acrobatics. For the first few minutes I was comletely disoriented, but then I got used to it and could look around and enjoy the ever-changing view.

Nils with CousinsPhotograph right; Nils and Cousins. Nils flew us to his cousins in Norrtalje, about 70 km north-east of Stockholm, August 31 1947



Nils and friendsPhotograph on the left; Angus Selby, Nils, Robb, August 10




LeopardPhotograph on the right; A shot taken in the apartment of Nils' friend, Ake Brandt, August 3.




SodertaljePhotograph on the left; Sodertalje: about 35 km south-west of Stockholm, August 3




  © 2007 Imperial College London

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