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time and when she could not get help from her own mother that was really crawl, However now we had one of each was quite enough and asked that I promise him there were to be no more. Something I would not do.

It was not long before the job with Davey Paxman began to bore me and this was further compounded with the fact I did not like the sales manager. I began to scan the ‘Situations Vacant’ column of the newspapers, in search for something more suitable. Eventually I was successful in getting a post with Mobil Oil Company as a Diesel Engineer based at Westminster.

This was a very good position it involved my travelling throughout the British Rail Network. At the time British Rail were in the process of changing their locomotives from steam to diesel. It was my responsibility to see that the top managers knew about the Mobil Company and used Mobil oil in their new Diesel locomotives. This involved a great deal of entertaining, staying at the best hotels and meeting top managers in London clubs for lunch.

After two years I was promoted to Head of the Railway Department at Mobil and my salary rose in line to a cool One Thousand, five hundred pounds per annum. Mobil had a number of engineers who were on the Membership Committee of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and they put through my application for membership and I became an Associate member in 1958. I really enjoyed working for Mobil and feel if I could have only remained with them I could have progressed and gained a really high position with the company.

My future now seemed rosy and more secure. Than it had ever been. This new position in London was greeted with enthusiasm by Pamela’s parents. They suggested we should move into a Comben and Wakeling house and it looked as though we were going receive the promised wedding present although five years after the event. The house was a nice, three bedroom, property in North Wembly and we enjoyed living there for four years.

Just as the Mobil Job was going so well my father in law Eric Wakeling asked my views on joining his company “Comben & Wakeling Ltd.” He offered me the position of Plant Manager. It was a great surprise and we were overjoyed.

We thought a Directorship was bound to follow.... What fools we were!. However at the time it looked promising so I resigned from the Mobil Company. I was not totally convinced I was making the right decision for Mobil had just promoted me to Head of the Railway Department, and was the Main Diesel Engineer. My chief was very sorry to loose me but realised I had great prospects ahead joining the family business I was given a wonderful send off with a lunch at the Picadilly, in Fleet Street .at which all the senior staff attended.

Leaving Mobil required me to take a 40$ cut in salary. Soon I came to realise I had made a very great mistake for I had lost and the best opportunity I was ever to have to get to the top. My fellow Engineers at Mobil had insured my professional engineer’s status and clearly if I had stayed with the company I would have climbed to the top of my profession.

In the next chapter I will explain the history of Comben & Wakeling This background will enable you to understand why I felt it would be a good move to join such a prestigious company especially with the intimation that a directorship was in the offing.



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