Roy Gasson MCQI CQP I.Eng

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Roy Gasson MCQI CQP I.Eng

napiertrust
Administrator
Archive from Monday 7 January 2008

Before starting my apprenticeship with Napiers I was invited to the annual apprentice camp on the Isle of Wight.  These were great fun and very enjoyable; I attended three in total, for the third year I was asked if I would be willing to work for the ten days.  I did this and was paid flat rate which turned into a nice holiday as I was only required to work day one on and two off since there were three of us and we had our own tent.
On leaving school in 1959 I was apprenticed with D Napier & Son of Acton, starting in the Service Department at Acton 2 as the office boy. I played rugby at school at second row or number 8 and while I was doing the office boy stint I was asked to play for the Napier apprentices and then the Company’s 2nd team.  I was only big enough to be a wing forward; we had some good fixtures, and great games until a knee injury stopped my involvement with the game in 1964.
All Fitter/Turner apprentices did 6 months basic training 3 months hand tools and then 3 months machine tools, each ended with a test piece which were not easy to pass. After successfully passing out of the Napier Park Royal training school, I spent some months on different machine tool sections in the main machine shops at Acton 1, followed a stint in the Engine build shop, working on Gazelle gas turbines and the Deltic diesel.
After an interview with Mr Bonney the apprentice supervisor, I was transferred to the research machine shop. A marvellous place which undertook all work which the tool room refused.  We had many jobs that were difficult to make or in some exotic materials for mostly research projects.  It was also good place to be for “homers” such as motorcyclists with an urge for engine tuning!
Unfortunately due the Government of the day reducing research budgets and deciding there would be only one engine manufacturer (who we called “them up the Road”), I had to complete my apprenticeship with a Company in Borehamwood that made lift winding gear.
On the successful completion of my apprenticeship I moved to Battersea College of technology as the machine shop Technician in the Mechanical Engineering department, which involved making anything that was required by the teaching staff and students for their projects. I transferred on promotion to Senior Technician in to the Bio-engineering Laboratory, this involved interesting work on a number of artificial limb projects, and film making of projects for BA, BSc’s etc, the College became Surrey University and moved to Guilford, I decided not to move with them.
Onward and upward I secured a post with the Civil Service in 1968 in the A.I.D Laboratory’s at Harefield, in the Metrology Lab, I transferred in 1972 to RR Leavesden (small engines) to the Resident A.I.D office dealing with the inspection of the Engines in current production and the overhaul of in service engines, I also controlled the MoD embodiment store, I then did 3 months detached duty at Westland’s Yeovil, in the A.I.D engine office, then back to Leavesden, spent time on the Gem (Lynx Helicopter engine). during its 600hr assessment. During this period I become a member of the Quality Institute. My next move in 1989 was to RR Bristol AQD Resident Office, I dealt with defect investigations of in-service engines, Pegasus build, and Olympus overhaul for Concorde.
After a couple of years, due to department shuffles, I found myself back at Harefield in the AQD north London District Office visiting a multitude of mechanical and electrical suppliers to MOD.  This was very interesting work.
The next move was to St Giles Court in 1983, where I worked on Engine Defect investigations coordinating the paperwork from the armed forces and the responses from the manufacturers.
In 1985 on a Friday my Assistant Director decided that I would become an airframe expert on the following Monday! This was interesting and resulted in my QA involvement with the following Project Offices Harrier all Mk’s (RAF/Navy), Nimrod’s, The Navy Historic Flight Fairy Swordfish, Shackleton AEW, The Queens Flight BAe 146, The BBMF Lancaster and the Boeing AWACS.
I was not expecting to be commuting to London for 13 years on London underground however, luckily, I was not in the office every day. It was decided in that each Project Office would have its own QA member in 1995 and I managed to secure a post with the Resident Project team at Lockheed Atlanta, procuring the new Hercules C130J, in the deep south of the USA.  Little did I realise this would be my retirement posting. I had the responsibility for the QA of the total package at the factory and at their subcontractors quite a task, but very enjoyable. I think we quite surprised the company with our requirement for them to build to print as they were used to dealing with the US DoD, who would sign concessions more easily than we did.
They got used to it although there was a lot of muttering in the early days.  We got a good working relationship after they adjusted to our ways, contract requirements, and my peculiar sense of humour!  In 1999 it was decreed that my tour would end so I decided to take the early retirement package that was on offer.  I did not fancy living out of a suitcase in the Bristol area for the next three years.  I had visited Bristol Officies for meetings whilst in the US and the office setup did not impress me so I ended my Civil Service career in January 2000 taking early retirement.

I spent the first couple of years of retirement driving the school bus for the local school for disabled which was very rewarding, and in my own time I used to take a number of the children to the local riding for Disabled and on their day trips.

My main interest is now helping the Napier Power Heritage Trust.  I am at present the Trust’s Honorary Chairman and one of the NPHT website’s Authors.
Trust work can be time consuming since we are trying to get as much of our archives digitised as possible. It seems to be a never ending task.

Roy Gasson
Chairman NPHT.
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Re: Roy Gasson MCQI CQP I.Eng

napiertrust
Administrator
Archive from 14 April 2008


Dear Mr Gasson
I was reading your text above and I noticed that you had a career in the MoD in the field of Quality. I am also in the field of Quality with the MoD which was PQS then SPS then DQAG now DE&S. I am the GQAR based in Westlands dealing with most airframes but in a secondary role as my main dealing is with Honeywell (Normal-Air)at Yeovil and Bournemouth. You have had a very wide career with the MoD and although I have enjoyed my 19 Years I think it a good time to leave and go to pastures new.
All the best in your work.
Mr Stephen S Mains MIET MCQI
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Re: Roy Gasson MCQI CQP I.Eng

napiertrust
Administrator
Archive from 14 April 2008

Dear Mr Stephens,
I did spend a short time (3 months) on detached duty at Westlands as part of the AQD engines in 1976, I also later, whilst based in London had to visit a Company at Hurn, if my memory serves me correct that was for aircraft repainting contract, at this point in time I can’t remember the Companies name. As you may have gathered I took early retirement in 2000.
I would like to take this opportunity wish you all the best in your change of direction.

Roy