Will Cockerell introduces Alan Mead’s WRL bio:
Our club historian Alan Mead has compiled a wonderful biography of our dearly departed Bill, and we invite you to lose yourself in it here.
Could we affirm that this isn’t technically an obituary as it only deals with a specific area of Bill’s life, and this was an individual with a vast array of interests and pursuits, but it’s not for Belgrave to impart our wisdom and commentary on, say, his talent for farming or brick-laying or his highly decorated career in engineering. It takes a degree in quantum physics to understand precisely how Bill had his eureka moment, but in short he has made many structures the world over that little bit stronger! He did try explaining it to me once in the car… ‘if you heat the steel to this precise temperature… and cut it to this precise length… it fits perfectly with one that you’ve heated to this, and cut to this…’ I nodded in agreement.
More dramatic were the descriptions of selling these breakthroughs in a highly competitive environ, knowing that meetings you went into made the last decade of work worthwhile, and would be worth a huge tender. Sometimes he lost, but crucially, sometimes he won… His professional qualifications are at the top of the page.
Bill leaves behind his wife June, and his daughters Jo and Tina, who have expressed their gratitude to the club members who have offered support at this difficult time.
Jo writes: “I am pleased to hear that other people also realised how amazing he was, people are being so kind.”
**Editor’s note: since penning the above words, ARM has added quite a few more details about Bill’s life and work outside athletics, and it is now about as close to an obituary as one could hope to find. But we shall leave it to the engineering journals to delve even deeper into the nitty-gritty world of hot steel rolling.