Dick Watts, d.2005

Richard Watts, or Dick as he was known, graduated from Birmingham University with a B.Sc. in 1949 and joined Sir William Halcrow & Partners where he worked for five years on projects for the North of Scotland Hydro Electricity Board, the Woodhead Tunnel and the Claerwen dam.

He then worked for two years with Taylor Woodrow as a Section Agent on the Castle Donnington Power Station, before becoming Project Manager with Edmund Nuttall on the Cruachan Underground Power Station.

In 1968 Dick joined John Mowlem on the Piccadilly Line Extension to Heathrow, followed by work on the Victoria Line and the Scunthorpe Anchor Project. He became a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1970.

Dick joined Balfour Beatty in 1973 and worked for the firm until his retirement in 1994. He made a considerable contribution to the tunnelling sector and worked on the Channel Tunnel and several Water Authority projects.

Dick was elected to the BTS Committee and after his three-year term became a co-opted member, organising the Society meetings for many years. He was awarded the James Clark Memorial Medal in 1995 in recognition of his lifetime of service to tunnelling.

For many years Dick served as a member of the British Standards Institution Committee, who drafted the Code of Practice for Safe Working in Tunnelling. He played a major role in the establishment of the course for trainees at Bridgewater College.

Dick worked for the tunnelling industry with a dedication second to none to achieve his own high standards. His experience was over the whole range of ground conditions and he passed on this experience with encouragement to the younger engineers.

Dick died in died February 2005. Several members of the Society attended a Quaker meeting in March to give thanks and to celebrate his life.