Dermot Statham

Electronic Engineering, 1963

I must confess, life as a student in Bangor in the early 1960s at UCNW (as it was known then) was somewhat idyllic. Coming from an industrial town in the Midlands, the clean air in North Wales was heaven. Even as an Electronic Engineering student in those heady days, this environment almost rolled in through the door. At weekends, there was the whole of Snowdonia National Park and the Isle of Anglesey to enjoy.

For a quick weekday fix, there was always Bangor Mountain or even the Roman Camp. So much so, that ever since then, Bangor and Snowdonia have held very rich memories and a huge place in my heart. Long may I be fit enough to continue to visit the area which carries so many happy memories from the early 60s and afterwards.

In 1963, I graduated along with 19 others in Electronic Engineering and since then have enjoyed a wide and varied career in both commercial and defence electronics.

By 1965, I had been seconded to represent my company at a well-known rocket range in the Australian desert. On my return from Australia, through on site visits, my various employments took me to many obscure and remote locations around the UK including the Outer Hebrides and the extreme north of Scotland.

I also worked for a number of years in Scotland, Poole in Dorset, and deepest rural Somerset followed by a period of self-employment in Northumberland.

While in Poole, I was responsible for the design and build of the first Ernie successor which, unimaginatively, we dubbed "Ernie 2". It is fascinating that even now if one googles "Ernie 2" one can see a photograph of the equipment we built. It may look somewhat antique by today's standards, but at the time, it was quite cutting edge technology.

Rural Somerset took me back to the defence electronics industry and that again took me to many unheard of (and unmentionable) facilities around the UK. Now retired, I am living in the far West of southern Ireland.

Although I say I am now retired, in true UCNW fashion, I have been far from sitting on my hands. Having been frequently told that I always seem to have a strong opinion on everything, my good wife suggested that some of my "off the wall" views may be of interest or perhaps just amusement to a wider public, perhaps through a website. Although for most of my working life I have been involved with computers, using them either as equipment building blocks or data storage/crunching tools, I have never been involved in the programming of them.

So, I taught myself the necessary programming language, coded up the software and now have my own website: www.thegrumpyoldman.co I would love to hear from any Bangor graduate, no matter what discipline through the contact page on my website.