Working Lives

Local government – a life in public service (1939-1983)

Location: Lincolnshire, Yorkshire & Merseyside

Jack describes his life as an accountant in the public sector from a junior in the Norwich City Treasurer’s Office before the war to Chief Executive of Yorkshire Water.

School Days

My education began at Mile Cross School in 1920. I sat the eleven plus examination when I was just ten and won a scholarship to the City of Norwich School (CNS), at that time called a secondary school, but better remembered as a boys’ grammar school. Unusually we took the Cambridge School Certificate after four years at fourteen. I then went into the Science Sixth Form. Only about six boys each year went to university and although the headmaster tried to persuade me to study for the Higher School Certificate, I could see that, even if I won a scholarship for Cambridge, my parents could not have afforded to support me and besides the war clouds were already gathering.

Outbreak of war

Early in 1939 I was interviewed for a vacancy in the Norwich City Treasurer’s office but was considered too young. So, when I left school in July 1939, I started work in the Corporation’s Electricity Department in Duke Street. However, when war was declared, quite a few young men from the Treasurer’s Office volunteered or were called up into the forces so there were vacancies, and the Deputy Treasurer rang to say that I could join their staff if I was still interested.

I was interested and moved to City Hall where I did all the usual junior’s jobs. In 1940 when France fell to the Germans, we moved our office to Earlham Hall, which is now used by University of East Anglia, and which was considered safer in case of air raids. So many permanent officers had now left that young persons like me gained experience much more quickly than would have been the case in peacetime. We worked long hours, and, in addition, I took my turn, together with an older man who was unfit for military service, to guard the place once a week equipped with a ladder and a stirrup pump. Those were happy days. I also met a wide range of men and women as a tally board officer at the ARP (later called Civil Defence) control centre where I was on duty on two of the three nights in 1942 when Norwich was heavily bombed.

Army service

In 1942, I was 18 and knew that I would soon be called up. Many of my friends were in the RAF and I tried to join them, but my eyesight was not up to aircrew standard, so I volunteered for the army and did not return to local government until 1947.

I served in Europe and in Burma for a short time. However, my final year in the Army was spent as a lecturer at the Forces Education Centre in Hong Kong. My subjects were bookkeeping and elementary economics. As I had only passed Royal Society of Arts exams, one could say the blind was leading the blind. Life at the Centre was interesting as both the students and the lecturers came from all branches of the services. Nearly all the other lecturers were younger than me and had been called up after one year at university to which they would return after demobilisation. One or two of us were different and seen by the younger men as old sweats as we had seen active service. The other lecturers told me I ought to try for university after I was demobbed. They said that, although I had not taken the Higher School Certificate, with my school record and some mysterious ‘experience’ I was thought to have had, I would easily get a place. They proved to be correct, and I won a place at the London School of Economics to be taken up in October 1947.

Back to Norwich City Council

However, I had to decline the place, as I could not afford to live in London on the grant and my parents could not afford to support me, so I returned to Norwich City Treasurer’s office to train as an accountant. Just about every chief financial officer in the public sector was a member of ITMA – the Institute of Municipal Treasurers and Accountants (now the Chartered Institute of Public Finance – CPFA), and I enrolled as a student member. Examinations were held twice a year at three levels, Intermediate, Parts 1 and 2 of the Final. That mysterious experience I was said to have, exempted me from the Intermediate level and I took the Part I Final at the first opportunity in August 1949.

Now a partly qualified accountant, I was ready for promotion and thinking about marriage. My father was prominent man in Norwich; a member of the Board of Guardians and from 1932 of the City Council. He was Sheriff in 1942-3 and by 1949 was still an alderman, a magistrate, a founder member of the East Anglian Regional Hospital Board, chairman of the city Health Committee, a representative of Norwich on the Association of Municipal Corporations, a member of the Valuation Panel, chairman of the Norwich Cooperative Society and probably others I have forgotten. My fiancée, Sheila and I knew that no matter how well I performed in the office, everyone would say, ‘Young Jack only gets on because of his father’s influence.’ So, we agreed that I must look for a post where my name meant nothing and that then we would marry.

Moving on – to Lincoln

So early in 1950 I secured a position as Junior Accountancy Assistant with Lindsey Council based in Lincoln. We had a very simple wedding and a week’s honeymoon in Bournemouth and our marriage lasted over fifty-three glorious years.

Our honeymoon ended on a Saturday and over the weekend we moved into one room in a house in Lincoln with only our clothes and two old bicycles and on the Monday morning, I went to meet my new colleagues.

When I got home that evening, Sheila looked worried and said, ‘I do hope you are not going to be angry, but I should have nothing to do all day, so I went into the city and got a job.’ Wives seldom went out to work then but it made sense and her salary would allow us to save for a deposit on a house. Sheila really was a wonderful woman and the proprietor of the firm she worked for obviously liked her and felt sorry for us. He knew the estate agents etc. which was useful when housing was so scarce and helped us get a flat in a largish house with a separate outside staircase and apart from one defect it was great – the only snag was that the kitchen had no water supply.

I finished my IMTA qualification in January 1951 and was promoted to Senior Accountancy Assistant on a higher grade of pay. By the time the result of the exam was known we knew that we were going to be parents so I promised to help as much as I could and defer plans for further qualifications.

My new job was quite a big one; with three assistants, we did all the financial work associated with the Health Committee, the Fire Brigade, and the Probation services for three counties and two county boroughs. We also dealt with all councillors’ expenses and the accounts for Lindsey Blind Society, a large voluntary body subsidised by the county with workshops and a lot of domiciliary work.

At first Sheila knew only a few colleagues at work and she would have been lonely if I had worked late regularly, so I took work home particularly at weekends. I remember the first time Sheila asked if she could help. She was in the top stream at her grammar school, and I knew how bright she was, so we prepared the county budget for the services I looked after as a joint effort.

I was helped at work by the Assistant County Treasurer who I consulted whenever I had a problem and by the Treasurer himself who was greatly respected within the Authority. I remember the day when the Health Committee were to consider the estimates for the following year. The Treasurer had approved my drafts and to my surprise he said, ‘You have done all the work on these and you should get the credit. Go to the Committee meeting and present the figures’. He also warned me about one Member and advised me how to deal with him.

By the end of 1952, I had an interesting and satisfying job, a few friends, a baby daughter, Lincoln City had been promoted to the old Division 2 and test cricket was in nearby Nottingham. So why was I scanning the Local Government Chronicle and the Municipal Journal every week looking for a suitable vacancy? There were only two posts in Lincoln which I might have obtained, and both were filled by local men who would probably work for a further twenty-five years. I had studied hard since 1947, nineteen hours a week covered in three evenings and was ambitious to go higher.

And now on to Nottingham

I was therefore delighted when I was offered a position as a Technical Assistant in the Nottingham office, one of the most well-regarded authorities in the country. The Treasurer there had a fearsome reputation, he had no small talk and no apparent interests apart from work and golf. However, he was very supportive when my father was ill and dying and when I told the boss, he insisted I go and stay with my mother until after funeral, even offering to drive me to Norwich himself.

The move to Nottingham was not, however, without difficulties. I had to give a month’s notice to Lindsey CC, and I found digs to move into until I could find somewhere suitable to rent for my wife and child. There was a serious housing shortage, and I spent all free evenings house hunting, walking miles to follow up press adverts. Sometimes it was amusing, as when one lady had, without telling her husband, agreed to let her house to us. Sheila and Susan came up to look at it, the husband was at home and was not happy.

Eventually I seemed to have found our new home in a small place near Eastwood, the former home of D.H. Lawrence. The great day dawned, I had taken a day off and family and furniture turned up to find a lady in distress. She had not been able to let me know that her move was part of a broken chain so she could not move. I arranged for our furniture to be stored and for my landlady to put the three of us up for a few days. We were desperate, we thought we were going to be homeless. I told Sheila that ‘ at worst, I will tell the boss that sorry as I am, family comes first, and we will go back to Norwich to lodge with my mother-in-law and try to borrow from a friend of my father to get a deposit for a house’. I then went to the office and asked the head of our Rates Section, to search his records for empty properties

We were lucky. Some time earlier, Nottingham had recruited a Chief Constable who had ten children and, as they were very keen for him to join them, they had bought a large house in the Sherwood district and now this house was rented out to my immediate superior with his wife and three sons. They had plenty of space and offered to share the house with us. Although Sheila was initially worried about sharing a house with another family, it was a great success. No more talk of job hunting in Norwich or trying to get favours from old friends. My colleague’s wife introduced Sheila to the City Treasurer’s badminton and tennis club, they occasionally baby sat for us, and the three boys were good with our baby, so much so that her first word was not ‘Daddy’ but ‘Boys’.

I also resumed my studies and registered to sit my BSc in Economics. It was not expensive as, back in 1950, I had entered for a national essay competition organised by NALGO, the local government officers’ union and won vouchers for further education. I used these vouchers and, just in case I ever fancied the private sector, also enrolled with the Association of Certified and Corporate Accountants (CCA) for their examinations in December 1954 and 1955. For the CCA I had no course but relied on my earlier studies, practical experience and the public library for subjects like Executorship, Receivership and the accounts of Holding Companies. For the BSc., I had to travel for evening classes to Leicester University College, whose students also took London University exams. I enjoyed it and I did the whole lot in about as much time as the university students who were not doing a full-time job with overtime or trying to be a good father.

My duties as Technical Assistant were varied and when I went to work, I never knew what I should be doing that day. There were a few regular tasks such as reading Hansard and reports of Parliamentary Committees each week to make the Treasurer aware of anything which might affect Nottingham. I also worked on tax issues as we were responsible for several services, such as water supplies, the buses and petrol as well as the running of a pub and a farm. However, most of the time I and my two colleagues had to drop what we were doing to give the Treasurer a report on problems which might arise in a letter from an MP, a story in the media or a contentious issue coming up at a committee. I cannot remember all the topics, but they included devising a new, more rational, scale of charges for markets and council housing; querying the way the Government were dealing with grants for welfare homes and reviewing the financial consequences of abolishing trolley buses.

In many ways, this job was the most mentally challenging one I have had but I knew that fascinating work would not be enough, I needed to gain experience of staff control and prove not just that I was competent but that I could lead others to perform well, so with mixed feelings I started to look for the right sort of move. My next job was Chief Accountant in York – I had had a dream in which I saw nobody but in which there was a clear tall structure arising out of fog and when I went for my interview in York, a city I had never set foot in and knew little about, it was foggy and there was the West Front of York Minister exactly as it had been in the dream, it was fated.

And then to York

One of the chief attractions of the job was it came with a three bedroomed house about a mile from the centre of York. Because we were, in effect jumping council’s waiting list, we were to pay a full economic rent for five years after which our rent would have been reduced to the normal council rate – the argument being that by then we would have served our time on the waiting list.

I soon found out that if I wanted to gain experience of man management, I could not have found a better job. There were a lot of committees and the City Treasurer and his Deputy looked after them and generally dealt with the councillors. So long as I alerted the boss to any serious problems, I was responsible for the day to day running of the department which included the rent collection, printing for the whole authority and such oddments as manning turnstiles at York racecourse and looking after the hordes of schoolchildren who visited the city in summer. Some things were printed professionally, and I spent a lot of time at the nearby printing works with that strange officer ‘the father of the chapel’ to whom I would take amended committee estimates after an evening meeting and from whom I collected revised versions ready to despatch to members first thing next morning. The Abstract of Accounts, a huge document showing how every penny had been spent and how all capital expenditure had been financed was also dealt with at the same works. Of course, in addition to staff control and handling temporary vacancies, I was directly in charge of the qualified staff and stayed in the evenings to help them balance the annual accounts.

After I had been there about six months, a deputation advised me that all the other qualified men were submitting an application to be upgraded and would like me to join them. I said I could not because I had accepted my terms of appointment, had not been in the post long enough to progress to the top of my grade and had no complaints. The morning after the Finance sub-committee meeting the Treasurer told me that all the applications had been rejected but my post had been redesignated Assistant City Treasurer on a higher grade.

At this time, I was also involved in IMTA meetings in which Chief officers met to discuss topical problems. The York City Treasurer was secretary of the North Eastern regional and I accompanied him to write minutes and generally assist. I was also asked to chair the NALGO Public Relations committee and when the City Council decided to pioneer Joint Staff Meetings by setting one up in York I served as Staff Side Representative.

My family were very happy in York. We never would be rich but for the first time we had enough and in 1957 we bought our first car, a Hillman Minx. I polished it every week and we made regular trips to the coast from Whitby down to Bridlington, to the North Yorkshire Moors, the Wolds, Yorkshire Moors and the Pennines plus all the local cities and market towns as well as back to Norfolk for holidays. We attended evening classes at an institute located in what had been St Mary’s Abbey where Sheila did useful things and I took history.

I loved York but by 1959 I was moving on again. I had decided that non county boroughs and district councils did not have a wide enough range of responsibilities to keep me interested, which meant a county or a county borough. I was appointed as deputy treasurer for Grimsby. However, my start was inauspicious. I got a letter from my former boss in Nottingham congratulating me on my promotion and warning me that my new employers had a bad reputation for the way they treated staff.

Moving on again – to Grimsby

My new chief, the Grimsby Treasurer had been in office since 1942 and systems had not been changed since his arrival. He ran a tight ship and only had one other qualified officer, a local man who had been there from schooldays, on his staff. The council had a lot of committees, some of which spawned several sub-committees and he saw it as his duty to attend them all. The internal auditors never left the office as he wanted to see with his own eyes that they were actually at work – all over the town capital works costing millions were in progress and the so-called auditors never went near them.

However, by this time we had saved enough for a deposit on a house and we at last became owner occupiers. What a silly term that is, the real owner was the building society who lent us the money, but it was a good move – an Edwardian house, just a ten-minute walk from the office in a cul-de-sac with no houses on the opposite side of the road.

By 1961, I felt I could aspire to a chief’s job, but I knew that there were a lot of other deputies just as good or better than me and I might never make it. I was short-listed for the post of Deputy County Treasurer of Berkshire but was unsuccessful. Then unexpectedly, the Grimsby Treasurer surprised everybody by giving notice that he intended to retire. He had been expected to serve another five years, but he announced that his deputy, i.e., myself, was looking for another post and before long he would get a chief’s job and so Grimsby would lose the man who ought to succeed him. Although the Treasurer’s job was advertised, the other applicants never stood a chance and on January 1st 1962, I moved into the magnificent office as Treasurer for Grimsby Council.

Public sector pay was traditionally low, but we had the satisfaction of giving service. The promotion from deputy to chief was the only time pay really improved significantly because deputies were paid two thirds of their chief’s salary. Now we could move to a better house, trade in our old car for a new one, a 1200cc Ford Cortina which took us all over the British Isles and much of Europe. There was a lot to do but I had devoted staff who supported my changes, and the council were also willing to let me bring in a few bright young, qualified men and to take a much more active part in the life of the town and the IMTA. For the latter I attended Branch Meetings and wrote regular articles for the IMTA Students’ Society magazine and became part of their national and regional committees. In due course I formed a Joint Computer Committee with Scunthorpe and located the computer in Grimsby. I was made Treasurer of the Grimsby and Cleethorpes Joint Transport Committee and Deputy Chief Executive in which capacity I chaired a panel which vetted all proposals for capital expenditure before they were put to committees. I rewrote the authority’s Financial Regulations, after which it was not necessary for me to attend all the committees but from choice I still went to the major spenders. Twenty nights a month came down to about eight and it gave my young men a chance to get known by the councillors and show how good they were.

What did taking a larger part in the life of the town mean? I was very soon invited to join Rotary and was branch secretary for seven years, became a member of the local golf club and Treasurer of the Lincolnshire branch of the Historical Association and of local charities.

We had moved to Grimsby when I was 35 and I should not be able to retire until I reached 60 with compulsory retirement at 65 and the thought I might walk up the steps into the office for thirty years was rather horrifying. I was also growing unhappy with some of the things happening within the Council and started to look for another post.

A new challenge in Liverpool

In 1970, I applied for and was appointed to a newly created post as Director of Finance and Administration for the Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive. The Transport Act of 1968 had created Passenger Transport Authorities and Passenger Transport Executives (PTE) in the major conurbations, Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle. The Authorities had responsibility for public transport policies while the Executives managed all the public transport services within their area. There were four directors in Merseyside, myself as Director of Finance and Administration, a Chief Executive, a Director of Operations and a Director of Resource Planning. The job title shows that the holder was more than just the Chief Financial Officer.

I started work on April 1st 1970 but A Levels for Susan and O Levels for Peter meant that they and Sheila did not join me until July. The weekly journeys across the country on Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons were a menace but there were advantages. The workload was horrendous but with no family commitments I could work late into the evenings or go house hunting. There was then only one tunnel under the Mersey, so we ruled out the Wirral, attractive as the district is. We also ruled out South Liverpool, Southport and Formby as being too far from my office and agreed on Crosby. Eventually I found a semi-detached house in a lovely part of Crosby near the Northern Club which has top class hockey and cricket matches. We had bought my mother a bungalow in Cleethorpes but could not leave her there alone so it was decided that she would have a sitting room, bedroom and kitchen in our house. Sheila and I re-joined Rotary and Inner Wheel as Mother could look after Robert, our youngest who was born while I worked in Grimsby. We had new areas to explore including North Wales and the Lake District and no evening meetings, so family life was very happy.

The job was all I had expected. We ran over 1,500 buses from Southport to St Helens, the ferries across the Mersey and controlled as our agents British Rail and National Bus services in our area. Reaching agreements with the senior officers of those bodies was fascinating. We constructed extensions to our underground railway including a new station in Liverpool and also new road rail interchanges. We employed 6,500 staff and had large workshops where Liverpool used to build their famous green goddess trams.

At first, I had to make arrangements with the City Treasurer of Liverpool City Council to do the pay roll and use his computer until we could recruit our own staff and buy equipment. There were inevitably many meetings at the Ministry and with Directors of Finance in the other PTEs. With my opposite number in Manchester, we created two private companies which made a lot of money for our authorities. One sold tokens to local authorities who gave them to pensioners for concessionary travel which eventually went nationwide. The other company did not last long but was good while it lasted. I had spotted an article stating that British Rail had devised with merchant bankers a clever scheme which gave them tax advantages when they bought new rolling stock. David and I went off to the City of London and we were in business. However, the Inland Revenue have some bright officers and they soon had a bill in Parliament stopping our little game, but our profits benefited our passengers.

However, one snag of being based on Merseyside was the militant labour force and strikes in one part or another of the undertaking were common so emergency meetings at the weekend not unusual.

On the move again

Pretty happy again and representing the industry at the Treasury, Customs and Excise and sometimes in Parliament to be grilled by committees. So, had I at last stopped wandering? No, so why not? That habit of changing legislation again. A new government could not leave PTAs alone but decided that from April 1974 Local Government would be reorganised. The Merseyside PTE would be answerable not to the PTA but to the Merseyside Metropolitan County Council and I would be a sort of Assistant County Treasurer. I had been on two of the steering committees preparing for the great day, Finance and Transport, so I knew who was retiring and the rules about ring fencing appointments. The City Treasurer and a senior man from Birkenhead were taking early retirement so I applied to the Ministry for similar terms intending to come to Norwich and offer my services as external auditor for the new authorities being created here. I was told I could not as my post was unaffected, not quite how I saw it.

So, I decided to move on again. The Water Act of 1973 had created new powerful regional bodies with wide ranging responsibilities for water resources and supply, sewerage and sewage disposal, land drainage, river quality, fisheries and some recreational activities and in 1973, these bodies begin advertising posts for senior officers. I decided I would have a shot because I had enjoyed those early days in Liverpool, and they offered an exciting challenge.

I applied for three jobs as Director of Finance, making incorrect assumptions about the location of regional headquarters. Anglian would surely be in Norwich, Yorkshire had to be destined for York and Southern I thought would go to Winchester but hoped it might be Bournemouth. The actual choices were Huntingdon, Leeds and Worthing. Realising that people would apply for more than one post, it was ruled that anyone offered a position would have his name removed from all subsequent short lists, I was short listed for all three jobs, but the Yorkshire interview was first. Among the hopefuls I saw many familiar faces and knew that competition would be tough.

Yorkshire Water

I was successful but when I got back to Liverpool, problems arose. The Chairman of Yorkshire Water was not keen on me serving three months’ notice and wanted me in Leeds immediately. The chairman of the PTA was no pussy cat either and was not going to be dictated to. In the end I was released just one week short of the three months and in the meantime, there were a few things to do. Being me, domestic arrangements were paramount. Sheila and I had a good look round and found a fine three-story Edwardian house in West Park, Leeds which we moved to in January 1974 in the middle of petrol rationing, power cuts and the three-day week. To me it was a ‘happy house’, and we converted the top floor into two games rooms and a store for my home-made wines. Mother had spent her youth in Bradford so it suited us all to find her a ground floor flat there which we could visit easily. Furthermore, I also had to prepare the PTE budget for the year commencing 1st of April 1974 as well as one for the same period for my new employers.

The Authority already existed, and decisions had been taken about the structure; there were eight divisions for water and sewage disposal, and one Land Drainage division for the whole region dealing with river quality and fisheries, while for the time being the local authorities would be employed to look after sewers. It would have four and a half million customers and employ around six and a half thousand staff. While serving my notice, I used to try to spend one day a week in Leeds and gathered together the accountants inherited from the Water Departments of large cities like Leeds and Sheffield, the River Authority and a motley collection of Drainage and Catchment Boards. I set out programmes of work which would enable me to finalise a budget and recommend charges by March 1974

By March I had appointed three Assistant Directors, made arrangements with the National Coal Board to do our data processing until we could get our own computer, drawn up the establishments for head office and divisional finance sections and was ready to present my budget, which, despite some disagreements was finally passed by the Authority. In due course, we would have the same charges across the whole of Yorkshire but inherited differences, which often reflected different standards, meant that if I had proposed a single set of tariffs, we would have riots. There were lots of meetings and complaints about water charges which appeared higher than the old water rates, but more than half of our charges had previously been included in the local rates or county precept. Generally speaking, I was listened to politely but once or twice it got rough, for example in Selby where a local magistrate advised people simply not to pay.

In 1976 we had the drought, made worse by low rainfall in 1975 and a dry winter. Our reservoirs were low in April which was a warning signal. Our grid, which now enables water to be moved from a river like the Derwent, to the thirsty cities of West Yorkshire, was not yet completed and there was little we could do but prepare for the worst. Car washes, etc. had been banned for a long time but in September just as we were preparing to use standpipes, it began to rain, and it rained for months.

By 1977 we had made noticeable improvements to our services and hostility had very much lessened. I got on well with members of the authority, my fellow Directors and Finance Directors in other regions. We had our computers, and my department was happy and efficient. Then again, very suddenly I was informed that the Chief Executive was to retire. He had a difficult relationship with the Chairman and had decided that he could no longer work with him. I took it for granted that our Director of Operations or another well respected engineer would be our new chief. Then, on the last day for applications, I was told that members wanted me to apply. So, I did in a two-sentence application and in due course was appointed. Nobody was more surprised than me. One of the members with whom I was friendly asked me once if I knew why I had been appointed. I said I had often wondered, and his explanation amused me – I was the only one who had stood up to our chairman and who, if appointed, would not be afraid to point out his errors.

Chief Executive at Yorkshire Water

If I am not careful the next seven and a half years could result in another story as long as the whole of my record as an accountant. I must just select a few highlights. I had plenty of problems including a regional strike which affected the North West and Yorkshire and was, I believe, arranged by the unions as a dummy run for the national stoppage the following year. If I am right, they made a mistake because it gave me and my colleagues time to prepare and, stressful as those days and nights were, nobody in Yorkshire died as a result of water problems as far as I know. At Selby there were major floods which did cause suffering and river pollution which created panic for a time. We were also investigated by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, but the report gave us a complete bill of health, nothing the Authority was doing or had done was contrary to the public interest.

On a lighter side, I enjoyed attending conferences in Paris and Zurich which were truly international, even including communist China; meetings with the European Bank, giving papers to conferences and being put in charge of management development for the industry. That and service on the employer side of all the joint negotiating committees were onerous extra duties including too many in London and too many late nights.

I really must close by telling of the last day of my working life. In 1983 when the industry was to be privatised the Government made me a member of the new board as well as Chief Executive and I could sign up for one to six years. I signed for one year. In my last month I was honoured with celebrations all over the place and on the very last night present and past members and senior officers of the Authority held a farewell dinner.

Next morning for the last time an authority car came after breakfast to take us home to begin the first day of the rest of our lives. I usually refer to the next seventeen years as the best job I ever had, but the others had been pretty good as well. It was not a spectacular career; I got no medals and will not be remembered after I have gone but along the way I met and worked with many fine men and women. I hope I served the public honestly and faithfully in several parts of the country and acknowledge that it would not have been possible had I not known that my children and above all my wife would always support me.

Jack Brooksbank (1924-2015) for WISEArchive in November 2008.

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