Paul Beattie

It’s interesting catching up, how can I feel like an old man when it was only yesterday?

Although I was employed in Personnel, I qualify, just, as an ex-seafarer with a short stint on the ‘Gela’ as 2nd Mate in early 1975 with Brian Jones, Dicky Vanner and Phil Matthews.

I joined the Personnel Department in 1974 working with Graham Hardy and Jeff Birrell remaining there to the end through the eras of Tim Lawson and Griff.

I too met my wife Linda (nee Dalby) at Sir William Reardon Smiths, she was John Williams’ Secretary in accounts, we married in 1977 after she had left for the Probation Service. We hit if off at one of the Angel Christmas Balls – too much red wine!

After Cardiff Ship Management where I was lucky enough to be placed with Malcolm Chiplin (now the retired Rev. Chiplin) my career moved to IS/IT where I am still faking it.

I have been at Sterilin Limited for over 20 years – doesn’t time fly, having survived mergers acquisitions and divestment and many changes in technology, the initial experience of hands-on, do everything certainly helped me along the way.

My next project is moving a whole manufacturing site 5 miles. Well the IS bit anyway, but that’s moved on from just computers to telephone systems, audio visual systems, CCTV, security and access systems, and as the boss said, anything else with a plug on it.

Although I only occasionally bump into ex-colleagues both from sea and shore staff Linda frequently meets the wives of Graham Johnson (Daphne) and Clive Stockdale (Diane) at the Village Leisure facility where they are all members, both are still well and working.

I do see an old colleague occasionally taking Sunday lunch at the local – Tom Rosser and his wife Sylvia, Tom was the travel man, and once bumped into Paul Hunt, Payroll, in Saundersfoot.

The last time I saw Mike Thomas was on the golf range at Ridgeway.

Part of my job at Sir Williams when Jeff went back to sea was to recruit and look after the Cadets, it’s rewarding to see their names mentioned in such lofty positions within the industry.

They were enjoyable times, a great place to work and with a good social life behind it.
Posted on forum 27/11/09