Old Morganians Dinner 2015
On leaving Dr. Morgan’s School in 1955 I started work with Somerset County Council in the Clerk of the County Council’s Department.
From 1958 to 1960 I did National Service with the Somerset Light Infantry and on completion of that duty I returned to County Hall. I undertook various Committee posts there ending with a period with Somerset Quarter Sessions from 1964 to 1965.
I was then appointed to a post at the Old Bailey where I worked for two years before moving to North-East London Quarter Sessions where I remained until 1972. During my time in that post I gave a great deal of evidence to the Beeching Committee who were examining the structure of the Courts in England and Wales.
Whilst at North-East London Quarter Sessions I also masterminded the building of a 15 Court complex which became Snaresbrook Crown when the 1972 Courts Act came into effect and I was appointed as its first Chief Clerk.
Having got the new court complex under way and looking forward to some time to relax I was asked to go to Manchester to become the Chief Clerk of the Manchester High Court and Crown Court. The Court had a large backlog of work following the number of trials as a result of the Moss Side Riots and I became involved in another Court Building Programme.
In 1977 I was appointed as Courts Administrator for Merseyside responsible for the administration of the Crown and County Courts in Merseyside and for masterminding (wait for it) the building of a new 27 court complex. The building was opened by the Queen in 1982. There were still a number of trials awaiting hearing following the Toxteth riots.
In 1983 I moved back to Manchester as Courts Administrator responsible for all of the Crown and County Courts in Greater Manchester. Having spent my first three days visiting Courts at Bolton, Bury, Rochdale, Wigan, Leigh, Oldham, Stockport, Hyde and Ashton-under-Lyne etc. oh how I longed to go back to my roots.
In 1986 I was appointed as Courts Administrator for the Old Bailey and for all of the 120 Crown Courtrooms in London (with a large building programme on the books!!) I remained in that post until my retirement in 1999. I was also on the Management Board of all of the Crown and County Courts in South-East England.
In 1999 I was awarded the OBE for services to the administration of Justice.
At the dinner I propose to speak about the History of the Old Bailey and to talk about my role in running it including some behind the scenes information. I am not, of course, a comedian but I am conscious that after 10pm many Members tend to doze off so I will try to keep it as interesting and lively as possible.