Annette’s working life at the National Coal Board as a Lab Technician

Annette left school in 1956 having studied science (A’ levels in Botany, Zoology and Chemistry) and went to work for the Coal Board Research establishment in Stoke Orchard nr Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. She remembers earning 19 /- a week. She was involved in research of smokeless fuel. She tested smoke content and ash content. The Director of the Coal Board was called Yakor Bronoski. Each day she was told what tests to do by the PhD lead scientist Dr. Paul Birchill and eventually she progressed to running the tests herself. It was very dirty in the lab because of the coal. After five years the personnel officer told her it would not be worth her getting promotion as she would get married shortly afterwards. She decided to leave soon after this. Annette applied to work in the Civil Service and she applied for a place at University. She met her husband at London University where he was studying to be a geologist (BSc Natural Sciences) and she studied zoology. She got a job with University College Medical School in the Haemotology Department looking at the value of folic acid when given to pregnant women. After two years there she left to start a family. The family then moved to Blackburn with her husband’s job.  Annette commenced teacher training and went to work at a local private grammar school (Westholme Girls School) as a music teacher and she was also a piano tutor for thirteen years.

Memory contributed by Annette at the Moray Connections Event in Elgin

Additional Information

The career of the scientist Yakor Bronoski- the start of his life in Poland and working for the coal board

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