Memories Introduction

I started these notes with a plan to send them to the local newspaper for a weekly blog or column. Gradually, they got too personal for public reading, so I forgot the idea but kept writing. They are now really family notes, but I thought that people other than my family might like to read them so I hope you find them interesting.

Memory One

I remember the sixteenth of September, 1944. I was on a train going from Peterborough to Kings Cross station in north London. I was 17 and I had been awarded a scholarship to go to Imperial College, which at that time, was part of London University. I had a reservation at the Russell Hotel, chosen because it was near Kings Cross. When I went in, I realized that it was the biggest building I had ever been in. The first impression was, “Wow! This is swanky.”   Continue reading

Memory Five



I became a  2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps at the end of August, 1947. On leaving OTS at Aldershot, I was given my posting orders and transportation details. I first went to a Nottingham RAOC depot for a four week orientation to learn about the logistics of supplying most of the country’s military with uniforms and footwear. I quickly learned that I did not want to be involved with that and I was happy to move to my next post. Continue reading

Memory Six

I had enjoyed my nine months army service in Gibraltar from January to September, 1948. I had been with a company of RAOC soldiers on parade at the air-field when we were reviewed by General Montgomery and I had marched my men up the steps to the Top of the Rock and Rock Gun which looked down on the air-field, southern Spain and the Mediterranean. Continue reading

Memory Seven

 In the summer of 1949, I worked in a viscose mill in Valkiokoski, Finland. This town is in north Finland’s lakefinnish flag district and in 1949 all the industry there was wood-related. The complex I worked in included a State-owned alcohol plant, a paper plant, several timber operations and a viscose mill. Viscose is cellulose acetate and is made from wood pulp, or in the case of the mill I was in, from coarse paper. This is dissolved in caustic soda, treated with carbon di-sulphide and extruded through a series of spinnerettes to make single strand fiber. This is what comprises Rayon. Some viscose winds up as cellophane or adhesive tape. Continue reading

Memory Eight

I went back to London in September, 1949 to start my fourth year of college and my second year with Roger Sargent in our two room basement flat. Roger was busy designing a distillation column to add to the liquid air plant another Ph.D. student had designed and erected in the Cryogenics laboratory of the Chem. Eng. Department of Imperial College. I was busy with classes every day and we also went to visit quite a few industrial plants in and around London. Continue reading