Job opportunities




1970 - 1979
1970   1971   1972   1973   1974   1975   1976   1977   1978   1979


Guy Spiesburger - 1

After a career in the oil industry, Guy sadly died in 2008. - Brian.

John Lovell - 


Dear Dr Walton, or perhaps after 45 years I can call you Brian

I came across
your website when playing round on the internet,actually searching for

long-lost colleagues.
I graduated Geology/Chemistry in 1970 in a cohort that included the late Guy Spiesberger, Stuart Arguile, Leo Bradley, John Jury,Janet ?? and Marguerite Siouville. Stuart joined the Coal Board, then went to Canada working for a mining company and returned to the UK a couple of years ago. John Jury went to Indonesia and many other places with an exploration company (maybe Schlumberger). I've no idea where the ladies

went, and we all lost touch with Leo. There were also two mature students, but I can't remember if they graduated - Mr Hardman (naturally christened 'Hardcase') and Mr Vivers (Old Man Vivers, of course).

 I joined the Geological Survey in London, Leeds, Nottingham and Edinburgh until redundancy in 1999 forced a career change into teaching English abroad and then retraining as a physics teacher. Now nearly 69 I am still working, although on reduced
hours (kids' uni
fees etc etc - you've heard all that before I expect).

 Naturally I remember well the times at Pompey - they were most enjoyable and greatly enhanced by the field trips; Dr Rothstein's route marches round the Lizard, riotous trips to South Wales and the Forest of Dean led by Mike Chaplin and Pete Jones (where is he now?) and your own rather quieter and more local trips to Dorset. It's interesting and informative to reflect on the differing teaching styles of all the lecturers, and the effect they had on me particularly as I am now experiencing the delight of teaching,
naturally I incorporate as many rocks as possible into my science lessons. Geology is unsurpassed as a layman's subject, as I'm sure you'll agree.

 The technicians were also an integral part of my education; I remember John Vigay

whose brother was principal cellist in one of the leading orchestras, and a red-haired girl whose name I've forgotten (Yvonne??) but who married one of the students and moved to Leeds, where I bumped into them in a pub several years later.

 Kind regards and a belated thanks!

 John Lovell






Alan Miles - 1
Date: 8.6.05

I consider myself very lucky in that I've been in geology all my
working life. I  have travelled and worked all over the world, have
obtained a M.Sc from Imperial College in Engineering Geology and after
all that I still enjoy what I'm doing. 

Alan J Miles BSc (Hons) MSc CGeol
Principal Engineering Geologist

Jacobs Babtie
01392 222739

As of 12 August, Babtie Group became part of the Jacobs group of
companies and is now known as Jacobs Babtie



Graham Baldwin - 5

Date: 11.07.06


I noticed the brief article in the June 2006 edition of GeoScientist and felt I had to respond.

I have fond memories of my three years at Portsmouth from 1969 to 1972 studying Engineering Geology & Geotechnics.  I particularly recall a field trip to South Wales where you and I had an interesting experience with a bull in a field!  After graduation, I went on to work as an engineering geologist in Europe, Africa and the Far East before settling in Vancouver, Canada in 1980, picking up an M.Sc. in Engineering Rock Mechanics from the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, along the way.   I continue to work in applied geology (though no longer on the technical side), now being President & CEO of InfoMine Inc., a Vancouver-based mining information company which I co-founded in 1990 after completing an M.B.A. and the University of British Columbia.  We now have over 50 staff and offices in Canada, U.S.A., Peru and Brazil.

For a reasonably current photo, see http://www.edumine.com/xedumine/authors.htm?author=baldwin.

Graham Baldwin
President and Chief Executive Officer - InfoMine
Email: gbaldwin@infomine.com
Tel: +1 (604) 683-2037 ext. 224
Fax: +1 (604) 681-4166


David Borton - 1


David sent a very interesting, but quite long email which I've saved as a pdf file - Brian.

Christmas 2008 Newsletter

In the September school holidays we took the RAV with some friends up to Mildura on the Murray to have a very special dinner at Stephano De Pieri’s restaurant and drove on to Broken Hill where we stayed at the Miners Arms B and B run by a geologist friends wife. We camped at the Mootwindji National Park where we were attacked by Apostle birds and did a walk into the gorges. Then we went north to Tibooburra on the edge of the Strjezlecki and Stony Deserts and looked into Charles Sturts early explorations in the area around Depot Glen looking for the inland sea.   Watched the Grand Final at the pub in 36 0 C (spring weather).   Now that is desert like I have not seen before in Australia, more like the Namib. Tested the 4WD capabilities of the RAV, and came back looking forward to the next trip and doing the grey army trip round the country..

All round it has been a good year with close to full employment until this week. Things don’t look so good from here though from the exploration employment perspective as mines close and exploration is stopped. How quickly times change!  2004 saw no hope of raising money for exploration and no work, 2005 signs of change, the super cycle was raised, raising money was possible and some work came along, 2006 still raising money and good work. 2007 having money thrown at one from all directions and lots of job offers and as much work as one wants, the super cycle was going to last well into retirement whoopee. Then to 2008 the slow train crash to apparently not a hope in hell of raising money and drillers and  geologists phoning up regularly looking for work, retirement plans put back a while.

From a work perspective the year has seen a few trips to the Mt Carrington/Drake mine area in Northern NSW. We have optioned the properties to Rex Minerals.

I spent a week in the Great Victoria Desert WA, starting another geologist off on a drill program for uranium, funded by our Canadian JV partners Mega Uranium. A major logistical challenge being 500 km east of Kalgoorlie with sand dunes, no water, 4 different contractors all in great demand. It is fascinating country with salt lakes, sand dunes, dunarts, camels and, an extreme sense of remoteness.

Spent a month in July with Drake Resources, looking at copper prospects in Sweden, which was a great experience. Most of my time was spent in wilderness north of the Arctic circle based in a hotel in Kiruna, home of the huge iron ore mine and the European rocket launching facility or Mala where the Swedish Geological Survey have their core library and exploration archives. What fascinating country, mainly swamp, mosquitos and reindeer. Bears keep you alert as you wander the forests.  What a contrast to Australia. Spent a weekend at Aura Energy’s Storsjon uranium prospect near Ostersund in central Sweden (Aura is the other company I consult to), where we have been drilling a very large low grade uranium, molybdenum, vanadium deposit. We have just signed a heads of agreemeny deal with a Chinese company Sino King Investments and they will pay  a $1M upfront fee and will spend  $14M on exploration over the next 30 months after signing  bringing the project to feasibility. At that point they have the option to purchase 80% of the property for $460M. They are conducting due diligence on it now.

Hope the snow is not too much of a concern and that your heating keeps going. Unlike my brothers who has had 3 days without recently.

Regards to Joyce




I am well thank you. Congratulations on making 4 score.

We are well and largely semi-retired and living 5 days a week in the upper Yarra Valley an hours drive from Melbourne at a beautiful village called Warburton where we have a lovely cottage with amazing rainforest views. The other two days are spent in Melbourne at our Glen iris address where we look after grandchildren.

I am still doing work in Norway  around the Sulitjelma Cu Zn mines, but with the downturn in exploration funding it is significantly reduced.

Life otherwise is very active with membership of a table tennis group giving me 4 hours a week of good brain challenging exercise. I am also Secretary of the Friends of the Lilydale to Warburton Rail Trail a group advocating for the betterment of what is Australia’s most popular rail trail with 0.25 million visitors a year. I am also on  a sub committee of the local Yarra Valley Community economic development group working towards a mountain bike hub in Warburton with about 98kms of trails through the forest. Needless to say I do a lot of bike riding and bush walking.

Sally is on the committee of the Film society and coordinator for the Annual Film Festival which is a major tourist attraction.

We are members of the local U3A and I do plan to run a course on the local historical gold mining industry and possibly even the local geology.

We have a lovely large garden 1100m2  and grow most vegetable as well as avocados, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, kiwi fruit, cherries apples, blueberries and plums as well as 32 different roses.

Mt Donna Buang 1300m behind us is a local cross country skiing and tobogganing centre so we have lovely 4 season weather pattern with about 1.2m of rain a year.

Bob is also semi- retired but his company seems to be doing well. His oil industry work has clearly paid much better than my metals work as he has a magnificent refurbished small chateau  in the south of France and is living in Newbury. Bob and Jacky Fagg email is member@faggsville.fsnet.co.uk

Since I last communicated I have managed Drake Resources exploration in Norway funded by Panoramic Resources the WA nickel miners. However with nickel prices plummeting they have closed one mine and survive on their other mine but with cutbacks on exploration anywhere.

Must go sorry. Thanks for the contact and keep fit and well. I plan to do the Annapurna Circuit walk in Nepal in March next year with some 60-75 year old friends and then we plan to visit UK next September which may take us to Emsworth.




Geoff Dickinson - 5

08 September 2010


I stumbled on the web site this morning and found it very interesting.

I graduated in 1972 from the Engineering Geology and Geotechnics program.  After two years at (what was then) Mott Hay and Anderson, my wife and I moved to Canada where we have been ever since - first at McMaster University, then to New Brunswick.  My career has been entirely in consulting, firstly geotechnical then gradually migrating to hydrogeological.  I began TerrAtlantic Engineering Limited in 1999 (www.terratlantic.nb.ca).  One of  my sons is now heading up our geotechnical efforts.

I had a good telephone conversation with Neil Duncan about 10 years ago - astonishingly he seemed to remember all of his past students, including me.  I keep in touch with fellow grad. Paul Summers - Paul is trying to retire in New Zealand but at last count was working on contract at a new power station project in Botswana.


Geoff D.
Geoff R. E. Dickinson, M. Eng., P.Eng., FEC
Principal Hydrogeologist

TerrAtlantic Engineering Limited
515 Beaverbrook Court
Fredericton, NB, Canada, E3B 1X6
telephone (506) 460-8660
fax            (506) 460-8679


Bob Fagg - 1                                                                                                                 Date: 27.11.05


Good to hear from you again, sorry I haven't replied to your earlier e-mail. Jacky and I moved in to a house in Newbury three months ago and have been really busy with my work and Jacky's voluntary work, doing the house up and a escape to France for 3.5 weeks in September, all in the last three months. This summer we gained two more graduates to the family, Jacky's son Richard with a 1st from Bath Spa and Fiona (my 3rd daughter) with a 2:1 from UWE, so four graduates so far. Katrina my youngest has started at Southampton Solent studying Fine Art, she advised me on Thursday that she had just had just finished a 3 hour life drawing of a rather large lady which she really enjoyed as there were so many curves and folds etc, a bit like Geology! David (Borton, 1972) is over from Australia mid December so I'll forward your e-mail to him as well.

Potted History for myself.

72-92, Worked originally as a mud-logger for Exlog, proceeded in to Management, Training, Recruiting (new graduates from the Milk Round), Marketing, Personnel, Operations, working out of Windsor and Aberdeen, Regional Manager in Aberdeen before returning to Windsor as special projects director.

Joined P I Erico for two years in Putney as Operations Director.

Joined up with Ralph Steen ( a Graduate from Hull whom I recruited to Exlog in 1980) and formed Stag Geological Services based at Aldermaston (office based just on the right side of the AWE!!) in 1995, just had our 10th Anniversary.

Besides work, Jacky and I have nurtured the six offspring who are all happy in their jobs etc most of the time, we are trying to spend more time in France but our workloads don't seem to be decreasing but hopefully we will there nearly full time later next year.

I still play sport, but more sedate games - cricket and golf. I try to get down to Fareham and play golf with Steve Allen (also 1972) once a month. My football prowess as the Polytechnic goal-keeper was called upon last year, when a French friend of ours organised an 11 a side game in our local village, France v England (well 9 English and two Latvians, one of which wore pink socks!). We agreed to play their veterans side, but they played their 1st team which included an ex-Marseilles winger. We lost 7-1, but we out sang them at the party afterwards and our daughters were asked back to support the local team on Sunday as they had never seen or heard such vocal support before ( thank goodness their knowledge of English was poor). Anyway end of Football career at 53.

That about sums up career to date, there are many parts omitted, but needless to say one of the best decisions I have taken so far in my life was to study Geology at Portsmouth.



Fran Bennett ( Ashton ) - 2

Date sent: 05.10.06

Dear Brian,

Have been meaning to contact you again for years, hope you and Joyce are well and all the staff I remember are enjoying life.  I saw your notice in Geoscientist in June and I feel very guilty for not contacting you sooner.

As you know after graduating from Portsmouth I worked as an engineering geologist for Howard Humphreys and Sons, now Brown and Root, in Leatherhead for 5 years and then for the BGS in Edinburgh before returning to the midlands to work for Alex Malkin in stoke on trent.  Alex very kindly offered me part time work through my child producing years despite contractors adverse comments about a pregnant engineering geologist supervising drilling rigs!.  Eventually my husband who is a mechanical engineer moved to Wakefield and I just had to follow.  In 1991 I set up my own consultancy in engineering geology and environmental science in Holmfirth near Huddersfield and am still beavering away on sites all over the country but mainly in the Midlands and the North.

I am a chartered geologist and chartered environmentalist and a Fellow of the Geological Society, a Fellow of the Institute of Minerals, Mining and Metallurgy, a Member of the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management and a Member of the Institute of Environmental Assessment, plus a mother!

Our work involves geotechnical, mining and environmental investigations using a great variety of drilling rigs followed by laboratory testing and interpretative reports for land audits or for planning and construction.  We also do water wells, slope and rock slope stability, landfill etc anything which involves ground and/ or groundwater. Now I am of mature age I am asked to do expert witness work and Public Enquires too.  I still get involved in geology as a hobby, talking to local schools and colleges and helping with school trips to Iceland and taking on work experience pupils who want to pursue a career in geology to give them a taste of field work. I also have a huge collection of geological specimens mainly minerals which my husband has now banned to a room above the garage.  I go tripping around the globe as often as I can, mainly with one or other of my three boys on a rugby trip and always come home with a rock laden suitcase.  Geologists can somehow never stop thinking and breathing geology, it is a great subject to study and I have had a very enjoyable career working on different sites every day and meeting new people every day.  Great fun.

My eldest son Jonathan graduated as a mechanical engineer like his dad and is working in Cheltenham, my middle son Tristan completed a degree in industrial product design but seems to prefer running trendy bars in Leeds and my youngest son Robert is studying law at Leeds.  They are all very sporty and continue to enjoy rugby and more daring sports like white water rafting.  Ralph and I have always been car mad and since 2000 have owned and raced 1925 vintage cars as a hobby.  Jonathan is now sharing my Frazer Nash but he is beating my race times so I think it may be time for me to retire to rallies.  We took the Nash to New Zealand in 2005 and spent four weeks driving north to south, fabulous country and very kind people always ready to help when it broke down!

This year I traveled to Namibia and South Africa, with a rugby team, and met up with Martin White in Durban who was in my year at Portsmouth.  He gave up working in the copper mines many years ago as he did not like the lack of Health and Safety and has carved out a successful career in the Insurance business.  We spent a very enjoyable evening together.  I wish I had known more peoples whereabouts as I could have visited them on my foreign travels.  Do you have an up to date address book for my year.  Are you still on the Isle of Wight?  I shall make an excuse to come south in the summer and see you. 

Very best wishes to you I have such good memories of my time at Portsmouth thanks to you and the Mikes and the Petes etc.  Give my regards to all who will remember me,


Ashton Bennett Consultancy
Tel:      01484 689531
Fax:     01484 689932
email:  geoenviro@ashton-bennett.co.uk

12 April 2011

I hope Joyce and yourself are well, having visited your site I realised it was 5 years ago I last wrote and to keep you updated I am still drilling all over the country and sorting out rock slopes and remediating ghastly sites!  In addition however I have set up another company Earthtest Energy employing geologists and mechanical and electrical engineers to design and install ground source heat to domestic and commercial premises by means of vertical open or closed loop methods.  It is all very exciting and we are undertaking projects from Dundee to Bristol, although we have not had a project near Portsmouth as yet.
My middle son Tristan is now working in Ashton Bennett with me as an engineer and my husband also works for me heading up the engineers in Earthtest.  My eldest son is a mechanical engineer and doing very well at Delphi in Stonehouse, Glos and my youngest son Robert has eskewed engineering and is a lawyer in London.  The boys are taking Ralph and I to Arran this weekend for four days as a treat, I think the men will visit the distillery while I track down dykes and gabbros and Huttons unconformity.
I employ a large number of graduates over the years for 6 to 8 week or longer periods for them to get work experience to obtain employment and I have a very bright graduate (Leeds) with me at the moment who wishes to work in the minerals industry (gold not coal!) in Australia and I wondered if you had Dave Bright or Nigels email addresses or could forward any other 'old' geologists emails who work in the industry in Australia and who may be glad of the help of a very keen and bright geologist.  Thank you Brian.
Look forward to hearing from you and please do call if you are up visiting friends or passing through yorkshire,
Best Wishes,
Ashton Bennett Consultancy
Tel:     01484 689531
Fax:     01484 689932
email:   fabennett@ashton-bennett.co.uk


David Bright - 2
Date: 25.7.05

I'm still in Perth, Western Australia with my own environmental consultancy business 'Regen4'

Nigel Maund - 2

Date sent:    25 Oct 2000

Dear Pete,

Thanks for replying so quickly. My excuse for not having been in contact is
that during the last two years I have experienced disaster on top of
disaster with several members of my family dying including my son. I was not
really in any frame of mind to communicate with anyone. Last March, the
company I was consulting for in West Africa ran out of money and could not
afford to keep me on. So I have not undertaken any geological work since
then. I obtained an interim position working for a firm of Actuaries based
in Abingdon, as a pensions review officer, chasing after people who have
been missold pensions by the insurance companies. I am still looking around
for geologic work, but so far without any success. Strangely enough I pulled
some of your work off the internet for Tom Elder on komatiites.

Trev left geology a long time ago and since 1995 has been working for my
brothers company, Achilles Information based near Abingdon. He now dabbles
in geology as a hobby as well as his greater love, flamenco music.

I suggest we arrange a get together after the end of your autumn term just
before Christmas. Please pass on our kindest regards to all the staff who
may remember us at Portsmouth in particular, Mike R, Mike C, Pete Jones, Greg
P, Mike B and Brians W and D.

Look forward to hearing from you

Regards - Nigel Maund

Date: 9.6.02

Hi Brian!

Hope this mail finds you and your good wife in good health and spirits!
I got your E mail address from Trevor Jenkins.

I am now based in Saudi Arabia as Chief  Geologist with Ma'aden
(TheSaudi Arabian Mining Company) working under Dr Mike Clarke. We are
exploring the Saudi Shield for gold and are having a lot of success. As
you may imagine, it pretty hot right now with Temps between 40 and 50
celsius. By mid afternoon the rocks are far to hot to handle!

I am mostly based 800 km north east of the Red Sea port city of Jeddah.
The desert is very spectacular in parts. Other areas are barren and
virtually featureless. Biggest problem is lack of water and frequent
dust and sand storms. I navigate almost everywhere by hand held GPS.
Often I make bee lines for points in the midst of the desert as there
are no roads only bedouin tracks. The latter meander seemingly aimlessly
across the desert either going to scattered wells ot their camp sites.

The scenery is one of reg or erg desert with scattered groups of
inselbergs to heights of between 400 and 2,000 feet. Most of the
inselbergs are developed from small grey or red granites plutons or red
bed sandstones. Anyway, I am having an interesting time.

How's retirement? I guess your enjoying sailing from Bosham and in the
Chichester harbour area. Old Vespasians centre of military operations
during the Roman occupation! I imagine you derive a lot of enjoyment
from the Chichester theatre and the excellent social environment there!
You must have built up a good circle of friends and be having a lot of

I am off to the Philippines on holiday next month. I may have try to get
up the Mayon volcano in southern Luzon and vist Mt Pinatubo near Bagiuo
City, also Luzon. Mayon is a fair old hike being 8,600 feet high from
sea level! I'll need a good guide which I understand I can hire through
contacts at University of the Philippines Geology Dept. If I manage to
make it I will e you some photo's!

Please pass on very best wishes to Mike Barker, Greg Power, Mike
Chaplin, Brian Dayly, Mike Ryan, Peter Jones and Pete Hall. I miss all
of you guys. We all had very fond memories of the staff at Portsmouth.
You were a terrific bunch to be taught by. Its a pity the work took us
so far away that over the years we just lost contact. I guess it
becomes a matter of sorting out one's priorities!!

Anyway will keep in touch. Very best wishes Brian!

Nigel Maund

Date: 11.6.02

Hi Brian and Joyce,

Sorry to hear you getting a fairly typical British June. Hopefully, the
weather will be more summery by July or August!
I have been climbing in the Alps every year with my brother Clive and
sons Giles and Nicholas. Usually, I climb around in the area around
Fussen and Zugspitze. However, I expect you had a very enjoyable
holiday. Venice is a wonderful city isn't it! Once you get away from the
crowds clustered around the quay and St Marks Square, Doges Palace and
into the backstreets it suddenly becomes very peaceful and you can
absorb the incredible ambience of the city.

I shall be fascinated to read your memoirs Brian! as will many of the
Portsmouth Alumni. I must say for Trevor and I the years at Portsmouth
were very happy ones. The staff were quite simply terrific. Trevor
recently e - mailed a Staff photograph for the Geology Department dated
1973. I have printed it and will have it framed. Brian you look so young
in the photo, and as for Clarke Friend and Mike Barker, they still
looked like they were students! I guess you have a copy of this photo.

I shall be going to the Philippines in July and will be getting married
to an old friend from the Philippine mining industry, Dolores Orera
Labajo. I hope you will one day meet Dolores as she is a very nice lady.
She is about as tall and as sweet as little Fran Bennett (nee Ashton).
Needless to add we are very good friends, and though that its about time
to put the friendship on a permanent basis. I have little idea as to the
wedding arrangements as I have left it all to Dolores. We will be doing
a full ceremony in December to which I hope Trevor will come. Trevor and
Dave Bright have been lifelong friends. I am still in contact with
Graeme Leith and Nick Littlewood but unfortunately have lost contact
with Hillary, Martin, and several others I would like to contact. Graeme
and Sue Leith are running a country house hotel just outside Helston,
Cornwall. Nick is a private design artist in the advertising industry.

I am delighted you are enjoying your deserved retirement Brian. I shall
be setting up house in Queensland on the Barrier Reef. Once I have and
address and contacts established in Australia, you and Joyce are always
welcome. If I am not there and you fancy a rest from the cold English
winter, I will be arranging to set up my house as a free holiday home
for my friends. I will arrange for the keys to be kept where they can be
picked up on viewing your passport, then you just return them when you

Please pass on my kindest regards to Mike Chaplin, Mike Barker, Greg,
Peter Jones, Old MJR, and last but by no means least Good Ol' Pete Hall!

If I come to the UK I will certainly let you know and thanks very much
for the offer - I's love to see you both.

Take care Brian and very warm wishes to you both


Date: 27.7.05


I was surprised and very delighted to hear from you!

My apologies for this late reply, however, I have been
away on a drilling project in Southern Kyrgyzstan
where I am Chief Geologist for UK listed company
Palladex plc (www.palladex.com). I received a great
picture of you, Mike C, Mike B, Greg, Pete, and MJR.

Please pass on my very warmest regards to them all.
RSM was never as good as Portsmouth. Indeed, I still
regard my three years at Portsmouth as some of the
happiest years of my life, and I can quite see why
Pete Hall stayed on there! The staff, were, without
any flattery intended, a tremendous group of people
with in retrospect excellent teaching qualities. We
were all very lucky to be there! I am sure Trev and
Dave completely agree. You can tell Mike Chaplin, I
thought he was an excellent lecturer and teacher in
the field. Superb.

Brian, I have enclosed an slightly dated CV. My career
has been a bit complicated so please pass this on to
Mike. I have done a big re - evaluation  of the Resck
- Lahoca Porphyry Cu - High Sulphidation gold system
which I felt Professor Ferenc Molnar (Eotvos Lorand
University - Budapest) and I could have published a
landmark paper in Econ Geol had Magyar Gold not run
out of money. I did a big re - log of all the diamond
drill core and made numerous major discoveries which
should have gone into the literature. Feri did some
excellent petrologic and SEM work plus fluid

I may join SUR AMERICAN Gold Corp of Canada as their
VP - Exploration in the Philippines in September as
they are drilling out a big porphyry Cu - Au system
near Davao.

Brian, I shall be in the UK on holiday from 25th
August till 8th September as my third son, Nigel Jr.
is going to school in the UK with my brother Colin as
his guardian. He is now just 14. Is there any chance
of meeting you and others at Portsmouth or seeing you
in Bosham?? I'd love to meet some of the old staff. I
may spend a couple of days down there to see Pete,
Mike Chaplin, Mike Barker, Greg and MJR, as well as of
course yourself.

I have enclosed some pics of my family, 1st and 2nd!!
My son Giles has just finished University at Oxford
Brookes and now works for my brother Colin's company,
Achilles, based near Didcot, and Nicholas is doing
very well in his studies at Bournemouth in computing.
He is also in the TA with the Devon and Dorsetshire
Regiment, where he is the battalion's best marksman!

My warmest and kindest regards to you and your family

Any news of any of the others from the class of 1969
to 1973? I have kept up with Nick Littlewood, Graeme
Leith, Dave Bright, and my lifelong best friend,
Trevor, who my entire family think of as a brother.

Nigel Maund

Date: 9.8.05

Many thanks for your kind mail below. Trevor and I
plus my family will be coming down to see you and,
hopefully, other members of staff when I get home on
the 24th August. I will give a telephone call to make
the arrangements and select a time suitable to you.

I have attached the pictures on Dolores and Nigel Jr
and one of Giles and Nicholas. Giles has graduated
with a 2(2) after being hospitalized over the exams at
Oxford with Crohn's disease. Anyway, thank God, he has
made a full recovery after his big operation. Nick is
sitting on a 1st in computing at Bournemouth, and won
the marksmanship award for his TA Regiment, the Devon
and Dorsetshires.

I have just been offered the job of VP - Exploration
for SUR AMERICAN Gold Corp a Canadian junior
exploration company with very good gold and copper
prospects in the Philippines and Columbia. Tell you
more when I see you. Next week I am doing a project
appraisal in Iran and Azerbaijan for porphyry copper -
gold projects.

Brian, I am looking forward to seeing you very much.
It's great, after all these years, to be able to keep
in contact. We all owe you so much, and enjoyed your
company very much indeed and hope to do so for many
years yet to come!

My kindest regards

Date: 19.12.05


Warm seasons greetings to you and your good wife!

My apologies for not seeing you in the UK as I had
hoped to do. However, on arrival my company Palladex
begged me to ruturn for one week to Kyrgyzstan to help
them sort out some urgent geologic problems. So my
holiday was wrecked! Also we got very busy in
organizing our son, Nigel Juniors, entry to boarding
school near Reading. I was racing around for three
days equipping him much to Department Store
shareholders delight!

D and I will be in the Uk next year and will come down
to Portsmouth then to see as many of you as possible.
Please pass on my warmest regards to Mike Chaplin,
Mike Barker, Greg Power, Brian Daly, Peter Jones, Pete
Hall and MJR.

A very happy Christmas and enjoyable and rewarding New
Year to you and your family.

Nigel Maund

Date: 27.06.06


Great to hear from you!

Please send me your telephone number at home so I can
call you. Telephone calls between the UK and Australia
are very affordable.

Many thanks for the job offer, however, I am now
Director - Technical of an Australian junior
exploration company called Fairstar Resources Limited,
based out of Perth in Western Australia. We have some
good gold prospects in Western Australia and are
looking at a good prospect in Chile.

Dave Bright lives only a few miles from me and we see
quite a lot of each other.

I will call Mike Ryan anyway. Thanks for his number!

Brian, its a pity we're all so far away as it would be
wonderful to meet you now that you have time and are
enjoying your retirement. I will be back in the UK to
see my two sons Giles and Nicholas, so will hopefully
see you then. However, I probably won't come until
next year.

My kindest regards and best wishes


Date: 17-11-05

Career Summary


The following experience has been acquired in gold mining geology and exploration management:

Resident Mine Geologist (Arcturus Group Gold Mines - Zimbabwe) LONRHO

Project Manager (Sabodala Gold Project - Senegal, KJL Gold Project - Liberia)

Senior Geologist – Area Selection / Gold Deposit Modelling – W Australia (BP MIL)

Senior Geologist – Olympic Dam Cu – Au – U – LREE Mine, South Australia

Chief Geologist (Africa - SAMAX Gold Inc.; Saudi Arabia – MA’ADEN)

Country Manager – Senegal (Paget), Gabon (Lafayette) and Vietnam (Portman)

Exploration Manager (Australia & SE Asia - Paragon Resources Ltd, Australia)

Experience gained in all gold deposits types including:

Placer gold (Vietnam, New Zealand – 2 years)

Epithermal gold (Romania and Hungary, SE Asia – 7 years)

Archaean Shear Hosted Gold (Australia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Liberia and South Africa – 10 years)

Birrimian Shear Hosted Gold (Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Gabon and Mali - 5 years)

Olympic Dam Cu – U – Au – LREE deposit (Australia – 3 years)

Pan African Belt gold deposits (Congo and Saudi Arabia - 2 years)

Discoveries Made:

Arcturus Gold Mine (LONRHO)– Venus section extension, Zimbabwe - 500,000 ounces at 12 g/t Au (1978) Sole discoverer.

Ceylon Mine - West Extension, Zimbabwe (LONRHO) – 250,000 ounces at 36 g/t Au (1978) Sole discoverer

King of the Hills gold mine (1983), Western Australia (BPMIL) – now part of the (3 million ounces +) Tarmoola gold mine complex mapped as the Harbour Lights – Mt Clifford Break very similar to the Kirkland Larder Lake break in Canada.

Pinnacles (Comet) Mine open pit and u/g, W.A.(Paragon), – 500,000 ounces at 5.5 g/t Au and 7 g/t Au (1986 – 1988) Sole discoverer

Bullabulling (now Resolute Resources Ltd) Mine, W. A. (Paragon) – 150,000 ounces at 1.40 g/t Au – Laterite gold (1986 – 1988) Shared with G Williamson, K Biddle and M Wilson

Longos Mine open pit – United Paragon, Philippines 80,000 ounces at 3.5 g/t Au (1987 – 1988) augmented the substantial underground gold reserve of 750,000 ounces. (Open Pit sole discoverer)


BSc (Hons) 2 ii Geology – Portsmouth Polytechnic (CNAA)

MSc and D.I.C. Mineral Exploration, Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, London

MBA Cranfield University – Business School, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom


Date : 21.09.08

"Brian, a great picture of you both on your site! If you don't mind me observing you are both aging very gracefully and looking extremely well! I am currently working for Portman Mining Limited as a senior consultant but hoped to be offered a very senior position in the US mining company Cleveland Cliffs in the New Year leading a new base metal and nickel exploration division. I was recently made Fellows of both the AusIMM and Australasian Institution of Geoscientists. I keep up regularly with Dave Bright and Trevor Jenkins. Trevor is still working with my brother Colin. David has been successful as an environmental geologist working on the rehabilitation of Perth's wetland and coastal areas. Please pass on my kindest regards to Mike Chaplin, Brian Daley, Greg Power, Mike Barker and Peter Hall. Dolores and I may come over to the UK in 2009 and if so will come down to see you. My very kindest regards and best wishes to you both!"


"Brian, my hearty greetings at this important time of year. What a pity we do not live closer so that we could meet you both for a drink and catch up! I am now Consultant Chief Geologist for the US company Cliff's Natural Resources and still based in Perth. If I get over to the UK in 2009 I will let you know and we can arrange to meet. In the meantime I wish you both a most happy and enjoyable Christmas and very happy and rewarding (in the full sense of the word) New Year!"


Brian, I have just returned from detailed logging of drill core at our Mount Jackson iron ore project north of Southern Cross. The temperature was a fairly hostile 46C with the temperature peaking at 5pm! I have made an interesting discovery as what was thought to be Archaean BIF is part of a VHMS system like the Abitiibi so we may have base metal ...  Read Moreand gold potential as well. Many thanks for the letter from Mike Chaplin. I will be writing to him. Delighted to here you are both very well and enjoyed your Christmas and New Year.


"Brian, how are you both? We're all well particularly now the weather is cooling off a bit! I was working out in the Eastern Goldfield's in 46C (shade) with loads of flies! I've been made Consultant Geologist to Cliff's Natural Resources (US iron ore miner and now head up new business development team). I should be off to Argentina to review a large prospect / project in April and may catch up with my brother Clive who now lives in Chile. How's Pete Hall? Please pass on my kindest rergards to him! My kindest regards to you both and hope the weather is warming up a little after this winter!"

Nigel Maund.

23 Jan. 2011

"Brian, I haven't communicated in ages! How are you both? I am still living in Perth and am now working for the Sydney based PlatSearch N.L. as their Business Development Manager. I have located a lot of good projects in France and do quite a bit of work out of Orleans where we have an office. I am on my way to Prague to review another exploration opportunity. It'll be a bit chilly! How are Mike C. Mike B, Greg P, Peter H and Co? I was in the UK briefly just before Christmas and managed to see Trevor Jenkins who is looking very well. He still works with my brother Colin. Any chance of you holidaying in Australia? I'll try and get down to see you with Trevor when I next pass by the UK. I hope the winters turned out a little milder! Australia has been absolutely inundated with floods stretching from Queensland to Victoria over an area the size of most of Western Europe! I hope your both keeping well and look forward to seeing you both in 2011! Nigel"


Real geologists! - Geological Survey of Greenland, 1973 (Front left - Pete Hall and Dave Hughes, centre - Brian Walton)




Mark Aldridge - 2

Date sent: 28.09.06

Good morning Brian
I dont know if you remember me, Mark Aldridge, I graduated with Wes Gibbons,
Glenys Rugman etc.
I last met you in a cafe in Winchester one Christmas, if I remember rightly
you were off to a concert. It must have been ten years ago at least.
I am currently working out in Nicaragua, with Condor Resources, and am in the position to offer work
to three geologists. Given the current geological climate we are having difficulty
recruiting and I wondered if you know of anyone or would mind spreading the
word around.
What I am after is.
One computer orientated geologist to be trained up to do some 3D modelling.
It would be better if he had some previous experience in modelling software.
One field geologist with one or two years experience, although I would consider
fresh graduates who were not afraid of work.
One field geologist with five to ten years experience.
That is the ideal wish list but in truth any warm bodies would be considered.
The job here is fascinating, the rocks are definitely at the sexy end of
the geological spectrum and going to work looking at gently smoking volcanoes
beat commuting in from Hillsea. Not to mention the girls!!!!!
I am working out here with Chris Bullen another old Portsmouth reprobate.
Do you remember him.

Many thanks in advance. Just ask any interested people to e-mail a cv to


Mark ( m.aldridge@lineone.net )

15 Jan. 2011

Hello Brian

I am just at a loose end and thought I would send you a career and news  update.

I have just arrived out in the wilds of Para State in Brazil to do a six month rig baby-sitting job for Serabi Mining. I thought I had retired a year ago but with the early arrival of winter my spirit weakened.

Since I contacted you last I left my job in Nicaragua with Condor Resources. The excitement was just a little bit too much for my ageing body. I can handle the “narcotraficantes” driving through the licence area, I can handle the dead bodies found en-route to the day’s work (shot), I can sleep through the nightly gun battles in the local village, but when balaclava wearing and pistol pointing bandits jump out on you on the way back from trenching a man has to say enough is enough. I don’t know whether it was political, personal or economic but I just gave them everything of value and ran home to mum. Mind you I did have a certain amount of satisfaction when two days later the area was devastated by an hurricane (serves the bastards right for shooting at me).

Wanting a quieter life I took a job with Mano River Resources on an iron ore project out in Liberia. The thinking behind this was even though they had only come out of a vicious civil war the year before, at least I would have the UN contingent to look after me. It was a fascinating place to work. I was amazed with the total contrast between the casual laid back attitudes of the Sierra Leonians and the aggressive in-your-face approach of the Liberians. It is not a place for the shy retiring sort and would be the career downfall for any fresh graduate. Iron ore geology is dead easy, dangle a magnet on a string and get a Thesaurus with 101 words for red. Mano River formed a joint venture with Severstal which coincided with my father dying (no connection) so I decided to retire at the age of fifty-seven. I should probably mention that this decision was also made easier to make when my exit visa was cancelled after my local driver took me to court for infringing his human rights. Don’t ask, but I think it was something to do with me expecting him to work.

Then back to England to the worst winter for many years. How I suffered, I think I spent the whole winter wearing every item of clothing I possess.

2010 was spent enjoying myself in England with the odd trip abroad to the Ivory Coast, Ghana and Mongolia to keep my geological hand in (I am just weak willed when someone offers me a paid trip to an interesting place).

I am currently living on a care and maintenance mine site and am rattling around with twenty of us sharing accommodation for five hundred. En-suite rooms with kitchens attached, BBC World, Skype, twenty-four hour internet, all the mod cons that I find rather strange after years of living in everything from fly-camps to brothels (I still have a child-like fascination with light switches, hot water and flushing toilets). I am supervising a small man portable diamond drilling rig and as long as I can keep up with that I will be fine. We mobilized drilled for three days and are now shut down for the Christmas/New Year break so I now have two weeks to log twenty-five metres of core.

The plan is to have a structured semi-retirement and just take the jobs that look interesting and are of short duration. I need some time off to use my new toy. In a fit of madness I bought myself a carbon fibre recumbent bicycle and am now putting the fear of god into motorists around the Surrey and Hampshire lanes.

As my mother says “when will you ever grow up”.

The answer is probably never.

I am still in touch with Glenys Rugman but that is all.

That is all for now.

I hope you are keeping well.


Mark Aldridge

Hello Brian


18 Sept. 2011

Just a quick up-date. I have just changed my personal internet address and the new one is:


If you could up-date your records. The Serabi one I am sending this from is the company one and when I move jobs it will be deleted.

I am currently still out in Brazil trying to finish the drill programme. It is proving to be a bit like Topsy, no sooner do I get the end in sight than more holes are added. I am not complaining because it means more $$$ which are always welcome. I may or may not be finishing at the end of October, after which I may or may not be going to the Sudan/Ethiopia/somewhere else to work.

My only other news is that I was at home on leave in July and a bloody car driver knocked me off my bike and broke my collar bone, a standard and at the time very fashionable (Bradley Wiggins broke his the same day in the Tour de France) cycling injury. The result was two months off work and an hefty claim presented to the other driver. I was lucky that there were lots of witnesses and he was fully insured. I knew immediately what had happened having broken the other shoulder skiing. It was totally pain free (or possibly my scale of pain is a distorted one) and I was out on my recumbent the next day (I can ride it one handed and it does not fall over). Such is life, he didn’t mean to run me over and shit happens, you just have to accept it and move on.

I hope you are well and enjoying life.





Jim Graham - 5

Date: 07.06.06

PERSONAL - Married (twice) with three children, ages 9 to 27.  Have lived in Colwyn Bay, North Wales since 1982.  Interests – church, hill walking, philately.

CAREER – After graduating in 1974, spent 6+ years on Zambian Copperbelt (at the same time as Tony Harbottle, who now lives in Canada), mainly concerned with stability of underground openings at Luanshya Mine.
Took Imperial College MSc Engineering Geology in 1981-2.
Moved to North Wales to join James Williamson & Partners (now Mott MacDonald) and have stayed.  Work on a broad range of geotechnical and related projects, mostly in North Wales, specialising in rock stability and anchorages.

CONTACT – 01492-534601 (work) or jim.graham@mottmac.com.


David Maynard - 2

Date: 29 May 2011

On leaving Portsmouth I was offered a mud-logging job in Libya on the day that the last(?) Arab-Israeli war broke out. I was on the verge of going to the Libyan Embassy with my passport, visa application and twelve other passport photos when I chickened-out. That was the most significant, instantaneous decision that I may have ever taken, as it was the key break between geology and the rest of my life.

I did do some ‘undisturbed’ soil sampling for Geo-Research based in Stockport in 1975(?). Working on a small rig ..the most notable jobs were the Meols Sewer Relief Scheme in the Wirral and, ‘God forgive me’, the route of the M3 through the River Itchen’s beautiful water meadows, later to be trashed by the M3 itself.

Next, I worked for the Manpower Services Commission in Stockport Job Centre. What an easy job that was. Within days I had completed all the training (which should have taken weeks) and was in full control of Women S to Z and Professional and Executive Recruitment applications. It was then that I discovered that most people had difficulty reading and writing !

 I then slid into applying to train to be an Environmental Health Officer, which I have been since 1979. I worked for Stockport Council until May 2011 when I took voluntary redundancy and early retirement as part of the government-induced austerity measures.
I am now at leisure, though I am applying here and there for other positions ... with no response so far. Who knows what tomorrow might bring?
My only claim to fame is that I was a founding director of KFM Radio Ltd. We won the then IBA franchise in 1990 to run a radio station for South Manchester, based in Stockport. After a short while we were bought-out because we had what they call now ‘a poor revenue stream’. The service is now called Imagine FM and is part of the UTV Radio Group. I designed and built the broadcast and production studios. We brought together Craig Cash and Caroline Aherne of the Royle Family / Mrs Merton etc. fame, neither of which would have hit the TV screens in the UK without KFM as the catalyst.
The upside of all this is that, in staying in Stockport, I re-connected with Patricia, the long, lost love of my youth, pre-Portsmouth Poly. We were married in 1986 and I inherited a ready made family of 3 kids.
So that is it from me so far. If any one wishes to contact me through your forum or e-mail at david.maynard@btinternet.com, then please do so.


Fran Miller (Keeble) - 2
Date: 3.8.05

When I left Portsmouth I did a PCGE at CF Mott in Liverpool.  Then returned to Portsmouth (when I married Andrew Miller, former Portsmouth geology technician) and started teaching at Mayfield Comprehensive.  After a couple of years we moved as a family to Cheshire following Andrew’s work with ASTMS.  After our daughter was born and started school I returned to work (armed now with a history A level!) mostly doing maternity leave cover for various secondary schools locally, teaching geography and at one point working in a partial hearing unit attached to a comprehensive.

Since 1992 I have also been working part time, increasing to almost full time now, for Andrew in his constituency office.  For those who don’t know Andrew is now MP for Ellesmere Port & Neston, we may not have the wells and oil rigs - but we do have Shell’s refinery!

So I have ended up as an/assistant/office manager/ secretary/ caseworker/etc to an MP.


Jim Munns - 2

6 August, 2009


I thought it was about time I added a few words to the website so here goes 35 years in a nutshell.  I graduated in 1974 with a lower second in Geology.  I guess my claim to fame was walking out of an Igneous Petrology practical and bumping into Andrew Rothstein on the way out when he said “if you leave now don’t bother coming back!”.  Of course being 19 years old I just kept on walking!  I had to complete the course work on Igneous Petrology from the text books in the library thereafter; needless to say I did soft rock geology in the third year. 

I somehow have managed to work 35 years in the Oil and Gas industry without being unemployed which is a minor miracle in itself.  I did have a close shave in 1999 when BP and my employer Amoco merged and I found myself surplus to requirements after 20 years with Amoco.  After graduation in 1974 I found myself working as a processing geophysicist on Saudi Arabian data based in an office in Croydon.  I realised fairly quickly that the path to fame and fortune was to work for an operating oil company, preferably a large one.  I eventually got a job as a seismic interpreter with Texaco working the UK North Sea which led me to Houston, Texas for the first time in 1978 to work in their Research Centre on the early versions of 3D seismic processing.  From there I joined Amoco in 1979 as I wanted to work as an Exploration Geologist.  Inevitably my background in seismic processing meant I migrated back to geophysics but eventually I became an Exploration Geophysicist so finally got make maps and recommend wells to be drilled.  I then spent 20 enjoyable years at Amoco including 4 years based in Norway and two years responsible for Northwest Africa exploration.  The abiding memory from that is going to a pre-spud meeting for our first well in Sierra Leone and the local witchdoctor chanting a spell to ward off the evil spirits away from the well site!  It did not work as the well was a dry hole and we came in about 3000 feet high to prognosis.  I guess the lesson learned was not to rely on local knowledge. 

After leaving BPAmoco I joined the Department of Trade and Industry at a time when the oil price briefly dipped below $10 a barrel and Exploration collapsed on the UKCS.  The DTI decided that to ensure the continued viability of exploration and appraisal activity on the UKCS it had to mount a campaign to attract a new generation of companies into the UK.  In 2001 a small team of 2 was given the brief to market the UKCS abroad to attract new companies into the arena with an initial focus on North America as so much of exploration funding appeared to be controlled from Houston and to a lesser extent Calgary.  This was an area that neither I nor my fellow team member had much experience in so we faced a steep learning curve and a number of trips to the States and Canada in “the back of the plane”.  One amusing event took place in Houston.  We arrived at the office of a significant Independent oil company that is now a major player in the UK and were shown to the Board Room.  The CEO welcomed us and started to tell us how pleased they were with their assets in Australia and how they planned to grow their business there!  He also noted that some governments such the UK had recently changed the tax regime for the worse and this really made it difficult to undertake a new country entry if the tax regime we unpredictable!  We sat there not knowing what to say and interestingly the other Board members did not correct their CEO.  Suddenly he realised we were not representatives from the Australian government and seamlessly started talking about his company's interest in the UK, without referring to his earlier comments on the tax regime!

I joined Endeavour Energy as Exploration Director in 2004 as a new start-up company with a business plan to grow in the North Sea.  I was their first UK employee and we now have about 25 people in London and Aberdeen.  It has been a roller coaster 5 years but we have been reasonably successful having been involved in three discoveries, the largest being the Cygnus Field in the Southern North Sea.  This is a basin which had its first discovery over 40 years ago but recent appraisal drilling has indicated that Cygnus could contain reserves of over a trillion cubic feet of gas and ultimately could be one of the 10 largest gas fields in the UK sector of the Southern Permian basin.  Not bad for a mature exploration play, and I mean the basin not the geologist! 

A fairly recent highpoint in my career was when I was elected as President of the Petroleum Society of Great Britain (PESGB) for 2005.  It was an honour to be recognised by my peers and contemporaries’ and also to be able to give something back to a profession which has served me so well.  On a personal note I am now a proud grandfather to Jacob who is two and on a recent holiday was introduced to the rocks in Northern France just south of Cherbourg, ironically the cliffs were part of a granite body cut by dolerite dykes!  I expect Andrew Rothstein had a quiet laugh!

That’s 35 years in a nutshell.  If any of the crowd of74 fancy a beer and are in London do look me up.  My contact details are below and by the way if Alan Taylor reads this I know I owe you lunch!

Best regards


7 August 2009


Do send Alan the email.  He will call me asking for his lunch!  Alan is the only one I see relatively frequently.  I bump into Peter King occasionally; he ran his own well site geology company for a number of years and very occasionally Paul Connell who is working as a consultant micropalaeontologist.  I lost touch with Glenys and Richard (Pop) Bearman about 10 years ago.  I know Clive Needham who is at ENI but he did a joint degree and I am not sure which year he graduated.     

I have had a very enjoyable and varied career and count myself very fortunate.  In the last 7 years I have been trying to give something back hence my involvement with the PESGB.  I have also served on the Technical Committee for 2 of the North West European Geological conferences (the so called Barbican conferences) and have chaired both Organising and Technical Committees  for PETEX which is the main UK based conference /exhibition for subsurface geosciences held bi-annually in the UK.    

I really enjoyed my time in Portsmouth and feel that the London External degree gave a very sound framework in geology.  It was an exciting time to be an undergraduate as plate tectonics and sea floor spreading were still relatively new concepts.  I remember the excitement when “Understanding the Earth“ was published as the format of the book was so refreshing.  

I did meet Mike Ridd some years ago but only once or twice.

Best wishes to you and your family and now I have finally made contact I will keep in touch.



Jim Munns

Exploration Director, Endeavour Energy UK Limited

114 St. Martin’s Lane

London WC2N 4BE

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7451 2357

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7451 2350 (switchboard)

Fax: +44 (0) 207 451 2351


Glenys Rugman - 2

25 Jan. 2011

Good to hear from you. I hope you are well. Are you still lecturing at Portsmouth?
I haven't seen Mark for years but get a card every Christmas and the occasional email.
I am busy with some geology work, trying to learn Welsh (now that I am living in Wales), rowing and some family history research. I have competed in a number of rowing competitions over the last few years and won some medals - I took part in the World Masters Rowing Championships in Canada last September but only came third in my race.
I still seem to spend most of my geology time on African mines and projects although I have been to Brazil and Peru for short periods. I have been involved in a wide range of minerals over the years and a selection of mining methods including underground and surface operations - usually mines but some exploration around existing operations.


Alan Taylor - 2

Date: 14.03.08

Have finally got round to an update. See below for a light hearted and more anecdotal CV, far more interesting!
Trust all is well.
Kind regards


Alan Taylor

1974-79:            Robertson Research, sedimentologist
1979-81:            Total, exploration geologist
1981-89:            Phillips Petroleum, Chief Geologist
1989-98:            Hamilton Oil, latterly BHP Petroleum, Exploration Manager
1998-present:    ATenergy, Director Upstream Business Development

I’ve had an interesting career, starting out when the North Sea oil province was opening up. I particularly remember working on the first regional model for the Brent facies and trying to figure out T-Block and the intricacies of the Upper Jurassic boulder beds – the analogous Helmsdale Boulder Beds remain one of the most bizarre and intriguing sedimentological phenomena in the UK. I did many trips to the Moray Firth in those early years and have fond memories of Brora and Helmsdale, but not forgetting of course the Clynelish distillery. Whilst on the subject of bizarre field trips, I would like to remember my good friend and colleague at Phillips, Giff Kessler who sadly passed away a few years ago. He would have been most honoured to have this 1978 photo of him published, demonstrating the mass flow model!

Giff, 'Fearless on the Helmsdale Boulder Beds'.

Phillips Petroleum was a great place to work, that was until T Boone Pickens and Karl Ikon did their worst in 1985. Phillips never really recovered its former eminence from those corporate battles and in 1989 the lure of Hamilton was too great.
Hamilton was something else; a smaller company but fantastic camaraderie and a reputation of getting the job done. Such was my experience – within a short while of joining I was presenting the results of the first Liverpool Bay discovery well to Fred Hamilton, an experience I shall never forget. Fred stopped me after only a few minutes and said “Alan, I can see what you are about to say (the brightly coloured and felt pen annotated faxes received that morning and strewed across the wall gave the story away). Stop the well and drill an appraisal.” Within two days we were ready to suspend the well and move to the appraisal location, only to hear that the next rig operator had withdrawn its consent for us to keep the rig for another slot. We had to wait a while before we could drill again but this time not an appraisal, the Douglas discovery. In 1990 Hamilton participated in something like 12-15 wells and discovered oil or gas in just about every well it operated; the only total dry holes were farmouts! Malcolm Pattinson, our Exploration Manager and hero of the day duly picked up (metaphorically speaking!) the UK Explorer of the Year award.
I moved on from the comfort of the North Sea in 1993 and as Exploration Manager for the Middle East I spent a third of my time working in various Middle East countries (another third was spent in the UK and the other third in aeroplanes!). We worked on projects in many countries and I got to make many new friends throughout the area. I remember well the first visit to Iraq in 1995 – an old, a very old, Iraqi owned and driven GMC Suburban picked us up in Amman and delivered us 14 hours and many breakdowns later to the Rashid Hotel in Baghdad. Over 40 visits and many years later I am still learning about Iraq and the Iraqis; a shame a few politicians hadn’t done the same! To me Iraq is a fantastic place of incredible beauty, of dusty and dirty waste, of squandered opportunities, of human suffering and of great and warm people. The real squandered opportunity was in early 2003 – the opportunity to settle disputes over the table. Unfortunately that was not to be, the rest is history.
Since setting up ATenergy in 1998, I have continued in the Middle East and North Africa, and in particular have maintained friends and contacts in Iraq (and out of Iraq as sadly the migration of highly qualified and capable Iraqis continues). Most of my work with ATenergy is commercial and project management, and we’ve had a few successes but being a consultant those have to remain under the belt for now.

The photobelow is interesting. I took it en route to Erbil. Shows a NW-SE trending anticline and the surface expression of the Hamrin oil field in Iraq. The field is about 1,800 million barrels reserves and yet to be developed. Note in the distance the anticline is cut and offset by a NE-SW trending reactivated basement fault - the river Tigris passes through the weak point. The continuation of the anticline forms another oil field, the Makul field (also undeveloped but only 30mmbo). Where the Tigris flows to the left (southeast) is the town of Baiji with its large oil refinery (Iraq's largest) and pipeline pumping stations. It is from Baiji that Kirkuk oil flows north into Turkey (ultimately to Ceyhan) for export.

I still maintain an involvement in NW Europe with ongoing exploration and oil & gas field development projects (mainly UK and Ireland).
Please note that friends, clients and colleagues will no longer receive Christmas cards from us; we now make an annual donation to Care International. A very admirable and gentle lady by the name of Margaret Hassan was working in Iraq as the country manager for Care International – working on such humble projects as the supply of clean water to local communities. She was abducted in November 2004, never to be seen again. I met her and her Iraqi husband a couple of times in Baghdad and was most impressed by her caring nature and her total commitment to help others. Care International is one of those charities specialising in local infrastructure projects and helping local communities to help themselves. They are also a charity which puts a high percentage of donations into actual  projects.

Alan Taylor
Tel: +44-(0)1737-271728
Mobile: +44-(0)7710-511882
Fax: +44-(0)1737-271728
Web: www.atenergy.com

Alan Taylor



Alan Bell - 2
Date: 8.6.04

   I retired as field trip secretary of West Sussex Geological Society in February. I had been doing it for 11 years and needed to resign because things are very busy at work at the moment, especially as we are about to transfer to CapGemini from EDS. It could be interesting times ahead. Luckily I still find the job quite interesting especially the Customer contact.


Bogdan Dobraszczyk - 3

Date sent: 05.09.06

Hi Brian
nice to hear from you. What are you up to these days? I guess you have retired to the wilds somewhere interesting.
It's interesting to see what the others have all been up to since they left Pompey. They all seem to have had much more interesting lives than me!
Anyway, here's a brief summary of what I've been up to since 1975.
After graduating from Portsmouth in 1975, I decided on a change of direction and took an MSc in Materials Science at Thames Polytechnic (now grandly called The University of Greenwich!). After that I went to Bath University to do a PhD in Materials Science looking at fracture mechanisms in wood using acoustic emission and really liked Bath, got married to a pharmacist in 1983 (good for the pills!) and took a PGCE teaching certificate. 1982-1985 I was a lecturer in Science at a private college in Bath teaching chemistry and physics to rich arabs - most of them had more expensive cars than my house! In 1985 we moved to Reading, where I did a postdoc in fracture and cutting of frozen meat, and in 1987 I got a job as a scientist at RHM (Rank Hovis McDougall) Research Centre in High Wycombe - my first proper job, my wife said!
I stayed at RHM for 10 years until 1997, working on how to make bread more cheaply so they could give it away in the supermarkets! In 1997 I went back to the University of Reading as a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Food Biosciences, where I am happily but insecurely existing on any grant income that I can generate. Most of the work has been on characterisation of the gluten proteins that occur in wheat and their role in stabilising the gas bubbles that give bread its volume, and along the way I have achieved fame (but not fortune) inventing a test machine that measures the expansion properties of these bubbles in dough - used by bakeries worldwide.(http://www.stablemicrosystems.com/).
Best Regards
Dr Bogdan Dobraszczyk
Principal Research Fellow
School of Food Biosciences
The University of Reading
PO Box 226, Whiteknights
Reading RG6 6AP, UK
Tel. +44 (0)118 378 8714 (direct)
      +44 (0)118 926 7240 (home)
Fax.+44 (0)118 931 0080


Richard Holt - 2

Date: 16.11.05
1975 - 78: PhD Open University - Geotectonic Evolution of the Pan African Anka Belt in NW Nigeria
1978 - 82: Postdoc Open University - Structures, Geochronology, Metamorphics - Archaen of South India
1982 - 84: Consultant to the then CEGB - Seismic Hazard Working Group
1984 - 94: Joined Phillips Petroleum UK and, rising to Exploration Manager, sorted the Exploration department out and found some oil and gas after Alan Taylor,1974 left.
1994 - Present: Founded and developed Earthworks at www.earthworks-jobs.com the world-leading on-line database of jobs for Geoscientists.

Dave Mellings - 2                                                                                         Date:24.11.05

BSc Geology (2:2), Portsmouth Polytechnic, London External, 1975. MSc Petroleum Geology, Imperial College, London, 1984 (Distinction). MSc Sedimentology, Birkbeck College, London (Distinction), 1993.

My first real job after graduating at Portsmouth was working for Hunting Surveys on a soil survey in Saudi Arabia, looking for potential farmland. An interesting year, travelling and working all over the desert. Waking up in the morning and seeing the beautiful majestic giant red sand dunes on the edge of the Empty Quarter was a wonderful experience. After Saudi, I joined Core Laboratories, and went off for mud logging training in Dallas, Texas, after which I was assigned to South America, working mostly in Brazil on offshore exploration wells. I lived in Rio de Janeiro for three years and got married there (in Copacabana) to a Brazilian girl, Lucia.

After a few years mudlogging, I took a job as a Staff Geologist with Cities Service, in Houston, where I was involved in oil exploration work in Kenya and Angola. After two years there, I decided to do an MSc course in Petroleum Geology at Imperial College, which I enjoyed immensely. After getting that, I joined Amoco in their London office and worked as an Exploration Geologist in the North Sea, responsible for four quadrants (21,22,29 and 30). My main task there was making exploratory well recommendations on what later became the Everest Field. Then 1986 arrived and I was laid off in the downturn of that year – an infamous year in the oil industry! It was major decision time then. I decided I wanted to stay working as a Geologist, so I looked around and found geotechnical work with Wembley Laboratories, working on site investigations, for two years. The work was interesting, especially on sites in Central London as we frequently uncovered human Roman remains during trial pitting. But one wet soggy day on a piling rig site, caked in grey London Clay, I decided to reply to an Ad for Mining Geologists in Zambia. I got the job and worked in the Luanshya Copper Mine for a year. Interesting work and even more exotic holidays followed in Africa. Lucia and I spent a whole week on safari in Zambia’s Luangwa Valley. We saw most types of wildlife, apart from Rhinos. And all it cost us was fifty quid each (food included). Incidentally, another Portsmouth graduate joined us on that holiday in Zambia – Nic Browne, 1975.

I then returned to the UK, worked in geotechnics again for a while, and did some contract work in Sedimentology in Holland and in Nigeria. Then I re-entered the oil industry as a consultant Wellsite Geologist, working mostly in the North Sea, with a couple of trips to Trinidad for British Gas. I clocked up about five years working in the North Sea, during which time I enrolled at Birkbeck College, London to do yet another MSc ( in Sedimentology), part time over two years. I enjoyed it enormously. Theres some fascinating topics in the world of sedimentology. I was especially interested in "saline giants" and in carbonate platforms (and why they drown). Indeed, I made this my research topic on the course and went off to Majorca for a month to study a Jurassic drowned carbonate platform there. The fieldwork was fun, but to be honest, I probably spent more time in the tapas bars than up in the mountains looking at rocks. Nevertheless, the project helped earn me a distinction on the course.

In 1995 I was accepted for some exploratory well drilling in Vietnam, with JVPC (Mitsubishi Oil). I worked as a consultant wellsite geologist for them for two years, on a Japanese rig. I found the Japanese very interesting people and liked them a lot. Actually, Japan is right at the top of my yet-to-go-to places, but I will one day, soon. We discovered oil in fractured weathered igneous and metamorphic basement rocks. I also worked for the Koreans and the Malaysian oil companies out there. Later on I sat the deepest exploration well drilled in Vietnam. Seven busy weeks offshore, but I made up for it and stayed for six weeks afterwards in Vung Tau, partying and having a jolly good time.

While working in Vietnam, I based myself in Thailand, for a total of four years (another tough assignment), first in Hat Yai right at the south end of the country, then in Bangkok. I also sat exploration wells in India, Bangladesh and China while I was out there.

One day, I got into a taxi in Bangkok and it crashed, breaking my left leg. After two weeks in a Thai hospital, I returned to the UK to recover. It took a year for my leg to mend. My experience in the Thai hospital was very painful, yet interesting. I wasn’t given the usual hospital food. The taxi driver’s wife came to the hospital everyday to give me Thai Red Curry for dinner. I lost my shoes in the accident and the head nurse bought me a nice pair of shoes out of her own money. A lovely kind gesture. And then there were the sixteen year old trainee nurses to chat with everyday, to cheer me up. They used to ask me questions like "who do you think is more beautiful, me or my friend?" A very dangerous question indeed. I played at being a politician and dodged the question – a wrong answer and I could have ended up with two broken legs!

Luckily my broken leg coincided with a recession in the oil industry. After the Millenium I started work again as a consultant Wellsite Geologist, sitting wells in Ecuador, Brazil and Vietnam again. I recently completed three years in Chad with Esso and the photo I have submitted is of myself in Chad examining sidewall core samples.

I an currently contracted to Chevron in Angola, which brings me bang up to date. Wellsite Geology remains my bread-and-butter work. I was tempted to become a Sedimentologist but I don’t want to give up my six months off a year and loose my current lifestyle.

Looking ahead, when the next recession comes in the oil business, I will probably move back into geotechnics, or go and teach English in Japan, perhaps. The job market for Engineering Geologists appears to be very healthy. And I’m not discounting going back to university to gain a geotechnical qualification, perhaps half an MSc, without the dissertation. I will be learning something or other till the day I leave this world and I,ve long believed that education shouldn’t just be the preserve of the young.

Now who was it said that everyone has a public life, a private life and a secret life. Well, here is a bit of mine, more about me as a person. I am now 51, I,ve thoroughly enjoyed my working life and my personal life. I have travelled very extensively, been to a lot of exotic places, eaten a lot of exotic food and met a lot of exotic people. And I,ve got geology to thank for that. Its taken me all around the world. I,m very thankful for picking up that book at the children’s library when I was about 7 years old that my father took me to one day. It was a pictorial book depicting weird and wonderful sea creatures in a Palaeozoic sea (the bizarrely beautiful trilobites). I guess, looking back, that was what sparked off my interest in geology. I,ve always been attracted to exotic things. I’ve worked and studied hard (and played even harder). In the first half of my career and life I tended to live to work, nowadays the emphasis is definitely on working to live. I have many hobbies and interests to persue in my (typically) six months off a year: Roman Archaeology, wine and wine tasting, modern art and abstract metal sculptures, gourmet cooking etc. I find people interesting and love reading biographies of people who have lived interesting lives or people who have interesting things to say about life (especially artists). Peggy Guggenheim and Talulah Bankhead are my next biographical reads. If I ever write my autobiography I,d probably call it "What’s for Dinner", my calling sign whenever I call home. I love reading the British newspapers (The Telegraph and the Times), and occasionally some of the more scandalous newspapers.

My strong interest in modern art takes me all over Europe and I’ve even started buying original works of art. I spent several thousand quid in Krakow recently on a painting and a metal sculpture mounted on a block of solid black rock – please don’t ask me what the rock is – I,m only a geologist! Favourite art galleries: Tate Modern in London and the Pompidou Centre in Paris. Cubist art and buildings in Prague. The Doges Cathedral in Milan, Sagrada Familia in Barcelona (I see it everyday – I live only two blocks away from it). I like the Guggenheim in Bilbao, the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia. The Dinosaur rooms at the Natural History Museum in Milan are truly magnificent, too.

I,m also interested in aspects of peoples Personalities. I am a Myers-Briggs ISFP and though I,ve long since been interested in art, I only discovered my artistic streak Christmas 2004, when a "sketching war" broke out in my mothers living room amongst my army of brothers, sister and nephews. I was quite pleased the way some of my drawings of family members turned out and so now I have added drawing and painting to my list of hobbies. I only really like sketching peoples faces / portraits. Bowls of oranges don’t really inspire me. One can have real fun and have a good laugh sketching people. Both my Brazilian wife (Lucia) and my Colombian girlfriend (LuzMaria) pose for me (but not at the same time). I intend going to art classes soon.

I have a lot of holidays, I make frequent trips to Italy to indulge my interest in Romans. Once again, its Roman people that interest me. My favourite places in Rome and Italy include the Philosophers gallery and the Roman Emperors ( and wives/girlfriends & boyfriends) gallery at the Capitoline Museum, the Vatican museums, Nero’s Golden House, Nero’s second wife Poppeaea’s villa at Oplontis ( complete with swimming pool), near Pompeii. Pompeii and Ostia are both utterly stunning. Pompeii has to be one of the most fascinating places in the world (with or without Frankie Howard!). I recently led a "field trip" with a couple of young nephews to show them around ancient Rome and the people who made history there.

My politics is Right wing (in complete contrast to my student days at Portsmouth). Favourite food: Chinese, Italian and Lebanese. Every time I come through London I like to eat at my favourite Chinese restaurant, "The Magic Wok" in Bayswater. Favourite music: a bit of everything really, everything from Jazz to Opera, Classical (Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin), through to Heavy Metal and Goth Music.

Although I still keep a house in Staffordshire (voted recently as the dullest place in the UK to live by "Country Life" magazine – not true by the way – just ask Jeremy Clarkson!), I have been living in Barcelona for the last four years. A good place for bohemians and for art lovers.

Should anyone wish to write, I have a couple of email addresses I use:

dmellings@hotmail.com  and  davemellings@gmail.com


Philip Morgan - 1

Date: 10.07.06

Greetings from Virginia -- sounds like you're doing well. Geology at Portsmouth in the early 70's seems like a life time away --- which indeed it was. You may recall that after graduation Carol Burrows and I (Philip Morgan) were married. We have lived in the US since 1984 and have three grown children. Carol works at a local OB/GYN and I am Chaplain at a boarding school and Vicar of the nearby parish.
Kind regards to you,
Philip Morgan



David Atherton - 5

Date: 16.01.06

Name:                                    DAVID ATHERTON

Position:                                Partner with Peter Brett Associates.

Year of Birth:                        1955

Qualifications:                     BSc (Hons) Engineering Geology & Geotechnics, Portsmouth Polytechnic, 1976
                                                MSc Foundation Engineering, University of Birmingham, 1977
                                                Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, 1999 (Member, 1987)
Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Water & Environmental Management, 1999   (Member, 1992)
                                                Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining, 1999 (Member, 1982)
                                                Member of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management, 1999
                                                Chartered Engineer, 1982
                                                Chartered Waste Manager, 1999
                                                Chartered Water and Environmental Manager, 1992
                                                Chartered Geologist, 1990
                                                Fellow of the Geological Society, 1989

Career Summary:

David has over 25 years experience in geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering, waste management and environmental consultancy.  His experience is particularly relevant to the regeneration of derelict and despoiled industrial land, landfills and areas of mineral workings.  David is also actively involved with waste management and mineral projects per se.  He became a Partner in 1996 and is head of the Water and Environment Division.
David has previously worked with specialist contractors and consultants and has considerable experience in the UK, Continental Europe, Africa, Middle East and the Far East.
David’s major UK projects have included: redevelopment of 1000 ha of brickpits for 8000 houses; environmental management of 3No Channel Tunnel Rail Link Contracts (c. £300m value); stabilisation of chalk mines in Central Reading; coastal protection schemes; integrated gasification, composting, landfill and industrial schemes.
David has been an expert witness in litigation and public inquiries for building failures, integrated waste facilities (100 ha), slope instability and gravel extraction.  He lectures extensively to the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Geological Society, CBI, Environment Agency, Institution of Structural Engineers, RICS, planners, loss adjusters, universities and schools.  

Selected Experience:
Projects include:
                Major developments up to 8000 houses and 600,000m2 of industrial, commercial and offices.
Environmental Management of 3No Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) contracts including Thames Tunnels, and design, supervision & CQA of a 400,000m3 landfill.
Structures; from housing to multi-storey buildings with basements; underpinning and remedial schemes.
Expert witness for foundation and slope failures, contaminated and gassing land projects, mineral workings and integrated waste management and industrial facilities.
                Integrated waste management, landfill engineering, waste to energy projects, biomass schemes.
Contaminated land evaluation, risk assessment & remediation.  Mineral assessments. Coastal, estuarine & fluvial protection schemes.  Coastal, estuarine, & river defences (inc. 300 km survey); armourstone specifications and landslide remediation.
Hydrogeological studies (including leachate plume studies, groundwater modelling, & Regulation 15 assessment.
                Dam design in accordance with the Reservoirs Act (1975).
                Integrated waste management, waste to energy schemes & biomass incinerators – EIA’s, costings, etc.
                Landfill engineering (up to 3 million m3) including GCL’s, CQA and gas control.
Investigation of methane, carbon dioxide, radon and natural gas and specification for remedial works.
                Contaminated land: assessment of contamination, risk assessment, and design of remedial works.
                Foundation design: analysis of settlement and heave; piles and retaining walls.
Earthworks: specifications for multi-million m3 of fill; for dams, roads and landfills; cement and lime stabilisation.
                Ground treatment dewatering, vibroflotation, dynamic compaction, vertical drains, grouting, VCC’s.
Slope stabilisation design for rock slopes and clay slopes with relic landslips including soil nailing and ground anchors.


Ian Moore - 3
Date: 25.7.05

Career in a nutshell is a tricky one, as you know I did my PhD at Glasgow University graduating in 1979 in Geochemistry - NE Scottish granites!!!
Then I joined the BGS in Edinburgh for 2 years where I was seconded out to Cyprus for the summer in 1981 - honestly!! But most of the time was spent drilling the shallow marine boreholes in the North Sea.
Left the BGS to join Chevron in the autumn of 1981 to drill deeper holes in the North Sea and Spain - stayed with them until 1997. By then I had moved into supporting the Capital Project Teams putting the Alba Field facilities in place - spending most of my time out in a shipyard in Northern Spain - Ferrol.

Left Chevron in 1997 to join Ernst & Young Management Consulting - then our bit got taken over/sold to Capgemini - so now I lead the Upstream Centre of Excellence for this side of the Atlantic - I've highlighted some of the things that I've been up to while being a Management Consultant - as you can see I don't get much time at home!!
Leading the Upstream Post Merger Integration programme for a major East European Oil and Gas company - based in Bucharest, Romania
Technical support – provided SME support to team developing a new Strategic direction for a major offshore engineering contractor - based in Esbjerg, Denmark
Technical support – Member of the team reviewing a suite of an oil majors E&P projects including Real Time Architecture Process (RTAP) and Hydrocarbon Accounting - based in Aberdeen.
Post merger integration (PMI) – led the PMI programme for the world’s second largest drilling contractor - based in Aberdeen
Project management – delivered an oil majors Euro implementation programme - based in Brussels, Belgium
Project management – seconded to the UK Government Cabinet Office for 2 years to lead the Oil & Gas contingency planning during their Year 2000 programme, and business continuity plans for oil stocks. Worked with all the Regulators. Reported to the Home Secretary over the actual date change - based in Cabinet Office
Strategic review – developed and delivered for a global Upstream contractor a market review and potential acquisition targets - based in Oslo, Norway
Facilitation support – ran key industry workshops chaired by the UK Energy Minister to map out the way forward for the Industry Leadership Team (PILOT) and the UKCS - London
Project Management – Led the review of a leading European Upstream company’s IT functional support to the Operations Group, Governance, Collaboration and SmartField workstreams - based in Hamburg, Germany. Married to Janet, and have 2 kids Gregory (8) and Ellen (5).

Upstream Global Centre of Excellence
Internal 700 0474
External +44 870 366 0474
Fax +44 1483 788 417

Ian Moore

15 Feb. 2011

Hi Brian,

Happy New Year!!

What can I say – still in the same role with the Capgemini Global Oil and Gas Centre of Excellence, helping our clients around the world – be it in South America, West Africa etc – in fact anywhere in the world where there is oil and gas. For my sins I sit on the Programme Committee for the SPE organised Intelligent Energy Conferences – for the past 6 years, the next conference will be in Bahrain in October, it will be another great opportunity to learn more about what people are doing around the world in the area of digital oilfields. I still get the occasional paper published and/or presented at various conferences.

The family are all growing up – Greg is 14 and Ellen 11, Janet is still at Woking High School. Outside of work I’m a RYA qualified inland waterways instructor, and also hold a Maritime and Coastguard Agency skippers licence for Class 5 passenger vessels – up to 250 passengers. Keeping on the nautical theme – my parents are currently on a world cruise!!

Last summer we went to Cornwall for our family holiday – took the kids down Poldark Mine, and also around Geevor, this complemented our trip the previous year down the Big Pit coalmine in Wales, but it doesn’t look as though they are interested in Geology L. I think that the highlight last year was at Easter taking a boat from Inverness to Fort William (and return), and no we didn’t see Nessie! Though Ellen did do her best Kate Winslet impression coming into the locks at Fort Augustus – she was holding the bow ropes ready to pass up at the lock side.

I exchanged emails a couple of weeks ago with Carol Speirs, so in the summer when all the building work on our house has been finished Carol and Bob will come over from Reading – if they came any earlier it would have to be a takeaway! Actually we should move back in after five months renting next week – going a bit green by putting in solar collectors for the hot water – we had the loft converted and few other things done.

All the best – keep in touch.



Ian Moore / Capgemini UK / Woking

Principal Consultant, Global Oil and Gas Services Centre of Excellence
Telephone +44 870 366 0474  

1, Forge End, Woking,
Surrey. GU21 6DB



An excellent reunion of 1977 Portsmouth Geology Graduates was held in Portsmouth on May 17-18, 2014 (40 years since they started as students), organised by Tim Herrett. Nineteen graduates attended plus 4 lecturers and 15 'significant others'.

 Ron Birch - 4    ( See also Tim Herrett - 1978 graduate )

29 April 2010

Hi Brian

Really nice to hear from you, and glad that you are well and “active”.

Yes, some of us continue to stay in touch 30+years later.

You might want to add Dave Rogers to your list dave.rogers@nov.com

Dave and I shared a house in Portsmouth in 1975 and have worked for the same companies on and off ever since we joined Core Laboratories in Dallas in 1977.

Dave is now based in Perth Australia and has gone completely bush.

I am currently living near to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

We have followed the usual nomadic oilfield existence living in various countries, generally staying one step ahead of Interpol.

It seems three years is about maximum in this business so my kids have been educated in Scotland, Italy, Egypt, Malaysia, Canada, Colombia, Texas, Abu Dhabi, Austria and finally Pennsylvania.

We sincerely hope our youngest gets to graduate high school here….one year to go.

Anyway, best of luck and stay in touch.


Ron Birch and the one that nearly got away! - 2010



Ian Gummery - 4

3 November 2011

Hi Brian - how are you!! Good to hear from you. Not sure what sort of thing you need for the graduates website - to cut a long career as short as possible . . . from Portsmouth I joined the oil industry with a French company and worked as a geologist in various parts of the world. However I found that geology in practice was not quite as exciting as you guys made it at Portsmouth, so moved across to drilling engineering. Here I spent many years working in all corners of the globe for the French outfit and then as a consultant. Simultaneously I carried on an amateur career in sport (triathlon) and sports coaching. This led to an MSc in Sports Science & Sports Coaching at Brunel. I have now put my travelling shoes away for a while (though I do miss the adventure) and work at a local sports college in Essex where I head up their BSc course in Sports Coaching and Physical Education. 30+ years in a nutshell eh.
Hope you are keeping well - still at Portsmouth?
Take care - Ian


Brian Jones - 3

20 May 2011

Hi Brian, Im not into this Facebook lark myself because I think it's a bit Big Brother and an ideal source for identity theft. Hence I don't repond to 'add as a friend'. Hope you are well. Aren't you fed up with Geology yet?. You should get a more relaxing hobby such as plucking live chickens - blindfold. I'm still working as a Senior Engineering Geologist near Dublin, but redundancy is looming if things don't pick up. Nice to hear from you.

Mike McMahon - 3
Date: 10.8.05

I have been working with Graham Mitchell, 1979 for a couple of months now. It was strange how we both re-met. I was offshore on the Bredford Dolphin attending a safety meeting and I was chatting to him over lunch and it transpired we were both at Portsmouth.
I have been working at Total in Aberdeen for the last 10 years (consulting of course)! Currently looking after the Stena Spey which is carrying out workovers on our Otter field way up North.

I have recently re-married (two years ago) to a girl from Limerick in Ireland (Total sent me over there in 1997) and have a young son Connor aged 4.

Mike McMahon
Drilling Operations Superintendent
Tel+44 (0) 1224 297397   Fax +44 (0) 1224 296812     mike.mcmahon@total.com TOTAL E&P UK PLC, Crawpeel Road, Altens Industrial Estate, ABERDEEN  AB12 3FG 


A big wave - photographed by Mike McMahon.


Dave Rogers - 3

10 May 2010


Well done for keeping the website going, glad to hear you are well and enjoying retirement.

It is amazing that it is now 33 years since the class of 77 graduated and we all set out to travel far and wide

I never did make it to my graduation ceremony as I was already working in Texas, soon to be followed there by Ron Birch and Les Burgess to start Mud Logging with Core Lab .

My 1st posting was to Trinidad, followed by Messrs Birch and Burgess. They split off a couple of years later and I stayed in Trinidad until 1985 having married Chris, with whom I celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary this year !! Work took me to Colombia, Venezuela and Surinam. Fellow ‘77Pompey graduate  Pete Hill-Cottingham and family coming down for a visit.

Next followed a stint thru Dallas and then to sunny Aberdeen, where 3 weeks earlier Ron Birch and his family had arrived, we soon met up with Big Ken Johns another Aberdeen resident. Over these years I managed to keep in touch with Pete Fearn , Cotto, Tim Herrett & Kev Lander to name but a  few, plus if my memory serve me, Marcus Chandler on one of his visit to the UK.

Ken John left for Singapore and a little while later Ron Birch departed to Egypt and he soon called for help, so with a stint of unemployment  and life outside the Oil & Gas industry under my belt , this made that decision pretty easy. So off we went to join Ron in Cairo and it was a whole new career in drill bits. After a year or so Ron transferred out and I took over as manager, developing markets in Syria, Tunisia and Turkey as well as thoroughly enjoying living and working in such a fascinating country.

Promotion to North Sea manager followed and then starting in 1993  I went into  business development (same company)  in India and then in ’95 Russia . The latter was interesting as it was very undeveloped in the early days and travel intra Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan , Ukraine and a bunch of smaller Stans was  a “challenge”. With an average of 100 flights / year for each of  the past 5 years it was time for a change.

By now the company I was working for (ReedHycalog) was a part of Schlumberger and Sept 2000 saw the Rogers family departing to Adelaide where none other than Les Burgess was living and working as a  wellsite Geologists in the Cooper Basin (a small world !!).

2004 saw us headed to Perth and deciding to take out Australian Citizenship to be able to stay  in Oz and finally stop globetrotting -except for vacations and meetings !!

I am currently looking after NOV Downhole's operations in Australia, New Zealand and PNG. Where we provide drilling tools ,drill bits and Coring services to the Oil and Gas industry. This means I have the occasional  trip to Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane and New Zealand, with the occasional trip to Singapore , KL or Dubai. Life is good !! ( I still have not discovered a poor Australian City or bad drop of Ozzie red, but I continue to search diligently for both)

I did see Pete Fearn in Houston a couple of years ago and to my knowledge Ken Johns is still in Thailand, Ron as you know is in Pennsylvania and Les Burgess is still in Adelaide . Not sure about anyone else,

Thanks for keeping the website going and I hope we can catch up at some stage.

Best Regards


Dave Rogers


Keith Saunders - 4

Date: 24.11.05
July 1977 Graduated (age 45) with Joint Hons Geology/Physics.
Sept '77 Joined Physics Dept Littlehampton School (11 - 18 comp, 2000+ on roll) Teaching physics to 'A' level + some chemistry and materials science etc. Also continued teaching 'A' level geology at Chichester College of F.E. (evenings).
 Feb '78 promoted official No 2 in Physics dept and made responsible for introduction of computer into curriculum (with ONE BBC computer with 16k RAM soon upgraded to 32k). 'How could we ever use all that memory', I remember thinking!
Jan '82 Hulme Grammar School for Girls (11 - 18). Oldham as Head of Physics. A selective, mainly fee-paying school' this was a great contrast to L'hampton.
Designed new laboratories and associated facilities. Introduced electronics course. Joined in expedition training for Duke of Ed. award scheme. Joined and helped run CCF, R.A.F.section at associated Boys' School Continued with this activity, except when overseas, until age 65.
Jan '87 - Aug '88 Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) post as Head of Physics, Inst. of F. E., Grenada, West Indies. Was effectively Head of Science and only 'A' level physics teacher on Grenada main island. Designed and organised EU funding to equip complete suite of new laboratory facilities. Represented I.F.E. on building site committee for these labs. Designed a science equipment package for all Grenada's secondary schools and procured funds for these through ODA (now DIFED). Introduced BBC computer to IFE (ODA funded).
Oct '88 - Jan '90 University of West Indies (UWI), Barbados Campus. ODA funded post as Project Manager for pilot project to introduce computer as teaching tool for science/maths at pre-degree and 1st year degree level in 9 'non-campus' East Caribbean islands. A very intensive period involving much travel and negotiating at ministry level in the various disparate islands. I learned a lot!
Feb' 90 - Mar '04 On return to UK joined Special Needs Education service in Oldham. Worked in a variety of settings including schools for young people (11-19) with severe learning difficulties; moderate learning/behavioural difficulties; severe educational/behavioural and main-stream support units. Also a couple of terms and supply work teaching Maths at Chichester High School for Girls.
I forgot the Cambodia and Tanzania interludes :-
Mar - Jul '97 VSO post, Ministry of Education, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.Adviser for Strategic Plan to implement government policy for national secondary Science and Maths education. Also adviser to Science text book writig group. (Cambodia had no text books and few teachers post the Kmer Rouge regime). Posting ended soon after the July armed government coup.
Nov '97 - Feb '98 Hirani Ratcliffe Development Consultants (HRDC). Assistant to lead consultant Mike Ratcliffe on Education Development Programme (especially science and maths) for Government of Tanzania.
During this period increasingly involved with outdoor pursuits. Also undertook several Charity Challenge Treks, the most recent (Nov'04) being to Torres del Paine, Chile to raise funds for SCOPE (for people with cerebral palsy). See also - http://members.aol.com/menpatrek/pubpage.htm
Jan '05 - present  Leased 11 acres of pasture near house to run a small flock of sheep (Jacobs and Black Wensleydale), produce hay, try minimum fertiliser methods. In particular I want to experience 1st hand, if on a small scale, the difficulties of modern farming, especially those associated with the recent major changes in the EU Common Agriculture Policy and its implementation.
Involved with River Colne Environmental Project and in running the Saddleworth Pedestrians walking club (150 members).
Main other continuing interest - photography

Granite peaks at Torres del Paine - Chilean Patagonia. Photo by Keith Saunders


5 March 2011 (Keith - 79 this year!)

Hi Brian

I've just looked back at your earlier emails and realise I'll be in the Lake District with the 'Peds' 25 - 28 March so will miss your 'Big One' in Bosham. Hope all goes well with the show!
I'm still waiting for my last few ewes to lamb. The 22 are doing well - the eldest will be 9 weeks old on Monday. and feeling very adolescent already!
Had a busy week: recced a walk in glorious weather on Tuesday that I'll lead tomorrow; to Colne Valley High School Wednesday to help get a gardening/orchard project going; took friends out Thursday (a lovely couple but the husband is quite ill) to a place they can take their dogs (2) and park away from a road and then do a steady walk in beautiful moorland near a reservoir set partly in woodland; yesterday in support of a friend (Fred) doing navigation training for 6th form college people on their first outdoor training exercise for D of E Gold expedition. Did they need support! All 3 groups of 5 got mislaid (if not lost) within half an hour of setting out! So long as they learn from their mistakes they'll be fine; today I've been 'chief carver' for the Linthwaite Methodist Church's 'Old Folks Treat'! This was the 150th successive year they've run this event where all pensioners in the parish are invited to a fine 2 course lunch followed by an afternoon of entertainment. I first learned of it when invited as an old gaffer some years ago. I replied that I didn't feel I qualified yet so for several years now (excepting last year) I've been carving the meat for about 120 folk'. I get to eat with the second sitting. The event takes place in the fine church hall (they knew how to build'em, those 19th C methodists!) and the tables are laid beautifully - linen cloths, fresh flowers etc and the service to table runs like clockwork - well it should after 114 years! I've never stayed for the entertainment, but it's professional stuff and folk speak highly of it.
So, after that it was home for a bit of outdoor work. It's been a pretty gloomy day - drizzle this morning, cold and clammy, and the cloud has never cleared. It should be better for my 12 mile walk tomorrow. In between all that I've been working on my shed and the preparations for the Bands, Barbecue and Country Games event in Slaithwaite Spa Park. Lots to do before the event on 21st May.

Love to Joyce.

Best wishes


Hillard Zylstra - 3

22 April, 2014

Hi Brian,

Always really good to hear from you. I was really pleased too to look up fellow grads from 1974 - 1977, and intriguing how many of us have similar stories covering similar parts of the world esp Egypt, Turkey and the Middle East; we probably have been in the same streets just at different times!!

I thought I'd give you a very brief summary of my time since graduating, to cut and paste into your/our website if you so please:

 Since Portsmouth I've been on life's great adventure and very proud of what I've achieved, I've bumped into others along the way even in the most unusual of places, like with Marcus in the North Sinai while I was on an Oil Exploration Team with GSI and he was drilling for water!! So, in brief it's been like this:

Exlog north sea rig, Transocean 5? Didn't like 2 weeks of fog, nothing much to do, no local exploring! So straight onto next job offer:

GSI - Bedford first, then Sinai desert work followed by Geophys Processing and marketing in Cairo plus birth of daughter, Deano visited us there, then more in Ankara.

Then mid-late 80's the Barrel of Oil price slump plus desire to return home for kids sake plus change of career into International Personnel management.

Then greater focus on management training via an R&D Telecomms outfit led to Independant Consultancy.

Almost 20 years consultancy designing and training great fun residential courses for my own clients but largely for Roffey Park and Civil Service College as was.

I meant to retire at 55 but you know how things change but I'm retired and 62 the end of this July, fully retarded now (as we say in Suffolk) and I'm happily pursuing various hobbies and UK/Continental travels with my second wife (sadly I divorced my first wife after 25 years together). I have 3 children of my own: an accomplished London City Architect; an Osteopath and an IT specialist. My wife has two children, ours all went to the same schools, one is an amazing Primary School teacher, the other is currently a mountaineer cleaning skyscraper windows in Sydney; I have one Grandchild!

 It's very unfortunate that I'll be missing the May14 reunion but a family reunion in Holland was arranged for the same period. I'm sure you'll all have a great reunion, I shall miss you all especially those I hung out with at times. I'll keep an eye on your website and hope more of the others submit brief summaries too.

Tim, I look forward to your call as mentioned before, to arrange a local meet up to hear your stories.

Cheers and all the best - Hillard

Hi Brian,
Yes, life in retirement is great. I am presently preparing my Drascombe Lugger sailing boat for this coming season on the beautiful Deben river, I hope to catch some Seabass and well as some more relaxing sails, perhaps even stopping off at The Ramsholt Arms quayside for some welcome libation! Otherwise, bbq'ing at our beachside beachut, or having fish n chips with white wine, or simply good clean family fun! Then there are the travels my wife and I do and more.
I forgot to mention before that I was the youngest Oil Explorationist in North Africa pre-Poly, where I surveyed the Tunisian Sahara Gravity field right up to and including the Atlas mountains - those were such formative experiences for me and set my course for the rest of my life!! My motto's always been: Make brave decisions and never regret them (they are usually never the easiest paths to take but what an adventure!)
I promise to keep in touch more effectively, my wife and I did visit Pompey last June, I think, Poly/Uni was shut by then. I was amazed at how much had changed, l couldn't find Mike Barker's Paleo labs, the ones that were stables condemned for the old fire service horses but good enough for us students. Mercantile House and the Geog dept and Chem block (without prefab huts surrounding it) were easier to find. My wife loved it all and Southsea, we lunched in the Still and West, then later the Spinnaker and did the Queens walk (well, my wife walked, I cycled on my Brompton as my left knee troubles me more these days). We shall return much sooner and let you know when, it would be good to meet your good gentle self again - I distinctly remember those wonderful Structural Geology booklets we worked through with you: outcrops, dips, strikes etc etc. great stuff!
I recall going to a huge 'all years' Geology get together, was it the dept's 50th anniversary or similar, a decade or two ago. Life has been so full and busy - this retirement lark's a blessing, I still find it hard to believe, every morning, that I don't need to rush off to work somewhere, even if I did thoroughly enjoy the bulk of it, and instead rush off to some hobby activity or socialising, etc.
Till we meet again Brian
Tim, thanks for that great photo, a brill momento; it stirred so many memories, good ones! I feel a song coming on . . . 'I'm a Geologist and I'm OK,   could someone complete this!!?
Very best to all - Hillard

Hi Brian,
Sure, that's fine to add my latest to the website too.
I used to sail a Wayfarer too, nice boat, reasonably stable yet raceable. As a youngster I was quite a competitive Dinghy helmsman, I came 4th in the Junior Nationals in the Heron Class; and in my 3 years in Cairo, I became best helmsman on The Nile Maadi Yacht Club in a similar Class boat to the Wayfarer!! It was great fun. I'm not normally so competitive in other walks of life!
If you are ever this way again, let me know and I'll catch up with you if you like.
Till we meet again - cheers!



1978 B.Sc. Geology Graduates - Photo link.

David Cowen - 3

18 April 2010

Hello Brian! Great to catch up with you after so long!... how are you? Can't say I use Facebook much (or trust it – hence the 1st April birthday!)... but it seems to be growing! I did see the “Burnaby Bandits” photo in a publication – which is great! Got me trying to see who I could name after all these years!
Been good to gradually catch up with some of the "old" ex Poly folks! Still keep in touch with a few… I see Phil Cornell regularly… normally spot Ted Finch at one of the conventions – he’s still in the seismic processing side… Came across Dave Myers more recently, who works at Paradigm.. and I bump into Herrett once in a while! Sadly, the industry being it’s volatile self has lost a lot over the years, and I’ve now lost touch with Sid Howells, Steve Armstrong, and Rich Allen…..
What of me? Well, when I left Portsmouth, I didn’t fall into the well logging saga that many did, and ended up working in Saudi for GSI. In fact I was waiting to attend graduation when it all popped up out of the blue, and bang, I was gone the following week! It was there that I found that I had an affinity of combining the geoscience side with computing…. And that’s been my career ever since! I spent some time at BNOC, then Marathon, before staying 15 years at Texaco, all in that similar vein, and one I’v’e found very rewarding. And like many in the industry, have had a great many chances to travel the world and enjoy the many varied and wonderful things that are out there (and yes, the occasional less then wonderful experience too!).
I still look back very fondly on my days at Portsmouth. I have to say I found it a hard course – probably because my Geology level when I joined was somewhat less that what others had. But, I somehow made exactly the right choice…. And I don’t mind hard work – and I seem to remember we partied just as hard too! And the combination of field courses getting everyone together was great. I visited so many places across the UK I knew nothing about – and have been back to a few since to rediscover old memories. Indeed it’s been great to see my son coming back with pockets full of stones, much to my wife’s chagrin! Not sure he’ll be a geologist though! Lots of stories that still sit with me from those trips, and some great memories…. I have to give a big vote of thanks to you folks at Portsmouth… not sure where I’d be if I hadn’t gone there! And it was Fun! I’m not sure in the modern age whether it’s still like that? I hope so!
As it happens, I’m currently working at Tullow Oil - and had one of the Portsmouth geology students in for a day last summer.... lovely lass! Seems they/you still produce some quality people! Long may it last!..

Fondest Regards,

Dave Cowen….you remember, the stupid one that supported Sunderland AFC…. That’s another long story!!....


Jim Cox - 3

Date: 20.01.08

Hi Brian,

Hope you're well and enjoying retirement.

I'm contacting you because I was in touch with Stefan Wozniak recently 
& he reminded me that this year is year 30 since we graduated. We 
thought that it would be a good idea to try & get in touch with others 
who graduated in 1978. We've got contact details for Adrian Doleki & 
Richard Hill but that's about it I'm afraid. I've noted Tim Herret's 
details from the website, but I was wondering whether you had any 
other details that you could let me have. If you have, I'd be very 

As for me, I still living in France working as a self-employed English 
teacher in the "Grandes Écoles" and universities. Back in 1996 the 
British Council sent me  to Botswana to teach at the geological survey 
there for a couple of weeks and my dissertation for a Masters in 
teaching English for specific purposes was based on work I'd been 
doing with PhD students at École des Mines in Paris. So there's still 
a bit of geology now & then!

I'm very keen on photography and I'm now doing a bit of English 
teaching too at the École Louis Lumière just outside Paris. If you'd 
like to have a look at some of my photos, here a link.


Anyway, looking forward to hearing from you soon. Any information or 
suggestions you have would be very much appreciated.

All the best,

Jim Cox

21 Nov. 2011

Hi Brian,

Hope all's well with you.

Just writing to let you know that a group of us from '75-'78 are meeting up in London on 17th December. We're going to the Dicken's Inn at St Katherine Docks and have arranged to meet at 1pm :


If you, and any of the other lecturers from that period, are around it would be great to see you again. I've not seen anyone since '78, so it's going to be a bit of a surprise!

Cheers for now,

Jim Cox

1978 Portsmouth Geology Graduates reunion December 2011, left to right, back row - Pete Hellier, Ted Finch, Adrian Clarke, middle row - Carlo Mysko, Arthur Woolard, front row - Richard Hill, Stefan Wozniak, Jim Cox, Vaughan Hewett.



Adrian Dolecki - 3

19 May 2010

On graduation in 1978 I went to work in Saudi Arabia for Al Hoty Stanger as a geologist working on the site investigation for the Riyadh to Damman Expressway and ARAMCO oil and gas facilities, often camping for several weeks at a time in tents in the desert.  After three years I returned to Leeds University and completed a Masters degree in Engineering Geology. I then went to work in London for John Taylor & Sons (now Hyder) and made many return trips to the Middle East, working on the geotechnical aspects of water supply projects (new water wells in Aden, Yemen), water storage reservoirs in Bahrain,  desalination plants in Kuwait and latterly 500km of water pipelines supplying railway stations in Iraq, which I  visited during the Iran-Iraq war in 1984.

I returned to Wales in the mid 1980's to work with Thyssen, the UK arm of a German Mining and Tunnelling company as a Senior Engineering Geologist and for 3 years worked in underground coal, tin and gypsum mines in the UK.  In 1987 I joined Applied Geology, a small Consultancy and went to work in Istanbul, Turkey, returning to open a Swansea office in 1988 and becoming Managing Director of the local office/subsidiary company.  We grew the company in three locations in the UK from 5 to 50 staff in 6 years, then sold it to Waste Management Inc in 1993, a large American Contracting firm and moved the office to Cardiff. In turn the management did an MBO and then sold again to US based Parsons Brinckerhoff in 1998, a then employee owned firm that dates back to 1885, when they designed the New York metro, who were 13,000 staff before we were acquired by UK Infrastructure giant Balfour Beatty in 2009 with 17,000 professional staff and 50,000 in total around the world.  I remain a Director of that company (PB) today and over the years I also worked in Peru  and Borneo, before opening a PB office in Warsaw, Poland in 2000.  My current role has broadened from geology to the 'Environment' in general and I am responsible for PB’s  environmental projects (water and wastewater treatment, waste management - landfills, contaminated land and urban regeneration, mining and geosciences, earthquake preparedness) undertaken in Europe, Africa and the Middle East region, where we work for organisations such as the European Commission (in any of the 80 countries where the EU provide external aid), the World Bank Group etc.  I currently manage project work in Turkey, Egypt, Cyprus, Romania, South Africa and Kosovo. 

So to sum up then - 'have hammer will travel'. 

Kind Regards




Greg Heath - 3

29 April 2010

Hello Brian,

Thanks for your email and the link to your excellent website. I was one of the 1975-1978 Portsmouth Polytechnic Geology graduates . I remember in my youth suggesting the idea of a “Poly Jolly” shirt, but in retrospect it was just as well that no one liked that idea. I had not studied Geology at “O” or “A” level and  remember sending off for University prospectus’ and trying to decide what I wanted to study. Of all things I was particularly taken by a photo’ of a bunch of geology students using a hand auger out in the field somewhere. I wanted something that would lead to outdoor activities and travel, but I don’t think I have ever seen a hand auger since. So, just as most oil is found for the wrong reasons or by mistake, choosing geology for the wrong reasons turned out to be the best mistake I ever made. I was on a steep learning curve and I remember that geology at Portsmouth was a challenge.

When I was younger I could not sit still for any length of time, but in my middle age I am at last suited to an office job. I particularly enjoyed the field trips around the British Isles while at Portsmouth and have good memories of my time there. It has been interesting recently to hear a little of what my peers have been doing. I would like to say a belated thank you to you and all of the lecturers who helped with one of my most fortuitous mistakes and gave me an excellent grounding for a career in the oil industry.  

A potted history:-

I joined EXLOG immediately after graduating in 1978 and after a trip to Holland and one to Egypt, was transferred to the North Sea, because I made the mistake of living with my parents near Norwich airport. I saw some unforgettable storms (60’ waves and 90mph winds) that most people will not believe, from the relative safety of semi-subs. After 18 months I volunteered to go to Canada to work in the Beaufort Sea. I loved Canada, obtained permanent resident status and then citizenship in 1983. I also managed to work on the north slope of Alaska, Senegal and Ghana with EXLOG.

In 1985 I bought my first house and then resigned from EXLOG with a mortgage and no job to go to. Another good mistake. With a stroke of good luck I was back at work two weeks later on the rig in the Beaufort Sea that I had just left and a career as a wellsite geologist was launched. I stayed in Canada until 1997 working in the Beaufort off and on until 1990 and also working all over Western Canada through Decollement Consulting of Calgary, now RPS. I survived two shallow gas blowouts offshore, complete with rig evacuations in which no one was hurt. These were drilling related problems I hasten to add. Decollement also sent me to Gabon, Congo, Argentina, Yemen and Vietnam. I became interested in petrophysics and was able to do some petrophysical work on clastics and carbonates, at the wellsite for BP Canada.

Vietnam opened my eyes to the life of an Expat and also to the natural elegance of the Southeast Asian lady and I was driven from within to make another fortuitous mistake. In January 1997 I sold a house, put everything in storage and moved to Bangkok, Thailand on the strength of a 6 month contract for a small company called Pogo Producing, who were operating in the Gulf of Thailand. I have now been in Thailand for over 13 years. My wife is Thai and we have two children, Eileen (9) and Thomas (4) as of 2010. In 1999, Chevron gained operatorship of the concession in the Gulf of Thailand and I have been working for them as a consultant Petrophysicist and Operations Geologist ever since.

All The Best,

Greg Heath
Petrophysicist / Operations Geologist B8/32
Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production Ltd.
4th Floor, Tower III, SCB Park Plaza (East Bldg),
19 Ratchadapisek Road, Bangkok 10900
Office: (66) 2 545 6578  Mobile: (66) 81 645 3365

email: heat@chevron.com

Time fries

Greg and family in 2008


Tim Herrett - 3

Date: 15.2.06

Hi Brian

It’s some time since I have written and I’ve left it longer to reply than I should have. Firstly I am doing fine. I left Cambrian in 2000 and have been working on my own and not been short of work. After I left I worked wellsite on an HTHP well in Norway for ExxonMobil. They liked the cut of my gib I think and I went over to Houston to work (as a contractor) in their core operations geology group. This was initially for two months but I commuted back and forth their for nearly four years as I worked on their new Abnormal Pressure Technology manual and then their Operations and Wellsite Geology procedures manuals. I then did some pressure projects on Gulf of Mexico data before ExxonMobil decided to get rid of all their contractors.

 I was at a loose end for a couple of months but ever since I have been working for BP as a senior wellsite geologist. The first well I did for them was a deep water HTHP well off the mouth of the Amazon in Brazil. This was a long commute but it was fantastic scenery en-route and I also got to stay in Rio for a couple of weeks. I did plenty of quality control on the food and drink and it was all good. We stayed in an apartment a block away from Ipanema beach which takes some beating. Unfortunately the Brazil well was a duster but then since then I have been working on a deepwater high pressure well in Turkey. This was the first well drilled to any sort of depth in the Black Sea (there aren’t many undrilled basins left) and was, again, fantastic experience. I am just finishing off the end of well report for the well and sitting in a very cold and snowy Ankara. I have already been signed up for two HTHP wells in Egypt starting in the autumn.

As you probably are aware the oilfield is booming at the moment so you have to make money while the sun is shining. I now have my own company (www.timherrett.co.uk) which is me, I lecture part time on the Petroleum Geoscience masters degree at the University of Manchester and also on a diploma course at the University of Derby. Along with my programmer friend I have developed some programmes which we sell together – for pore pressure evaluation and sample description and we are now getting to sell these after several hard years of development.

So life is pretty busy. My wife and I (who was at the Bishop Otter Teacher Training college in Chichester) had our silver wedding anniversary a couple of years ago and my daughters are now both through college (degree level). My son is now just starting the two year GCSE syllabus and, sadly, none of them have had the slightest interest in geology. Mind you when my younger daughter was talking to the careers people before leaving the sixth form she (being scienced based A level subjects) was asked if she had thought of doing geology at college. She ended up doing Biology at York and did very well. Both my daughters are now looking to do MScs. Which is more than I did, much to my eternal regret.

So how are you and yours Brian? I heard through the grapevine that you had been unwell but it was only what had been passed along and you know what Chinese whispers are like.

Let me know your news and sorry for not writing sooner.


Tim Herrett


Brian - 24 May 2013   Tim Herrett is organising a reunion for Portsmouth geology students who started in 1974 to be held in Portsmouth on 17/18 May 2014.  Contact Tim on timherrett@dsl.pipex.com  


Good to know you are still out there! We’d all love to see you and any other of the old lecturers who can make it. Pass the word. I don’t know if you caught any of my previous e-mails but we are spread throughout the world. I still see Peter Fearn (now President of RPS USA) and Peter Hill-Cottingham regularly and am in regular touch with others by e-mail.

It’s taken a while to get hold of everybody and quite a bit of investigative work. There are still a few that are impossible to find or haven’t replied which is a shame but if you know where they are then let me know. However, there is still a year to go so I am hopeful we’ll get as many to attend as possible.

Thanks for the website address update!

By the way I do mostly lecturing and training nowadays and, surprisingly, I seem to have a flair for it. I lecture for a week or two on MScs at the Universities of Manchester and Derby and am heavily involved with training at BP. With BP we actually do a field trip along the ‘Jurassic Coast’ and go to Lulworth. Every time I go it always brings back happy memories of the Portsmouth field trip we did all those years ago. With BP we look at the rocks but as much from a drilling perspective.

I also work for a couple of other training companies (HOT, based in Austria and PetroSync in Singapore). My topics are Operations and Wellsite Geology as well as Pore Pressure Evaluation which I have many years of experience in.

I really of enjoy the training side of things and don’t miss going offshore anymore!

Keep well

Best Regards



Richard Hill - 3

Date: 04 April 2010

Hi Brian,

Ive found that FaceBook has been a really good way to get back in touch with classmates from the Pompey Poly Geology Class of 75-78. Its been really interesting to see where we all ended up plus how much hair we have collectively lost and pounds added!

I (like so many others) ended up becoming a Mud Logger and then moved into the PDC bit side of drilling. I spent 16 years in Aberdeen before taking the plunge and becoming an ExPat. We moved to Malaysia in 2002 for a couple of years and then moved to Dubai for 5. Currently we have been back in KL for a year and plan to spend another 3 years here before returning to the UK.

My promise to my Children Luke and Faye was to get them through University debt free and Im almost there!

Thanks so much for getting in touch and I wish you well,

Best regards



Stefan Wozniak - 3

7 May 2010

Hi Brian
Great to hear from you and know that you are keeping well and enjoying your retirement.  Are you still driving an MG (if my memory serves me correctly).  Yes, it has been over 30 years since graduation and, during a recent house move, I came across some old photos from that era.  I'm currently working in Oman as a directional driller and when this hitch is over at the end of June and return to Blighty, I'll scan the photos and post some on the website with an update of my history.
Take care
All the very best
Stefan Wozniak

23 December 2010

Hello Brian
I hope you are keeping well and continuing to enjoy your retirement.   Also hope that you are surviving the cold weather that has recently gripped Blighty.
All is fine with me, more-so, because I managed to dodge all the travel disruptions yesterday, and arrived from Oman to spend Christmas with my family in King's Lynn.
I'm starting another month off, after spending six weeks working in the Omani desert.  The weather there is great this time of year - a 'cool' 28 deg C during the day - which compares to extremes of 50+ deg C, during the height of summer.  Having said that, the current night times temperatures drop low enough to require  3-4 layers of clothing to keep warm.   
On my journey back from the Interior to Muscat, two days ago, we passed through one of the areas where ophiolites are exposed.  For those who've not been to Oman, it really is the jewel of the Middle East - with some spectacular scenery and extremely friendly people.  Plus it offers one the best locations in the world to study oceanic crust, so I'm told.  Seeing these ancient rocks always brings back fond memories of our days at The Lizard with good old Dr Rothstein.
As promised earlier in the year, Brian, I'm sending a few photos for your collection from the good old days of 1975-78 at Pompey. I have already sent these to some of the class mates, but if you can please post them on the Facebook Website, it will allow others to view them too.
Speaking of others, I hope you managed to track down a few more of the two hundred students you are trying to locate.
Well, I'd better sign off now to head into town do some last minute shopping.   I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Take good care.
Best regards







John Huckerby -3                                                                                                       Date: 14.2.01

I finished my PhD in gold mineralisation in Saudi Arabia in 1984, moved to the oil industry and worked for Amoco in London (on North Sea, Denmark and onshore UK - with Dave Mellings ,1975 graduate), before transferring to Houston in 1992, where I worked on Eastern Europe! I left Amoco and moved to New Zealand in 1995, where I worked on the exploration, appraisal and development of two gas-condensate fields for Fletcher Challenge Energy. I left them in 1999 and set up my own company, now called Power Projects Limited, providing strategic advice, business development opportunities and operational project management to potential investors in NZ oil and gas, as well as government and public sector organisations. However, I'm moving away from the oil industry in New Zealand now and working for Australian and non-oil organizations. I married Liz in 1987.

Date: 8.12.02


Glad to hear from you.  Also good to hear that you're still energetically
involved in geology - the tours sound like a good idea.  I've just returned
from Australia and it's a great place to be a tourist (although I was on
business) but you really have to see New Zealand, particularly if you want
to see active geology (volcanoes, neotectonics, active uplift and faulting).

In fact, Liz and I had a recent ex-Portsmouth visitor - Tim Spencer (also 1979).  I
haven't seen Tim in 20 years but he and his wife live in Perth and were over
doing some of the famous long walks (Milford and Abel Tasman tracks).  He's
still into seismic processing in Perth.  Haven't heard of or from any others
in the last couple of years.

I'm still self-employed and usually work for foreign firms interested in
investing in NZ energy projects.  I say energy as I've started to work in
renewable energy projects, waves, wind and others.  This has been a good
year, even though I had a quiet spell in June and July.  I even managed a
flying visit to the UK at a client's expense in October.  Sadly, I spent
almost all the time in a meeting room or on transport so I wouldn't have had
the time for a trip to Portsmouth.

This has been a special year for me as I've just finished a 3 year MBA (with
Henley Management College in the UK).  I expect this will be the last major
qualification I undertake but I enjoyed the learning process and I'm keen to
try something else next year.

Hope all is well and look forward to seeing you in NZ.  Remember it's
expensive to travel to NZ but it's very cheap once you are here!

Please pass on my regards to any of the Portsmouth crew - staff or students
that we both know.

Update: Christmas, 2005.

This year has been the 'International Year of the Visitor' to the Huckerby household! Our house overlooks Wellington Harbour with a glorious view. Much work remains to be done to modernise it. Liz is still manager of corporate services for the tax department, with country-wide responsibilities for support services. I moved office into the central city and now look back across the harbour during the day. Plans for next year include a trip to Perth, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore to promote some marine energy initiatives. Leisure wise - long distance cycling for me and mini-triathlons for Liz! We will be in Europe and the UK in 2006, so may catch up with you. Dates are likely to be late summer/autumn. Meanwhile, book now for your 2011 Rugby World Cup visit!


Graham Mitchell - 3
Date: 7.8.05

Hope all is well with you, find below a short recap of
my career since leaving Portsmouth, incidentally, on
arriving in Aberdeen I bumped in to another ex
Portsmouth Geologist...Mike McMahon...it's a small

After leaving Portsmouth in 1979 worked for
Exploration logging as a logging geologist in the
North Sea (Norway and Holland), Egypt and the
During this time I moved to France and settled with my
wife. Took French nationality in 1990.
In 1981 changed direction and started working for
International Drilling Fluids as a mud engineer in
Holland, W. Africa and the middle east.
1989-90 Technical Manager for IDF in Paris
1990-1993 N & E Europe Sales manager for SPOT Image in
Toulouse working with remote sensing.
1993-2005 : Mud engineer with IDF, Schlumberger and
2005- Consultant Fluids Supervisor with Total,
actually in Aberdeen.

Mick O'Hare - 3
Date: 24-08-05

Nice to hear from you: seems strange that so many of my former lecturers are now retired - not sure where all the time has gone!
I'm still working in the oil industry, now a full-time employee of Nexen based in Uxbridge, after 15 years consulting. I saw John Huckerby's address recently in the PESGB newsletter:

Mick O'Hare
Nexen Petroleum UK Ltd.
Tel.: 01895 274819
e-mail: mick_ohare@nexeninc.com