Birmingham University Crest University of Birmingham Mechanical Engineers, Class of 1957 Birmingham University Old Crest

In October 1954, 32 young men assembled to study engineering. They were meeting one another for the first time. In subsequent years nearly all graduated in engineering, with four later winning their doctorates. A very large majority had successful careers in engineering or the armed forces. Almost all as far as we know have fathered children and are now grandparents. Of the original number three are known to have since died. We mourn the passing of Terry Barker, Bruce Hall and Dick Valter.

During the last fifty years the trail has grown cold, and three other members of that original group have disappeared from our ken. These are Jack Cooper, Jagjit Singh and Eric Smith. Several have lost wives either by bereavement or by mutual agreement. Some are in poorer health than in former years.

They have spread out to live in other countires - United States, Canada, Australia, South Africa, France and Norway; but of these many have worked in other countries too - Nigeria, Peru, Bulgaria, Japan and the Far East, to name a few.

They have contributed in an extraordinary way to the welfare of society, economically and culturally. They were together as a group for the last time in Birmingham in July 1957. It is true to say that without them the world would have been a poorer place.

Andrew Crum
Andrew Crum Then Andrew Crum Now

When I left Birmingham in 1956, I was immediately called up for National Service where I managed to spend my two years as an army Private, sailing Tank Landing Craft around the Outer Hebrides. This was a period in which I had plenty of time to reflect, and I determined that I really did want to be an Engineer, and if I could get another grant I would try again.

I did get a grant, I did try again and I did get my Engineering Degree as an External Student of London University. It was whilst studying for this at Hull Tech, that I met a fellow student, Joyce. We got married, have three sons, four grandchildren, and are still very happily married after 44+ years.

After graduating I worked at British Aircraft Corp (St. Annes-on-Sea), on the ill-fated TSR2 aircraft.

I then worked for Davy-United (Sheffield) designing control systems for Steel Rolling Mills.

My next job turned out to be my career. I joined a High-Pressure equipment company (National Forge USA) in 1969. I was still working there in 1996 when I bought the company out. It is now called EPSI and is headquartered in Belgium with a branch in the USA where we live.

At the time of writing, EPSI is building a piece of high-pressure equipment (a HIP) we sold to the Engineering Dept. of Birmingham University!

Michael Cudworth
Michael Cudworth Then Michael Cudworth Now

Evelyn and I have continued to enjoy spending three months abroad each year, towing our caravan around Scandinavia, Iberian Peninsular, all of Central and Eastern Europe, the Baltic Countries and some of the former Yugoslavian Countries. Clocking up over 6,000 miles on each occasion. We have four married children and seven grandchildren, ranging from 5 to 23.

Richard Davis
Richard Davis Now

Austin Dodd
Austin Dodd Then Austin Dodd Now

On leaving Birmingham in 1957, I returned to the Austin Motor Co. to work in the Research Dept on a continuously-variable hydrostatic transmission. In February, 1959, I joined The Motor Industry Research Association to work in my preferred field of engine research; I was employed by MIRA for over 33 years until retirement in 1992.

I remained in the Engine Laboratory as Research Engineer and Senior Research Engineer until promoted to manage one of the five Research Divisions, covering Engines, Exhaust Emissions, Braking, Fuel Consumption, Vehicle Durability and General Vehicle Testing/Homologation. During my time as Research Division Manager, MIRA changed from a fully-funded Research Association to a successful self-supporting organisation, generating its own income. In my last few years at MIRA, following the appointment of a new Director, my responsibilities varied but I finally ended my time as Chief Engineer Capital Projects, supervising the building of a Climatic Wind Tunnel, New Vehicle Crash Facility and an underground Electromagnetic Compatibility Chamber.

Corporate Membership of I Mech E was achieved early in my time with MIRA and I became a Fellow in 1978. I was invited to join a number of organising committees of I Mech E conferences and presented Papers at I Mech E and International Conferences. For many years, I acted as Secretary to two groups providing liaison and co-operation between the British Motor and Petroleum Industries.

Pete Furness

John Flower
John Flower Now

Actually I graduated in 58 as I failed a subject. Can't remember what the subject was, but then can't say I used much of what I was taught at uni in the real world!!!

Worked at Cadburys for the lost year in design and construction.

In '59 to '61 did National Service and as I was a Mech Eng was promptly drafted after basic training to Arborfield as a Radar Technician. Ended up teaching Radar Techniques. Learnt a lot about electronics there and it became one of my hobbies.

'61 to '65 I joined Serck Radiators first as graduate apprentice. Then working on pipeline telemetry, marine heat exchangers and Concorde fuel cooled oil coolers etc.

In '65 I emigrated to Aust to a job as project engineer with a glass making company which diversified into building products etc.

During that time I got married and commuted from the Blue Mountains 11/2 hours west of Sydney. Moved from there in 76?

In '75 I joined AGL the Sydney gas company and was involved in changing over oil, coal, other fuelled industrial furnaces, boilers etc to natural gas, which arrived in 76 to Sydney.

Some years there and I progressed to construction and installation of city gate stations as natural gas became available thru out the state. I ended up in the metering section but also involved in smaller construction projects.

In 2002 my wife Jean unfortunately died (breast cancer 15 years remission) and I felt I needed to maintain some status quo so I continued to work, but I had plenty of time off and did some travelling, finally calling it a day in sep '04. I was 68 then.

Ken Galloway
Ken Galloway Then Ken Galloway Now

After leaving Brum, miraculously with a degree, even if the lowest on offer life was far too interesting for studying to get much of a look in I went to ICI who sent me to an engineering company in Peterborough to learn about practical engineering. Sadly, the sunshine was too warm, the (self-)discipline too lacking and I did not make the most of the opportunity and am hence still a little confused about manufacturing processes.

After ICI came National Service and the need to find a way to evade the loving arms of the recruiting sergeant. There was as you will remember a variety of routes; I decided on the Merchant Navy and became an engineer officer on a passenger liner sailing mostly to Oz, occasionally to West Coast America. The ships officers were regarded as part of the entertainment offered to the passengers, coming somewhere above deck tennis but below Race Night and the Bar. I had the highest paper qualifications of anyone on the ship and was probably the least use! It was a very practical environment and I learnt a lot about being an engineer, not least of which was humility about my capabilities.

I left the Merchant Navy with a big cash payout about the only time in my life when I earned the stuff quicker than I could spend it and took a year out, living on the savings of those years at sea. It was a bit unusual at that time and made it really hard to get a job when the money ran out What have you been doing this year? Well, not a lot, actually didn't go down well at interviews.

Eventually I got a job in a ship research organisation based in London, where an opportunity arose to go to University for the Company: they had been financing research at UMIST for ten years and had quite lost understanding of where the work was leading. The project was to go to Manchester and learn about the technology and then to apply it to a ship's engine it was all about gas exchange processes in a 2 stroke diesel engine, and computer calculations for matching a turbocharger optimally to an engine. It did incidentally give me the chance to make up a bit for my earlier derelictions of duty at Brum and to get an MSc. It also led to me meeting Shirley who worked at the University and we married in 1966. The research programme was successful technically, but was too late for the ship and engine building companies in this country, so I jumped ship, so to speak.

I chose Perkins for the excellent reason that they were prepared to pay me 50 pounds a year more than other offers and also because after three years in Manchester I was desperate to find a dry part of England. I expected to stay with Perkins for perhaps 2 or 3 years and then to move on. 32 years later, in 1999, I retired from Perkins.

During those 32 years I had 16 different jobs, thus my true expertise was in changing jobs. Doing jobs was harder. I used to think on my days of feeling positive that the directors were up there on the top floor saying "fine chap, that Galloway, drop him into a job and he hits the ground running and is up to speed really quickly". On days when I was feeling a bit more realistic I would think of the same group of directors saying "That chap Galloway, we've tried him in 16 different jobs and we still can't find anything he is any good at".

Some of those 16 jobs were a bit unusual: one was to be Chief Engineer of a new factory that Perkins and Volvo were building in conjunction with the Peruvian government in Trujillo in Northern Peru. This was in 1976 and I, Shirley and our two children spent two very exciting and happy years there. My job was to be Chief Engineer for both Perkins and Volvo engines. It was an amazing opportunity and I would have cheerfully gone to Peru for payment in brass washers and tissue paper. As it turned out, owing to inflation, that pretty much is what happened: certainly we did not get rich! We felt it was important for us all to learn Spanish. It is an easy language to learn but as with all languages, there are many traps for the unwary, here is one example of the dangers: We were in the biggest and best hotel in Trujillo and I asked the receptionist where the gents loo was. In Spanish, a gentleman is a man who rides a horse a horse is a caballo, a gentleman is a caballero so what I actually asked the receptionist was "Where is the horse's bathroom?" She fell about laughing and eventually replied "You're boasting!" In spite of all the blunders, I strongly believe that learning the local language is essential to gaining the most out of the experience of living overseas. I know it is possible to live for 20 years in a country and never learn how to call a taxi but I think one's experience is immeasurably richer if you can meet the local people on their own ground and relate to them in their own language.

Some years later, in 1990 there arose the opportunity to go to Bulgaria to set up a new company as its general manager. Once again, I was a bit slow in stepping back when volunteers were called for. As before, Shirley and I (the daughters were at University) set about learning the language and eventually set off by car from Peterborough to drive to Bulgaria, which was an adventure in itself. When we arrived at the Bulgarian border, we had for the first time to use the Bulgarian we had learnt. I was a bit taken aback to find that the border guards were far more interested in the fate of Crystal Palace's football team than in any contraband that we might be carrying. It was always a surprise to Bulgarians to find foreigners had taken the trouble to learn their language and we found them a very warm and friendly people.

We lived in a small village outside Varna on the coast of the Black Sea, we were probably the only English speakers in the village and it would have been a tad lonely if we had not spoken Bulgarian. As it was, we were invited to every event of the village wedding, pig-killing and butchering, visit the village distillery, visit the local cannery (used instead of freezers). At that time petrol was a real problem, queues a week long were quite common. Fortunately we had taken a diesel car and diesel fuel was easily obtainable.

Bulgarian was phenomenally difficult to learn, I took lessons all the time I was there and never became really fluent. Inevitably I brought some unintentional colour to life with some of my blunders on one occasion I was trying to tell a customer that Perkins built engines with high quality; what I actually said was that Perkins built engines with big cucumbers. I shall never forget the look of complete mystification on his face until someone explained.

We came back in 1993 and I spent most of my remaining years in setting up and running a research team to give Perkins the technology for the engines of ten years into the future.

While it is hard to call that rag-bag of happenstances a career, I suppose it is possible to see a few threads that ran through most jobs, training and technology transfer from basic research into applied development or design tools. The other thread was total incompetence in anything to do with money.

I spent my first 25 years at Perkins worrying that I might be made redundant, and spent my last 7 years worrying that they wouldn't make me redundant. It became clear there would be no redundancy packages so I took early retirement in 1999. Rather to my surprise I have found that much though I used to enjoy my work at Perkins I enjoy not working even more.

Our elder daughter had given me earache for years over the lack of progress on restoration of my Morgan Three Wheeler (bought in 1971 and never turned a wheel since) and when she decided to get married she wanted to be driven to the wedding in the Three Wheeler. I explained that she would need a dark brown wedding dress so that the oil stains would not show, so the demand was a bit modified but it still had to be ready for the wedding in 2004. I did just about make it, the photo attached shows the first time it had been on the road for over 40 years and while not street legal at that time it now is.

Both our wonderful daughters have recently presented us with grandsons and Shirley and I spend much of our lives talking about them, visiting them, thinking about them and doing things with them. Apart from that, I spend a lot of time on my Morgan Three Wheeler, working on it, driving it and some involvement with the MTW club. Also bird-watching, walking, swimming and some voluntary work.

Brendan Gavin
Brendan Gavin Then Brendan Gavin Now

After leaving University in 1957 I was employed by ICI (Plastics Division) for 34 years. This included 2 years of National Service in the Army (REME).

While with ICI I worked in various locations: Welwyn Garden City (3 years), Rochdale (1 year), Dumfries (11 years), Stockton on Tees (2 years), Billingham (2 years), Brantham, on the Essex/Suffolk border (13 Years). During this time I was involved in the manufacture, coating and conversion of plastic films (polypropylene, polyester, acetate and polyethylene). I had various roles - Research Engineer, Development Engineer, Plant Engineer, Plant Manager, Section Manager, and Works Manager.

In 1991 I retired from ICI, and decided I would do something completely different. So I enrolled in a 1year PGCE (Post Graduate Certificate of Education) course at Cambridge University and after that I got a job as a Mathematics Teacher at Northgate High School, a mixed Comprehensive School in Ipswich. I taught 11 to 18 year old pupils for 6 years full-time and then part-time for another 4 years. It was a great experience and different from dealing with groups of Shop Stewards, although not that much different!!

I have been married twice. I have been married to Shirley for 17 years. I have two children from my first marriage, and Shirley has four from her first marriage. They are all grown- up now and between us we have three grandchildren, so we are kept pretty busy with family life.

Over the years I have been actively involved in sports such as soccer, tennis, squash and Dinghy sailing. I have no cups or medals; I think my greatest claim to fame was to take part in the World 505 Sailing Championships in the early 1960's. I was the crew and the helmsman was that renowned sailor R.A Jones. I don't think we did very well- we might have been last- but we took part!! Anyhow, I don't do these sports anymore, but I do play golf with Shirley. We also like walking, meeting with friends and travelling. My other leisure pursuits are watercolour painting, bridge and gardening.

John Hart
John Hart Then John Hart Now

A Recapitulation !!!!!!

Born 4 Feb 1936, graduated July 1958. Yes, one year after most of my peers due to my love of booze, billiards and ball games! However, having managed, eventually, to get my degree, I discovered after two years in industry that I should have been a doctor so I gave up engineering and joined ICI as a Salesman. Had a great 25 year career with them, traveling the world, meeting people, living off expense accounts but got fed up and retired at 50 years of age. Then did a bit of consultancy but decided family and golf needed me more. I now realize that retirement is my real vocation.

Enough of that boring stuff. I married Sheila in 1957, some of you may remember her at the Saturday night hops (not too fondly I hope). We now have three sons, three daughters in law, four granddaughters and two grandsons. The grandchildren's ages range from 6 months to 13 years. They, like their parents, do not believe a word I tell them about what I got up to at BU but it does not matter, when they go as I hope they will, they will soon realize I was not kidding.

Have I any regrets? No, I would do it all again perhaps even more so.

John Hedges

Dowty Group Ltd. Cheltenham.
Graduate apprenticeship
Interupted to do post-grad work at Imperial College, U of London
Completed apprenticeship.
Professional work on stress analysis/performence on aircraft undercarriages.

University of Birmingham,
Sponsored by Automobile Industry as scholar.
PhD in 1964
Research fellow and lecturer until 1972.

Bob Jones
Bob Jones Then Bob Jones Now

After Graduation I hopped off to the South of France with my digs mates, including Bren Gavin, for a bit of holiday, to the French Riviera which I had discovered the previous year after doing a vac job at the Renault factory in Paris. This was the start of the French connection in my life, but more of that later.

My first job was a graduate apprenticeship with Babcock and Wilcox in Renfrew, near Glasgow, which was quite a culture shock after the comfortable life in Brum. Fortunately Hal Potts was on the same scheme and we shared digs in a "bothy" run by an old widow. It was basic to say the least. For arm chairs in the living room we were given a pair of deck chairs. One day we went into Glasgow to look for a car to buy. It was the salesman's partner's wedding that day and we were entertained to copious glasses of scotch, to which neither of us were (yet) accustomed. On the way home we fell asleep on the bus and woke up a few stops down the line. We eventually got home and I flaked out on the bed, and Hal went out "talent hunting". Next day he advised me he had met a girl who looked like Virginia McKenna, and after meeting her some time later, I concluded that he had been as far gone as I was on the fateful night.

After completing the apprenticeship, I joined the erection department, and after working on a few power station construction sites around country, finished up as the resident engineer in charge of a boiler house construction for Reed's paper mills in Kent. This was my claim to fame, at 24 I was the youngest resident engineer ever appointed by Babcocks, and had 75 men and loads of sub-contractors to look after. I guess I peaked too early and never really achieved anything of note after that. But I had loads of fun!

I maintained contact with Hal, and Bren Gavin and Chris Mitchell. Bren and I toured Italy while Bren was doing his national service, and another year we toured the South coast of England in Bren's pre-war MG, of which the brakes hardly worked. I have scary memories of descending a steep hill in Lyme Regis with both of us heaving on the hand brake to slow the beast down.

Another year we entered the British National Championships for Five-o-fives, which are a fast racing dinghy. I had only just started sailing at that time, but this was my second Nationals, so we just managed to avoid being last in every race. But we capsized often enough and Bren was very courageous to accept to crew for such a novice.

After a spell in Babcocks sales dept I emigrated to S. Africa, and got a job in a dynamite factory as maintenance engineer. My first job was to repair the damage that was done in the previous accidental explosion, in which two men disappeared, literally. The factory was spread out in several little buildings in a forest, of which the trees had no bark left, after the various bangs that took place. The good thing about the place was the golf course, and I really got down to it. I had played for the university and got a half blue. They gave you that for just turning up for matches, you had to do well for a full blue. Anyway I really enjoyed the golf and my handicap came down. As you can imagine, I was not entirely comfortable in the dynamite business, and joined Shell on their Durban refinery. This was my intro into the oil business, and spent most of my time in it ever since. Durban was great, and I lived for the sport, and my weekends were wall to wall squash, sailing and golf, with bits of surfing and tennis thrown in. After about 4 years I got itchy feet again and set off back to UK aboard a 53ft sailing boat, on which I was engineer cum deck hand. We had just arrived in Beira in Mozambique when we heard that the Suez canal had been closed in the 6 day war in 1967, so we had to abandon the sailing trip and I hopped onto the last passenger ship to pass through Suez before it closed, and came to UK the easy way. After a spell in Chicago Bridge limited, I joined ICI, was working in the same group as Bren. He was surprised when I attended the progress meeting in Dumfries, probably thought he had shaken me off for good. Bren introduced me to snow skiing in Scotland. Quite an experience. I wore every stitch of clothing I had brought with me, including pyjamas, and was still cold. The icicles there are horizontal, and you had to pole your way down hill, because there was a gale blowing up hill. It was about that time I met my first wife, we had 20 good years together, then divorced.

I then went into contract working, and was in Algeria, Bahrain and Belgium, and then went to Monaco to join Single Buoy Moorings, who are contractors in the offshore oil industry. I was a project manager for most of the time, and travelled all over the world on various projects. At the age of 61 I decided they were not paying me enough and went to work for Intec, Houston, who started me Globe trotting again, and I had spells in UK, Monaco, (back at SBM, as client this time), Abu Dhabi, Thailand, Japan, Houston, and Myanmar.

As they say, a rolling stone gathers no moss, nor pension funds either, so I am still working, this time with an ex-colleague who has started his own company in Monaco. We have just landed a couple of huge projects, so I am very busy, working harder than I was when I was supposed to be. I did say I would quit when I was 70 but he keeps making me offers I can't refuse. This helps because I am now with a French lady, Marie Luce, and we have a 13 year old daughter who goes to expensive schools because she is ahead of the game, and University is next!

Keith Lycett

Keith Lycett Then Keith Lycett Now

Early career with Bristol Aeroplane Company, Girling Ltd, SKF Bearings Ltd, Fram Europe Ltd, and Automotive Products Ltd.

1985 Moved into the financial services industry working with Allied Dunbar, Tomkinson Financial Ltd, and CJ Knight Management Services Ltd, before establishing his own financial services practice in 1990.

He became Director of Compliance with Interlink Premier Network Ltd in 1995 until retirement at the end of 2000.

Compliance Consultant to Prestbury Holdings.

Chris Mitchell
Chris Mitchell Then Chris Mitchell Now

For the next 30 years, worked in several Sales Engineering/Management positions with Timken in Australia based in Melbourne or Adelaide. At various times, responsible for Sales Territories in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

After leaving Timken in 1993, I used my sales expertise in various capacities for about another five years.

In retirement my main interests are Genealogy and Yoga.

I am still married to Anne, who is a Junior School Head Mistress. We have two sons, who (unfortunately!) are still living at home (in Toorak Gardens, an Eastern suburb of Adelaide).

Pete Morgan
Pete Morgan Then Pete Morgan Now

Jon Morris
Jon Morris Then Jon Morris Now

Leaving University was trained by ICI at Peterbrotherhood, Peterborough and at John Thompson, Wolverhampton. After 18 months I joined the Alkali Division of ICI at Northwich. There, was steeped in the engineering side of Soda Ash, Bicarbonate of Soda, Silica glass etc. production and finally in Power Services.

In 1968 I moved to Cyanamid of Great Britain at Gosport (South Coast) Pharmaceutical and Fine Chemicals production here and as you might expect, ended in charge of Site Utilities. (Installed a Combined Heat and Power plant 1987). American Cyanamid, our parent company, was taken over 1995 and is now part of Wyeth.

Graham Parker
Graham Parker Then Graham Parker Now

On leaving Birmingham University in 1957 I joined Armstrong Whitworth in Coventry working on missile power supplies. In those days British missiles were developed and tested at Aberporth in Wales. I had many interesting stays there in the wilds of Wales. It included one spectacular failure of our missile, which was supposed to fly up Cardigan Bay parallel to the coast but suddenly went inland narrowly missing a school! We were all interviewed by the local police.

I returned to Birmingham in 1960 to do research in oil hydraulics. The Department Head was now Professor Tobias , after the retirement of Professor Mucklow, and we were entering a phase of big research money in machine tool research. I got married, which made me even poorer, so after completing my research we emigrated to the States on the Queen Mary to stabilize the money situation.

I joined Cincinnati Milacron, which at that time was the biggest machine tool company world-wide. I worked on machine tool control systems to improve machining of new metal alloys appearing on the market at that time. I was in Washington at the time of Kennedy's funeral.

For one reason or another we returned to England. I remember being really scared on arrival in Southampton that the roads were so narrow that I expected cars to collide! I became a lecturer at Birmingham and while there my two daughters were born.

Three years later I moved to Surrey University in Guildford where a brand new campus had been built. I was appointed a Reader there and some years later was promoted to Professor. Although I have been at Surrey for many years I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Guildford is in the centre of some beautiful walking country and yet is very accessible for London.

Last year I re-married to Sue, who is South African, and we now split our time between Guildford, where I still undertake part-time lecturing at Surrey, and a holiday home in Cape Town.

Hal Potts
Hal Potts Then Hal Potts Now

My thought on graduating was to get into what was supposed to be a new and vibrant industry - nuclear reactors. Babcock and Wilcox appeared to be well placed to become a leading company and were also offering a graduate apprenticeship, so I decided to start on a 2-year program with them. I had already spent 4 months with them during the summer of 1956 commissioning huge land boilers at Burry Port in S. Wales.

Bob Jones had also picked Babcock, and we started in late 1957 at the Renfrew works in Scotland. Over the next nearly two years Bob and I shared digs in and around Glasgow/Renfrew/Paisley. Also there for part of the time were Pete Dobson and Pete Morgan who were at the Renfrew works, on secondment from ICI as I recall. During this time I worked for a few weeks at the nuclear plant at Calder Hall in my native Cumbria, and was present when the notorious Windscale Incident (about half a mile from Calder hall) took place, where an open circuit air-cooled nuclear reactor was set on fire.

By this time prospects of getting a position in nuclear design with B&W did not seem great (the tendency of large firms to pigeon-hole people), I jumped ship in 1959 and joined the Nuclear Division of Ruston & Hornsby in Lincoln. The best thing that happened to me there was that they sent me on a diploma course at the then Salford Royal Tech in Nuclear Reactor Technology. There I learned quite a bit of extra math, and quite a bit more physics. On completion of the course the Nuclear Div at Ruston folded, and I was offered a job in their Gas Turbine Design division. I married a Glasgow girl in November of 1959, and we lived in Lincoln for a few months. At this time I narrowly missed being called up for National Service, being rejected as being medically unfit. I think by this time they were not seriously interested in grabbing people, particulary those of my advanced age of 24.

In early 1960 I joined the (Nuclear) Submarine Div of Y-ARD (Yarrow-Admiralty Research Department) in Glasgow which was not a research department at all, but designed lead ships for the Royal and other world navies. I worked on the designs of HMS Valiant and HMS Churchill, both nuclear submarines. This was my introduction to naval engineering which was the source of my livelihood for the next several years. Being newly-married with a wife, baby and a mortgage to support I was finding it rough going living on my salary. So again I jumped ship and moved to Canada to another think-tank type of operation - the Naval Engineering Design Investigation Team (NEDIT) in Montreal run by the Royal Canadian Navy. My salary increased to 230% of what I had been making in Scotland. This was just as well because we produced 2 more sons in Canada.

Being still young and ambitious and thinking that with my superior Brummy education and training I had the new country by the ass, I again jumped ship and joined a private company in Toronto. For the next 5 years things went well and I became something of an expert in " Replenishment at Sea ". I was able to increase the naval business of the company from zero to the formation of a new division Garrett Marine with contracts for the next five years. My reward for this was to be put to work in the new division under an incompetent dunderhead.

By this point it was 1970, the Hippy era was at its height, so for a number of reasons, one of which was a particularly nasty divorce, I dropped out of what had become a rat race, and I became an artist and sculptor in Toronto for the next two years. I earned very little and lived off savings. I had a downtown studio in a trendy artist's colony. It was one of the happiest of times, apart from the nasty divorce bit. During this time I formed a live-in relationship with a divorcee with two small daughters the same ages as my youngest sons. The live-in bit lasted 2 years, but we remained close until her death in 2002.

I was able to get some consulting work in marine engineering during my Hippy days, but eventually I decided that a permanent job would be less nerve-wracking, so I moved to Calgary in 1972 as Chief Engineer of a company processing sulphur which was then produced in enormous quantities as a by-product of refining natural gas. (During this time I once again crossed paths with Pete Morgan who was in the process of making a name for himself in the petrochemical industry). My time in Calgary was OK, but it was a repeat of my experience with Garrett. Once again the work went well, then the company was reorganized in the by then familiar way, this time with 2 people over my head, both incompetent, and one of these was also a raving alcoholic. At this point the truth of the old maxim "no success ever goes un-punished" was brought painfully home to me.

Tired of being shafted, and wishing to return to the more civilized part of the country, in 1975 I decided it was time to retire, and I joined the Federal Public Service, moving to a job in Ottawa. I stayed in the federal system until I was forced into early (real) retirement in 1991. The main fruits of this period are fluency in French, and an indexed pension.

While in government I spent time on a drill ship north of the arctic circle in the Beaufort Sea; drilling off the Nova Scotia coast; working in administration positions in Indian Affairs, in Ottawa and Edmonton Alberta, and lastly paper pushing in the Energy Department in Ottawa. The official name of the latter was " Energy, Mines and Resources " but I suggested to some of my colleagues that " Lethargy, Whines and Remorses " would be more appropriate.

Since retiring in 1991 I have been through a live-in relationship with an American widow, living mostly in Manchester, Massachusetts, which lasted 12 years until 2004. We are on good terms now. I now live in Toronto with my divorced #3 son, and #2 moved in with us recently.

I pass most of my time in reading history in general, and military in particular; model making (ships and reproductions from ancient engineering) and recreational mathematics. I am also building a canoe. I have finally given up Scottish Country Dancing an activity which I did off and on for about 35 years.

A. H. Rubini
A. H. Rubini Then A. H. Rubini Now

Soon after joining I.C.I. Metals Division as a graduate apprentice I was sent to do a year's practical training in the well equipped workshops of Loughborough College.

I was then transferred to Marston Excelsior, an I.C.I. subsidiary, in Wolverhampton to do Process Control work associated with the furnace and dip brazing of heat exchangers, large and small.

In 1961 I joined Rolls Royce in Derby where aero engines for civil aviation use are designed, developed, part manufactured, assembled and tested. For 29 of my 33 years with this company, I worked on the aerodynamic design and development of the turbine component.

Mid career, I managed a Branch Technical Office and then worked in a Project Team only for the proposed engine to be cancelled when RR went bankrupt in 1971! Thereupon, I was transferred to do development work on the RB 211 engine in the midst of a major crisis!

In 1974 I returned to the Turbine Department as an Aerodynamics Technical Specialist. Part of that role included the co-ordination and quality approval of the work of four Project Groups within the department.

I took early retirement in 1994. Main past and present interests have been/are: Rowing, sailing dinghy, badminton, league table tennis, office cricket and soccer, Derby County fc, hikeing, fun running, cycling, golf, charity work, society membership, chess, Stock Exchange, Sylvia, three children and six grandchildren.

Jon Richmond

David Sinclair
David Sinclair Now

Mike Smith
Mike Smith Then Mike Smith Now

I was born and grew up in Robin Hood country, Nottinghamshire. Erroll Flynn is still one of my heroes! In grammar school I was active in rugby, cricket and athletics, and the Boy Scouts, becoming one of the first Queen's Scouts in 1953. In 1954, I was offered a Shell Oil scholarship to attend Nottingham university. Instead, I decided to go to Brum, because I felt I ought to spread my wings and move to a distant place! I was lucky enough to get into Chancellors Hall, and avoid digs and their associated landladies. While there, I honed my skills at billiards, played squash, and even played a little seven-a-side rugby. But the main outlet for excess energy was Saturday night hops, mainly with nurses from Queen Elizabeth's hospital. On entering Brum I decided that if I was eventually going to have to do National Service in the military, I might as well do it as an officer, so I joined the OTC, and the branch I chose was REME I was kitted out, and everything was fine for a couple of weeks, until I had my medical, when I was summarily rejected. Apparently, I had a shadow on my lungs, from a bout with pneumonia during the summer. It was a short military career!

At Brum we were required to do some physical training (PT). I quickly tried and dropped rugby, cricket later went the same way. I discovered I could take ballroom dancing as a PT course, and it opened up new vistas. It wasnt much use at the Saturday night hops, which was usually such a crush, but it sure was useful for the more formal dances we held at Chancellors Hall. I also enjoyed my membership in the wine and food club, which provided an excellent opportunity to drink local wine merchants' best wines at little or no cost, with the occasional meal thrown in - a students dream. Later, again to fulfill PT requirements, I joined the universitys rowing club. It was here that I got to know Hal Potts a lot better, as together we explored the backwaters of the local canal, dead dogs, cats, and all. Eventually, we graduated to training on the Severn river, down at Bewdley, where the university housed its real boats. We took in regattas at such beautiful watering holes as Stratford-on Avon, Chester, Nottingham, and Burton-on-Trent. We never won anything, but had a hell of a good time doing it!

Another requirement of the Mech. Eng. department was that we should all do some practical training during our summer break. I spent my first summer milling widgets in a so-called precision engineering works in my hometown, Mansfield. After making a million or so widgets, and being told by my comrades to slow down because I was working too fast, and making them look bad, I thought there must be something better out there. It was a brilliant and life-changing idea! In 1956. I decided to try my luck abroad, and signed up with IAESTE (International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience). They sent me to Denmark, where I lived with a wonderful family and worked at a local factory. It was a big step up for me, instead of making widgets I learned how to make cast iron bath tubs! One of the sons of my digs-family was a member of the local rowing club, and he convinced me to join. We didn't win any regattas, but we had a terrific party where I met my future wife, Elisabeth Laursen. It was the best thing that ever happened to me.

After a less than stellar academic performance, aided by Michael Cudworth who kindly duplicated his class notes for me, while I drove around the Malvern Hills with Martin Hawley, in his fathers classic Citroen DS, I was relieved to graduate in 1957. Mobil Oil hired me and sent me to Canada. After a brief but pleasant spell in Calgary, with trips to the Rocky Mountains at Banff, I spent my first bitterly cold Canadian winter in the backwoods, bunking in a small apartment with five other bachelors. It was claustrophobic. Elisabeth and I had planned a June wedding, but she was kind enough to move the date up to March when she heard my pleas for relief. We were married in her hometown of Vejle, on Jutland. We spent our honeymoon crossing the Atlantic on the Swedish-American liner, the Stockholm, whose dubious claim to fame was that it sank the Andrea Doria the previous year. Once back in Canada, we moved around a lot and spent time in such cozy watering holes as Drayton Valley (Dreadful Valley), Alberta, and Swift Current (Speedy Creek), Saskatchewan. On the side, I managed to play some rugby, and we both learned about curling, a Canadian passion.

In 1961, we came back to the UK and Denmark for our first holiday and decided to stay. I joined Caltex Services in London, which built and maintained the groups refineries around the world. With a contractor, KIC, we built a grass-roots refinery at Raunheim in Germany, but after two frustrating years with Caltex, and the worst British winter in living memory, I got a call from Mobil offering me my old job back, and we promptly returned to Calgary.

In 1966 Mobil transferred me to corporate headquarters in New York, to get the big picture. This included traveling assignments in Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia; with subsequent visits from the CIA. They obviously didn't learn too much from me! I also did a stint as a long-range planner. We did a fifty years look-ahead to develop some possible scenarios for the energy outlook. This was at the time of the Club of Rome, but before the term global warming had emerged. My planning job also took me to Japan to study the emerging super-state. It was a great opportunity to tour all the major islands, put on a robe, and sleep on the floor with a stone pillow, all at Mobils expense. We made another big report, which was immediately put on the shelf to gather dust!

As a reward for all these good works, Mobil transferred us to Nigeria in 1973, a most interesting and exciting experience. We survived several political coups. Other assignments followed in New Orleans, Norway, New York again, Norway again, then back to Canada. In Norway, where I was the chief executive, we developed and operated the largest oilfield in the North Sea, the Statfjord field. Likewise, in Canada, my team negotiated financial agreements with the federal and provincial governments which led to the development of the Hibernia oilfield, offshore Newfoundland. Finally, I moved back to Mobils headquarters in New York, were I was responsible for their upstream operations in the Middle East, Africa and South America. In 1989, Mobil moved its headquarters from New York to just outside Washington, DC, in Virginia. Soon thereafter, after more than thirty years of service, I was offered early retirement and took it. It had been a good ride, but it was time for a change.

After leaving Mobil, I worked as a management consultant for various foreign and domestic corporations, among which were Kvaerner and Statoil of Norway, Asea Brown Boveri (ABB) of Zurich, and Prudential Financial of New York. The most challenging and interesting assignment was the one for Prudential that took me back to the bayous of Louisiana. For them, I headed up a mid-size oil company that had gotten itself into class-action lawsuit trouble, and had to be liquidated. Among the items I had to sell, other than multiple oil properties across the USA, were some very nice Persian carpets, a cache of weapons and ammunition, and eight hunting dogs. Mobil was never that much fun!

I retired for a second time in 1995, and we moved to Santa Barbara in 1999, to be closer to some of our children and grandchildren. Our four children are all married, and between them have twelve grandchildren. Paul and his family are in Saudi Arabia; Kirsten and her family are in China; Suzanne and her family are in Los Angeles; and Alison and her family are in Telluride, Colorado. Elisabeth and I are active in local charities, Elisabeth also enjoys gardening, while I like to oil paint and do genealogy. That is, when I am not tied up trying to manage ridiculously impossible reunions. Its time to retire, again...

Lewis Stephenson
Lewis Stephenson Then Lewis Stephenson Now

Jon Tovey
Jon Tovey Then Jon Tovey Now

1957 - 1962: Rolls Royce Aero Engines, Derby, UK

1962 - 1973: Bonas Weavematic Machine Company, Sunderland, UK

1973 - 1981: Edgar Pickering Ltd., Division of Sears Holdings, Blackburn, UK

1981: Emigrated to United States

1981 - 1998: United States Surgical Corporation, Norwalk, CT

1999- 2001: Cardio technologies, inc., Pine Brook, NJ.

2001 - present: Consultant to:

Former President, West Highland Terrier Society of Connecticut.

Dick Valter
Valter Then Valter Now

After university, National Service (quite enjoyable, spent near Woking, doing work covered by the Official Secrets Act).

Then a Graduate Apprenticeship with Birlec, Aldridge.

Then commissioning Birlec furnaces (e.g. for Skoda in Czechoslovakia).

Then became part of the Birlec furnace design team in Aldridge.

Then two years in Melbourne, working for Birlec Australia.

Back in the UK, he took over Birlec's arc furnace design team.

Then headhunted by Carbolite, a specialist laboratory furnace producer, based in Hathersage, Derbyshire.

Then took over a small firm in Dorset, which made charcoal cloth using a new MOD patent. Because of MOD secrecy, it was only after he became MD that they revealed that they couldn't actually make charcoal cloth! This came as quite a shock, but somehow Dick managed to make the process work. When Charcoal Cloth relocated to Gateshead in 1993, Dick decided to take early retirement and stay in the south.

He enjoyed doing voluntary work in schools with the Neighbourhood Engineer scheme.

Dick passed away in 1998.

David Westwood

Robert (Charlie) Woodman
Robert Woodman Then Robert Woodman Now

After completing my Engineering training I joined the National Coal Board Operational Research Department to avoid National Service. Whilst there I completed a part time diploma in Statistics at Birkbeck College London in 1962 and eventually went on to a Ph.D. in Replacement Theory at Birmingham University Engineering Production Department in 1965.

After my Ph.D. I joined the British Shoe Corporation the monolithic Shoe Empire put together by Charles Clore. This retail experience encouraged me to join the Burton Group, where I spent the next 18 years! When I joined the Group it was barely profitable but during the next two decades it became the UK's leading fashion multiple and the UK's largest store card issuer, with profits of £430m. I was lucky enough to be one of the team responsible for the turnaround and headed up the support activities of I.T. and Logistics. I was a main board director for the last 12 years.

I married Christine in 1961. We had two daughters Elizabeth, now a Solicitor, and Rachel, now a Vet. Christine died in 1993. Afterwards, I was lucky enough to meet Marion whilst playing bridge; she has been my partner ever since. Altogether we have four daughters and nine grandchildren so we are kept quite busy baby-sitting.

I was a magistrate for 16 years until my retirement last year.

My main occupation is farming. I have a small holding comprising 12 acres of arable and 12 acres of grazing. I produce 30-40 tonnes of wheat and 50 lambs a year. In 2003 I was West Herts. Ploughing Champion - my main claim to fame?

My activities include walking, rock climbing, skiing on and off-piste.

My hobbies are bridge and web design. You can see that the two hobbies have come together by visiting If you use our password tbc5m you will see that Marion and I are not doing so well this year!

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