The UK office at Hartley Wintney was a converted bakery in High Street. Several rooms were lavishly attired with 'sink-into' thick pile carpet. Filing cabinets with expensive cameras jumbled inside and a 'Roller' with a towbar parked at the rear gave one a feeling of 'a big company'.

ATA had an office in Iran and another in the USA as well as the main factory in Albury, Australia. Peter Hamilton, Lindsay's son in law, managed the UK office while Edgar Davis had been the original ATA UK rep before the Iran contract. I was to stay with Edgar and Gladice, his wife, at their rambling house across the road from the office.

Lindsay Knight was an electrician. From the 'University of Life', as he once said. He had built ATA in partnership with Ken Gillam, the inventor of the original DART system and ATA Company, commencing around 1959.

(I only recently found out (2014) about Ken Gillam but include this information for historical reasons.)

ATA designed and manufactured livefire targets. Lindsay had all sorts of expansion underway funded by a contract with Iran.
Fulmer Research were working on projectile location (PLS- SUPERDART) methodology; Leafields engineering were producing mechanical stuff and Falco were manufacturing prototype PLS stuff.

It was here I first met engineer Karl Dittler, and Graham Hayward in the 'flesh' as it were. Karl had been recruited many years earlier and had developed much of the laned targetry producing revenue from the Iran contract.

Many years later I learnt that Lindsay had a penchant for 'collecting' people and companies with 'apparent' capability and putting them together to get results. Sometimes the people were 'wrong' and caused problems, other times results were achieved. He liked 'Dr.' and appeared mentally torn twixt this and 'doing'. Possibly he saw the 'external' attraction of having 'Dr's' around even if some of them couldn't 'do'?

It's all in the perception of one's 'little, "I." At this time I didn't realise the aforegoing.

I travelled to and from the UK office from Chelmsford until we were authorised emigration.

This was interesting. We were called to Australia House for an interview. "You have no degree, only a 'Technicians' qualification', the young bloke at Australia House sneered. This worried me but the following day on returning to the ATA UK office, there, on the teleprinter were our emigration numbers!

Lindsay had 'said' and the factory financial controller, Frank Burke, in Albury, had travelled to Canberra to 'do'!

The next few months went fast. Sue, Tim, Dawn and mum were to travel on the Australis to save transport costs and I was to fly out. The UK office was to handle the sale of our UK house.

Our new lives had commenced thanks to Lindsay, or 'LCK' as he signed telexes.


The Start UK Office Albury Factory
Post Iran days Receiver Cometh Belvis days
HUB days DART days ADI days
The History of ATA