Our History

Phyl hails from Bethesda, Caernarvonshire in North Wales while I come from Runcorn in Cheshire. We met when I was a Chemistry student in UCNW, Bangor and lived across the street from her. We married in 1963 ours being the first wedding in the newly constructed Catholic Church in Bethesda.

On graduating in 1964 I joined ICI Agricultural Division as a Research Chemist and Phyl was appointed Secretary to the Division Estates Manager. After a few years I decided that I was more interested in oil than in fertilisers and we moved to Esso's Milford Haven Refinery living in Herbrandston at the top of the refinery access road. "The best bit of blue sky you will ever see" as we were often told.

After another 2 very interesting years we again pulled up stakes and moved back up North to Shevington, Wigan when I took up a position in Technical Service with Petrolite Limited. Thus began years of travel. Initially, I was involved in service work on refineries in Europe with the occasional trip to the USA and Japan but was offered a job in Kuwait in 1974 servicing Petrolite's sales to Aminoil and Getty in the Neutral Zone. In 1976 I transferred to Dubai covering the Lower Gulf between Bahrain and the Sultanate of Oman where I remained for exactly 3 years.

I then moved to Brunei servicing Petrolite's business with Brunei Shell for just over 2 years before going to Singapore in a technical service position for the rest of my time overseas. Here I was able to visit many locations in the Far East from Northern Pakistan to Australia, Japan, Western China, Korea and India.

I moved back to the UK at the end of 1986 to become Purchasing and Shipping Manager retiring as Commercial Manager in 1996.

After retirement, I was fortunate enough to get on The University of Liverpool's Software Engineering Retraining Course gaining a Postgraduate Certificate in Software Engineering and spent a very happy year after that working in their "Foresight Centre" as a programmer on their website http://www.merseyworld.com inter alia. Following a second retirement I found myself with a lot of time on my hands when, in 2001, I had the opportunity of signing up for a Flexible degree at Liverpool University. As I have had a lifelong interest in languages I opted to do a BA in Classical Studies and Egyptology which enabled me to study both Ancient Greek and Middle Egyptian among other things. I graduated in 2066.

We are both now retired and living in the Wirral. We are members of the Birkenhead Welsh Society of which Phyl was president. in 2001.

We would love to hear from our friends so please, if you remember us - or even if you don't -, drop us a line at tjon@cartref.org.uk.