skip to main content
Show Results with: Show Results with:

Sam Goddard interviewed by Thomas Lean

Goddard, Sam, 1929-2014 (speaker, male; interviewee)
2013-09-25, 2013-11-21


Check library holdings

  • Title:
    Sam Goddard interviewed by Thomas Lean
  • Contributor: Goddard, Sam, 1929-2014; Lean, Thomas
  • Other Titles:
    Collection title: An Oral History of the Electricity Supply Industry in the UK

  • Rights: British Library
  • Place Name: interviewee's home, Surrey
  • Description:
    Track 1 [1:03:03][Interview One: 25 September 2013] Remarks on childhood: birth in Medway Towns; father's work at naval dockyards as contracts officer for gunnery equipment; two older sisters; birthday 9th April 1929; father Charles; sisters' connections to the navy through work and marriage; SG spending time in the dockyards interesting him in engineering. [03:25] Remarks on father: not a technical specialist; quiet and thorough personality; spent much time travelling for work; enjoyed gardening; religious. [05:30] Remarks on interest in Navy: visits to the dockyards, watching warships being launched in late 1930s; SG desire to spend life at sea, impressed by power of warships, excitement of prospect of travel, later joining the Navy. [09:00] Remarks on: living with aunt and uncle in Essex countryside during 1938 war scare. [10:20] Remarks on mother Amy Hilda Goddard: home oriented family women; keen fruit preserver; one of three sisters; difficult childhood due to animosity with stepfather; resourceful; meeting father through friendship with one of his sisters. [13:30] Remarks on SG parents' background: father's background, SG grandfather working on canals in Stafford, reputation for being good with shotgun, later owned by SG; mother's difficulties with stepfather, visits to SG aunts around Staffordshire area. [18:00] Remarks on life in childhood: father's regular Congregational Church membership; little religion in SG upbringing; sister's church marriage to a sailor; description of home in Gillingham, father wiring the house for electricity in mid 1930s; use of electricity for lighting and radio at home, unusual at time of battery radios; [24:10] friends father's often away on naval cruises; listening to radio for 'Children's Hour', father listening for football results; bands at ship launches; piano lessons. [27:00] Remarks on interest in music in later life: Fingal's Cave the first piece of concert music he listened to; appreciating jazz; not believing there's such thing as bad music; increased interest in classical music and opera; wife's interest in Wagner. [30:30] Remarks on: sports; cub scout membership; sitting Kent grammar school examination leading to his evacuation to South Wales; developing life long interest in rugby in South Wales. [34:00] Remarks on schooling: schools in Chelmsford, Ashford Middlesex, two years in South Wales, then local grammar school; attending Twickenham Technical College after exam aged 13; anecdote about maypole dancing at junior school; interest in poetry. [37:55] Comments about evacuation to Rhymney: not happy time; living with kindly, but indebted, mining family and one other evacuee; drift back from evacuation as war progressed; accepting evacuation as what one did; mother and sister accompanying SG on early visits to South Wales; homesickness; return from evacuation in 1942 to attend Ashford Grammar School. [44:45] Remarks on: Ashford Grammar School, mixed attendance, little sport; entrance exam for Twickenham Technical College; SG impressed by engineering and science facilities and sports ground; father's influence on SG interest in engineering, visits to factories, such as Marconi and Hoffman ball bearing company. [48:25] Remarks on SG disquiet at Ashford Grammar School: teachers giving girls more consideration than boys; disliking Latin; little sport. [51:10] Remarks on: interest in maths and science; anecdote about being bad at English until later work with skilled lawyers over public inquiries; appeal of logic and problem solving power of mathematics. [54:00] Remarks on starting Twickenham Technical College: appeal of hands on nature of education; value of apprentice education; Post-war environment of wider interest in industry and technology, aircraft industry, SG impressed by American hydro-electric dam projects and large bridges; [59:00] history of technical colleges, decline after increased attention to university education; value of technical college education. [1:01:00] Remarks on father's political outlook, left wing in early years, drift to centre ground in later years, came to dislike aggressive trade unionism.

    Track 2 [1:11:34] Comments on Twickenham Technical College: practical engineering classes in mechanics and materials; chemistry teacher leaving due to war; foundation of associated arts school, attended by girls; small, single sex classes; description of material tensile testing and mechanical experiments; [05:30] supervision from masters; good headteacher JV Tee; anecdote about maths teacher Fred Bolland wearing shoes without socks; teacher Henry Malcolm, a cricketer, and his sporty family who introduced some of school rugby players to London Wasps; prominent sporting emphasis; [10:18] SG travelling to school from Ashford, Middlesex; emphasis in teaching on maths and science teaching, with history and English classes too; SG learning English mainly through later work activities; very simple electrical training; SG benefiting from stable environment and finding engineering subjects compatible with his interests; [15:00] SG many detentions in first year; careers guidance directing students to apprenticeships in industry, SG deciding on electrical apprenticeship at British Thomson-Houston [BTH] at Willesden. [19:00] Remarks on BTH: outline of BTH work in electrical engineering; outline of BTH history, originally American subsidiary, association with Metropolitan Vickers at Manchester, formed into Associated Electrical Industries [AEI], bought by GEC. [20:45] Remarks on apprenticeship at BTH: first year as drawing office boy; second year in machine shop; third year in assembly shop; fourth year in high voltage testing laboratory; fifth year in design office; well structured; other apprentices; night school; activities in drawing office, collecting tea, drawing jobs; familiarisation with whole manufacturing process; technical drawing, circuitry diagrams and equipment; guidance from older staff. [27:00] Description of BTH site, workshops, design and drawing offices, production of Spitfire wings, assembly buildings. [29:30] Remarks on apprenticeship: apprentices a natural part of BTH; description of craft involved in tapping a thread into copper; SG enjoying machine shop work; learning from foremen, work in assembly shops. [33:25] Description of network analyser used to model electricity grid before computer analysis, which SG helped to build as an apprentice; remarks on use of network analyse in planning power flows, faults, and modifications to network; SG later work in CEGB planning department. [39:15] Remarks on daily life as an apprentice: 8 - 5.30 working hours; clocking on; night school and part time school; journey to work, eventually by Rudge motorcycle; SG doing motorcycle maintenance; poor social life due to travel and night school; local Saturday night dances; playing rugby; sometimes tedious nature of night school classes; [45:05] contrast of night school education and practical work activities; initial 30 shilling a week wage; studying for Ordinary National Certificate and Higher National Certificate qualifications, with extra classes allowing SG graduate membership of Institution of Electrical Engineers at 21. [47:50] Comments on National Service: interview and call up arrangements; SG persuading interviewers to allow him to join Royal Navy; SG opting for an active Electrical Artificer posting rather than a teaching position; basic training, followed by course at Corsham, then around 9 months of electrical training aboard a wooden hulk in Plymouth; [51:30] conditions aboard wooden school ship, tilting snooker table, low pressure reciprocating engines, hammocks; naval life aboard ship, visits to pubs at weekends with overnight accommodation at Salvation Army Hostel, rugby team; [55:20] naval electrics systems; anecdote about being posted in gyroscope room to watch gyrocompass when ship left port; little work on electronics, radar in the hands of specialists; SG wanting to go to sea rather then become a teacher; posting to help maintain reserve fleet at Harwich: threat of Korean War. [59:20] Remarks on service as part of Baltic mine sweeping squadron: sweeping for leftover wartime mines; description of mine-sweeping methods for magnetic and acoustic mines; SG duties maintaining electrical systems used for hunting magnetic mines; basing in Kiel, Germany; working up voyage of Britain. [1:05:10] Remarks on posting to destroyer HMS Crossbow for Mediterranean spring cruise with aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious: storm in Bay of Biscay; target practice at Gibraltar; South of France; Malta; demobilisation on return; naval life at sea, routine, living arrangements, workshops; SG not considering naval career, but enjoying sailing later in life. [1:09:30] Remarks on: return to BTH after demobilisation; BTH and other manufacturers complaining if people left to CEGB; SG beginning work in Transmission Operations and Maintenance Department of Southern Region of CEGB at Portsmouth.

    Track 3 [1:03:17][Interview Two: 29 October 2013] Remarks on early career at British Electricity Authority [BEA], subsequently CEGB: return from National Service to unappealing draughtsman job at BTH; realising he had skills in switchgear; cousin in CEGB transmission operation maintenance; applying for General Assistant Engineer role at Portsmouth; living in digs in Portsmouth; meeting colleagues on first day; mobile nature of work around system; faults on overhead lines, sometimes caused by wartime weakening from barrage balloon cables; routine fault correction and maintenance; [05:50] reasonable condition of electricity grid in area; SG role as junior engineer, accompanying senior engineer to investigate faults around network; [pause 7.30] initially living at parents in weekends; expansion of work and electricity system leading to promotion to 4th assistant engineer at Uxbridge; expanding nature of industry making finding jobs easy; growing demand for electricity and expansion of 275Kv transmission system, subsequently 400kV system [pause 10.45]. Remarks on duties at Uxbridge as fourth assistant engineer: importance of becoming formerly Authorised for switching; division of South East control system into Thames North and Thames South, move to new control centre in East Grindstead; use of switch gear to influence flow of power around system, repairing faults, fitting protection gear; Senior Authorised status allowing a person to issue written authorisations to subordinates to allow them to work on earthed apparatus; safety system applied in association with control engineer at East Grinstead; process of becoming Authorised through on the job training and developing relationship with control engineers. [15:50] Description of East Grindstead control suite and its operation to monitor and control generation and flows around the system, loading engineers and other staff, information and control systems through telemetering of power station loading, telephoned instructions, electronic communications to instruct maximum generation if needed. [19:05] Remarks on: offices in closed Uxbridge power station with small team; description of 132Kv bulk oil switchgear and its operation; [pause 21:48] arrangements with Control Engineer for authorising earthing and work on equipment in safety; high level of safety; SG recalling few accidents on system apart from a suicide and a later accident at Kingston. [25:20] Remarks on work at Uxbridge: section engineer from pre-nationalisation ESI in Yorkshire; former solider assistant section engineer; line gang with experienced foreman; linesmen and fitters often recruited from manufacturers; consolidation of isolated groups onto power station sites with their different labour relations issues; SG group move to Croydon B; freedom of work on transmission system, beneficial to diligent people but occasionally exploited by others, anecdote about colleague keeping bee hives at a sub station; contact with Area Electricity Boards; [30:55] split of work between office and work in field; benefits of car allowance to allow travel around the network; SG promotion to CEGB headquarters; benefits of experience working out on the transmission system to SG later work in system design at headquarters, an experience few colleagues had; description of working atop transmission towers; [35:40] little grid expansion work happening at Uxbridge and Croydon; Battersea Power Station output carried by underground cables; comparison of power station and transmission labour relations; SG membership of Engineers Association [EPEA]; SG view that working hours were as long as necessary, regular standby duty leading to call out for faults; swapping standby duty with colleagues when needed. [42:15] Remarks on salary: comparisons with industry levels; value of car allowance; anecdote about colleagues opinion of SG loss of car allowance when he joined CEGB headquarters. [44:10] Remarks on life outside work: SG marriage in 1956; purchase of house, followed by move to Claygate; playing club rugby; anecdote about meeting wife Valerie, a librarian, at rugby social function; house moves supported by CEGB; lack of unemployment at time. [47:42] Remarks on; SG promotion path; enjoying work at Uxbridge; large change in life when he moved to headquarters and had to commute. [49:15] Remarks on knowing the system from personal experience, anecdote about drawing out primary South East network from memory, need to understand system in detail before making major changes to it. [51:25] Remarks on: standardisation of equipment; System Design Engineer role in making a case for a new line and producing outline specifications, to be designed in more detail by Transmission Division at Guildford, then fulfilled by contractors; SG limited interest in system design before headquarters post, initially regretting move; developing interest in system economics, friendship with CEGB economist Frank Jenkin. [55:28] Remarks on career step to headquarters as a system planner: enjoying work outside on network, but seeing its limitations; possible promotion routes at local areas blocked by staff who probably wouldn't change roles; expansion of system opening up opportunities in headquarters; disliking new job at first, commute lengthened by move of CEGB headquarters to Paternoster; description of SG boss Laurie Tidy, interested SG in stocks and shares, enjoyed bachelor life, previously worked for Brighton Corporation, hands-off management style; need to understand how headquarters worked; value of SG field experience in dealings with headquarters technical specialists.

    Track 4 [1:02:40] Remarks on: starting at CEGB headquarters at Bankside House in 1961; description of Bankside House office layouts; move to Paternoster c1964. [01:35] Description of CEGB new headquarters at Paternoster: bringing several offices together in one location; System and Power Station Planning occupying two floors in Courtenay House; Laurie Tidy managing group; computer simulation team. [05:00] Remarks on mimicking of power system: traditional practice of building electro-mechanical network analyser; 1960s development of computer simulation methods; example of adding a power station to network; 1960s closure of small London power stations in favour of large power stations in Midlands and Yorkshire leading to large power flows to the South; power flows complicated by building of Kingsnorth, Isle of Grain, and Littlebrook D oil fired power stations adding East-West power flows; developments in London power system, 275kV underground cable systems around London; [10:14] computer programmers meaning SG did not program himself; superimposition of regional models into national model; effect of computers on network planning. [13:00] Remarks on SG early work as assistant design engineer: extension of 400kV system from Thames estuary, from Northfleet to Canterbury, Dungeness and along South coast; SG accompanying Henry Dreyfus to public enquiry for transmission line; rearrangements of substations at Wimbledon and Beddington due to introduction of 275Kv and 400kV system. [15:53] Remarks on 400kV system: design of 275Kv towers for 400kV; initial lack of experience with high voltage cables with contemporary levels of atmospheric pollution; proportional stepping up to 400Kv from 132Kv assisting transformer production; value of high voltage in allowing transfer of large amounts of power; atmospheric pollution's effects on transmission line insulators; gradual reduction in pollution levels; [20:40] building of large 2000MW power stations at Didcot, Westburton, Eggborough and others; lower cost of transmitting power than moving coal; small size of previous power stations; implications of larger power stations, need to have higher power levels at power stations to keep plant stability, Megavars and control of system voltage. [24:20] Remarks on: power flows; definition of Megavars in the context of power flows around a network, surge impedance level, use of power stations, often Marchwood or Fawley, to manage rises in voltage at receiving end; risks of not controlling output voltage. [27:50] Remarks on: SG position in Laurie Tidy's group looking after network in South East and South London; five groups working on different regions of country, coordinating with national study group; CEB system planner Arthur Chorlton producing an early master plan for electricity network which remained relatively accurate for later developments; split of group between transmission and power station siting; [33:00] economist Frank Jenkin's forecasts of demand, signalling need for greater capacity and fuel selection; 14% planning margin at time; power station site planners examining fuels supply and grid connections, but not always suggesting generation sizes; 500MW then 660MW becoming standard generator sizes, French development of 1300MW machinery; [37:10] annual plans signalling need for new power stations, transmission groups providing information of effects on grid; planning considerations over need for capacity and location compared to existing transmission lines; AC network analysers produced by Reyrolle and BTH; use of DC network analyser in Friars House for modelling, quickly superseded by computer analysis in SG early years as system planner; limited attention to systems planning before the war, great expansion of system postwar necessitating network analysis tools; [43:35] large size of electromechanical network analyser build by BTH when SG was an apprentice; SG use of smaller DC network analyser. [45:40] Remarks on daily work: walking to office from train; example of day's work developing analysis of a problem, such as Wimbledon substation expansion; risks of exceeding fault levels. [50:20] Description of how SG work as planner contributed to new transmission building: contributions to annual development plans and detailed reports to CEGB Board justifying new construction on network; proposed TRI [Transmission Reinforcement Instruction] passed to board for approval leading to formal TRI; liaison between system designer and Transmission Construction Division over details for plan; output as TRI with construction programme and budget release. [53:50] Remarks on: long term nature of planning, large costs involved, pressure from operations people for faster work; anecdote about delays in TRIs reported to board, such as over new computer control centres; level of contact with transmission operators, National Control nearby, run by Frank Ledger in early 1970s; progress meetings with constructors; [56:40] taking annual plan around regions for discussion with operators for comment; SG finding work more interesting as he became more involved with it; ability to influence decisions with strong arguments; considerations over public inquiries. [59:15] Remarks on CEGB planners: often from regional planning offices; Laurie Tidy previously a Brighton Corporation network planner; Northern Irish planner, who eventually became generation director; SG thinking he had made a mistake with move to planning at first, but later coming to enjoy the work; long spell without promotion leading to him applying for other positions, before subsequent promotions.

    Track 5 [1:07:31] [Interview Three: November 21] Remarks on CEGB planning department: split of department between system planning and power station site selection staff; SG promotion to lead system planning group, by which time 400 kV developments were mostly approved as TRI's; SG eventual promotion to lead whole group; slowing of work identifying new power station sites'. [02:40] Comments on early thinking about gas turbine power stations and plans for new nuclear programme based on pressurised water reactors [PWR]: drawbacks of earlier AGR programme, strength of French PWR programme; scepticism over CEGB economist Frank Jenkin's positive view on future of gas turbine power stations; significance of scaling up of gas turbines to larger sizes; [06:15] anecdote about Siemens gas turbine factory given new lease of life; increased efficiency of gas turbines; public inquiry over nuclear station at Sizewell; discussions about gas turbines at power industry conferences in late 1970s and early 1980s; importance of Sizewell in proving safety case for PWR, value of CEGB lawyer David Silsoe QC in proving of safety case; possibility of PWR's at Hinkley Point and Wylfa due to pre-existing grid connections; Hinkley point public inquiry benefiting from Sizewell experience and continued involvement of David Silsoe; later planning approval for Hinkley Point, post privatisation; [11:50] advantages of reusing existing nuclear power station sites due to 400kV Grid connections and local population's familiarity with nuclear power; anecdote about Hinkley Point proposals being a non-issue in elections in local area; advantages of coastal sites in providing cooling water; Hinkley Point C station not proceeding in 1990s due to expense, leaving Sizewell B as a one-off prototype; failure of British PWR programme to build a series of reactors, compared to the Magnox, AGR and French PWR programmes; early history of French PWR programme and the advantages of its replication of and gradual evolution of same basic design; [18:10] prohibitively large cost of a British PWR programme; 1970s nuclear reactor debate, resignation of CEGB board member, SG not having too much of an opinion on debate due to lack of familiarity with design details; anecdote about SG tour of French PWR sites, SG impressed with quality of French engineers and technology; anecdote about limited French interest in public inquires compared to British zeal for inquiry process; drawbacks of lengthy British inquiry process. [24:40] Remarks SG promotion to Director of System Planning c.1980; interview by CEGB chairman Walter Marshall and deputy Fred Bonner; anecdote about being asked about luck in interview; SG eager to get post; press conference launching Sizewell B application. [27:50] Remarks outlining duties of Director of System Planning: ensuring resources matched workload; SG appointment of first female engineer, Jenny Clarke, to leadership role, in Wylfa planning; appreciation for future demand for power; value of experience of having done other jobs in system; firmness over tough decisions; debating with junior managers over future developments, such as potential for further nuclear development at Dungeness hampered by Cross-Channel link using capacity on existing lines; [pause 32:03] overview of future load forecasts; production of future annual development plans; 1970s development of system to support large coal stations in the North and oil stations in the South, closure of small stations in London leading to extra 275kV cables into London; fuel strategy and capacity planning issues the responsibility of Frank Jenkin's group; Jenkin's work with National Coal board and other fuel suppliers, European directives against use of gas in power stations. [37:10] Description of economist Frank Jenkin: skilled Cambridge educated mathematician; minor eccentricities; bachelor; anecdote about him doing Time crossword on commute from Richmond; SG work interaction and friendship with Jenkin. [39:30] Remarks on: power station decision making taken at CEGB board level, value of SG group reports and board members own thinking; anecdote about recent media calls for new CEGB; ongoing pressure to minimise capital expenditure mitigated by understanding that major projects were time consuming in their negotiations with local authorities and environment groups; rapid progress of post privatisation gas turbine power stations due to ease of fuel supply and waste issues; [42:50] implications for network of decommissioning small power stations; future lead estimates provided by Frank Jenkin's group on advice of Area Electricity Boards. [45:00] Remarks on interaction of CEGB planning group with other parts of CEGB: open relationships with other parts of CEGB; SG later experience of consultant's closed relations; CEGB future plans taken around regions for discussion; formal discussions with operational staff at headquarters; value of involving staff in discussions; interaction with CEGB construction divisions; limited interaction with CEGB research at Leatherhead over environmental issues; limited impact of daily system performance on planning. [50:35] Remarks on: development plans operating on 5, 6, and 7 year horizon; remarks on future development plans from 1980, limited by knowledge of looming privatisation from 1985; cross channel link and hydroelectric schemes, such as Dinorwig; limited thinking about wind schemes; research into Severn Barrage to produce hydroelectric power; French development of tidal power scheme in postwar reconstruction; [56:20] 1980s concerns over atmospheric pollution and acid rain; Peter Chester involvement in research on acid rain; greater sensitivity over environmental concerns today; SG sitting in on CEGB board meetings sometimes but not a board member; routine CEGB Monday morning meetings, often led by chairman, to discuss various topics of latest news; constructive atmosphere at meetings. [1:01:20]Remarks on SG daily activities: progressing work of department projects through meeting staff, example of discussion about proposed St John's Wood and Wimbledon 275kV link; meetings and daily management tasks; 40-50 staff in SG department; generation site subgroup led by Mike Gammon; SG not replaced on promotion from leading transmission group due to limited work, leaving group managers to run section. [1:05:40] Description of power station planner Mike Gammon's duties in power station planning, such as negotiations with local authorities.

    Track 6 [54:15] Comments on Sizewell B: need for some new capacity; possibility for two power stations on Sizewell site; lawyers view that only one PWR built would satisfy safety case requirement; very complicated technical safety case, David Silsoe QC reckoning it was the largest job he had attempted; Southwold hotel used as base of CEGB inquiry effort; large amount of evidence provided by technical staff; anecdote about Frank Jenkin discovering David Silsoe's long working hours; description of polite and thorough Lord Silsoe, later involved with terminal 5 at Heathrow; anecdote about SG considering that Silsoe knew more about CEGB than CEGB staff; [05:35] SG pulling back from inquiry once it had begun; Mike Gammon giving evidence on Sizewell siting, as he had chosen site for Sizewell A; SG giving evidence to Hinkley Point inquiry. [06:45] Remarks on giving evidence to public inquiries: SG giving advice n several transmission developments; importance of staying on the topic you were an expert on; anecdote about way-leave officer being drawn outside his area of expertise in an inquiry over the Cross-Channel link terminal. [09:00] Remarks on Sizewell B inquiry: length of time taken to prove safety case due to large amount of work; many objections; inquiry inspector Sir Frank Layfield; many different group involved; difference of PWR technology to previous gas cooled reactors in UK; complexity of design and status as new technology for UK; hope that Sizewell would be the first of a number of PWRs; legal views that future inquires on PWR would be restricted to site related issues; high costs of more PWR stations. [13:45] Remarks on: SG responsibility to CEGB board, informal responsibility to John Baker; description of CEGB chairman Walter Marshall, knowledgeable, sociable, supporter of nuclear energy, hosted garden parties in summer; Marshall's interest in Sizewell B. [18:00] Remarks on Cross Channel link: older, unreliable, small scale cross channel link; French support for scheme; 400kV line along South Coast reaching capacity with addition of link, leading to provide improved control features; 2000MW capacity; ability of switching flow direction either way; success leading to similar links around the world; risks of anchors damaging link; [23:20] public inquiry proceeding well; CEGB chairman Glyn England being quizzed on site of converter station; description of insalubrious site of converter station near Ashford. [25:35] Remarks on 1984 Miner's strike: strike having no effect on planning; anecdote about Frank Ledger reporting that CEGB had met largest demand ever in spite of strike; differences of opinion between planning and operations; Gil Blackman and Frank Ledger masterminding CEGB efforts against the miner's strike; SG feelings about miners' strike, trade unions not having the right to tell government how to run country, but sadness over damage to mining communities; trade unions damaging other industries; Britain’s diminished status in 1970s needing a cure, even if it required hard solutions and damage to support industries. [31:20] Remarks on keeping the lights on from the point of view of planning: role of annual reports; concerns over accuracy of load estimates, planning generous plant margins to ensure sufficient plant; lack of responsibility for keeping lights on after privatisation leading to long term troubles; recent Hinkley Point PWR decision requiring guarantees of income to operators; comparison coal and nuclear stations upfront, fuel and operations costs. [36:00] Discussion on privatisation: SG attending presentation on privatisation of British Gas early in Thatcher Government era; drawbacks of railway and electricity industry privatisations; SG happy with principle of privatisation but concerned over fracturing of ESI; CEGB amongst best nationalised industry but SG hoping privatisation would bring in fresh ideas and more competitive pricing; SG view that bad management is a common problem; [40:00] uncertainties over future operations of industry in run up to privatisation; concerns that privatisation and commercial pressures would interfere with running of industry; long term drawbacks of privatisation, fracturing of industry, example of EDF building Hinkley Point in area they do not supply, owners entering and leaving market; National Grid doing well post privatisation, buying into American market; feeling of uncertainty in CEGB in run up to privatisation, but few people having strong view over issue; [45:20] SG disliking way industry was broken up, reminiscing with old colleagues; limited knowledge of schemes for how industry would be split; SG view that John Wakeham was a more competent energy minister than Cecil Parkinson. [46:40] Remarks on SG career post privatisation: receiving invitations for different roles, such as National Grid, but eventually becoming a director in nationalised Nuclear Electric; Nuclear Electric headquarters in Gloucester; SG familiarity with chairman John Collier and deputy Frank Ledger; SG becoming more involved with nuclear power sites toward end of career; SG post as Director of Planning and Future Development and chairman of Sizewell B project group in Manchester; SG impending retirement; Sizewell B team under Brian George; progress on Sizewell B project, unfinished when SG retired. [52:25] Remarks on schemes for future development plans in early 1990s: Hinkley Point inquiry; possibility of Sizewell C; development of Wylfa site; approval for first gas turbine site.

    Track 7 [37:53] Remarks on: Nuclear Electrics limited plans for future development beyond consent for Hinkley Point C, eventually abandoned; Nuclear Electric maintaining voice for nuclear energy development, which gradually faded with political indifference; short term horizon of governments causing problems in management of major engineering projects, a common problem of different governments; generally apolitical nature of CEGB, with exceptions such as Walter Marshall; SG support for Margaret Thatcher's policies. [05:45] Remarks on working at Nuclear Electric: base in Barnwood, with offices in London; looser working environment in planning team at Nuclear Electric due to lack of urgent need; John Collier inviting SG and Frank Ledger to conferences post retirement about new station developments. [08:20] Remarks on: planning group at National Grid post privatisation; SG taking care to assign competent manager to National Grid; division of former CEGB staff between successor companies on a fairly casual basis; SG concerned to keep nuclear energy in public eye after decision over Hinkley Point C, such as meeting at Labour Party conference; SG feelings in run up to retirement. [12:03] Remarks on SG consultancy work for WS Atkins: European Economic Community concerned with liberalisation of former Eastern Bloc countries after end of Cold War; SG visit to Belarus to explain liberalisation, SG impressions of Belarus ESI, anecdote about being heckled by a Belarusian at a presentation; SG visit to Estonia, Estonian experience of World War 2, hosting Estonian visit to UK; SG visit to Prague; SG work for United Nations Economic Unit in Geneva on applying cross channel link experience of asynchronous connections to problem of electricity systems split between East and Western European countries; anecdote about Yugoslavia leaving Eastern electricity system for Western system; [18:00] SG enjoying work but dissatisfaction with results, anecdote about Estonian representative remaining silent on visit to UK. [19:00] Remarks on SG visit to Kazakhstan: background of potential World Bank funding for Mittal steel company scheme to purchase steel company in Karaganda; SG and former coal mine manager sent to investigate power systems; details of electricity supply system; concerns over stealing of electricity from grid; SG enjoying visits, meeting a range of people, hopefully alerting people to state of industry elsewhere. [23:00] Remarks on consultancy activities in Eastern Europe: Estonia and Prague pro-western viewpoint; many Russians in Estonia; good feedback from EEC monitor; anecdote about sharing celebratory drink with Czech minister; general message of encouraging opening out of business; Czech Russian designed nuclear power stations; astute Belarus ESI head. [27:10] Remarks on retirement c1993: enjoying live opera; following rugby' golfing; chairmanship of Probus club, outline of history of Probus; family benefiting from SG career in ESI; SG children and grandchildren in Battersea and Fleet; SG children occupations in accountancy for Santander, and human resources for Surrey County Council; family playing little role in SG career; SG helping grandchildren with science revision. [34:00] Remarks on: interview process; thoughts about oral history project; clarifying remarks on division of staff into National Grid organisation on privatisation.

  • Notes:
    Recording: 2013-09-25, 2013-11-21;
    - Goddard, Sam, 1929-2014 (speaker, male; interviewee);
    - Lean, Thomas (speaker, male; interviewer)
    Recording Notes: audio file 7 WAV 24 bit 48 kHz 2-channel
    Access restrictions: none

Searching Remote Databases, Please Wait