Following an early interest in science, as a child, in the early 1950s, I
started at the Grammar School, March, Cambridgeshire, in 1957, moving to
Clacton County High School when my parents went into the hotel and
guesthouse business in 1958.
I left Clacton County High School with three “A” Levels in 1964 and studied for a Higher National Diploma in Production Engineering at north East Essex Technical College in Colchester, my industrial experience being at Davey, Paxman and Co., of Colchester, manufacturers of diesel engines and boilers.
It transpired that I had been badly advised at school and could have gone to university; the school only thought in terms of Oxbridge and London, or similar. As a result, I went on to Brunel University in 1967, gaining my Degree in Mechanical/Production Engineering in 1971. My industrial experience while at Brunel was at English Electric Special Products Group, Luton, and the Rocket Propulsion Establishment, Westcott.
After graduating from Brunel University, I joined the British Aircraft Corporation at Weybridge, later British Aerospace, initially in the Tool Drawing Office, then the Production Development Department, Non-Metallics. I returned to Brunel University, on a part time basis, to study for a Master’s Degree in Non-Metallic Materials. I, later, moved to the Stress Office, working on VC10 Air-to-Air refueling tanker conversions; the stress analysis of the tanks and floor structure was down to me, under the supervision of Ron Boxer, Deputy Chief Stress Engineer. I was also asked, by the Chief Stress Engineer, to work on the determination design allowable properties for advanced composite materials, Weibull statistics, etc.
In 1983 I moved to Marconi Space Systems, Portsmouth, continuing my work on composite materials design data, among other things. I registered for a PhD at the University of Surrey, for the composite materials work, and was told I had already done 75% of what was required for the Degree. Unfortunately, I had to move from Marconi soon afterwards and was not able to complete the Degree.
I joined Brown and Root Vickers, Consultants, at Eastleigh, later moving into freelance consultancy.
I was successful enough, as a consultant, to help a company triple its turnover in two years. I endeavoured to set up a “Technology Diversification Centre” in the South to bring business to the region, principally military advanced materials technology into the civil sector.
Diversification Centre" project took five years and, as it transpired,
due to meetings with people at Brunel University, would have been a
stepping stone to a major centre at Brunel, co-sponsored by NatWest
Bank. I would have been Director and Professor; the Professorship was
suggested by Dr Joe Elliott, who set up the MTech course in non-metallic
materials at Brunel, and I was on course for that, in part due to
rearrangements in such positions being gone through at the time. The
local Centre, in Havant, or nearby, would have been bequeathed to the
region. The project fell due to corruption within Havant Borough
Council. That is both entirely true and a perfectly legal,
non-actionable statement under the
"Derbyshire Ruling" Times Newspapers
versus Derbyshire County Council, High Court, 1992-1993,
I understand, having been advised as such by a trainee barrister before
I was aware of the actual ruling.