Industry: water, steel & energy

Holliday, Fred (12 of 14) National Life Story Collection: An Oral History of the Water Industry

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  • Recording date

    2009-08-13, 2009-08-20, 2009-11-16, 2010-02-09, 2011-02-02

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home

  • Interviewees

    Holliday, Fred, 1935-2016 (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Gilmour, Alison (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 12: Comments on returning to University of Aberdeen; subsequent appointment as Vice-Chancellor of Durham University. Comments on working in a collegiate university. Mentions opening university up: inviting a Tokyo university to open a Durham branch, starting research foundation and society of fellows. Mentions knowing that universities would be shaken up by Thatcher and Keith Joseph. Comments on need to widen student access. Mentions Thatcher's visit to Stockton [Stockton-on-Tees] and FH's idea to build a new student campus. Mentions receiving funding from Teesside Development Authority. Description of subjects taught at new campus. Remarks on university's response to new campus. Comments on support from President of AUT (Association of University Teachers). Mentions 11 years service at Durham and receiving knighthood. Mentions being Chair of Leverhulme Trust; meeting Anthony Blunt, Kenneth Dover. [11:04] Comments on government request to return to nature conservation work after leaving Durham. Mentions being Chairman of NCC while at University of Aberdeen; being led into role by Sir David Serpell [DS]. Comments on first signs of devolution: Scottish colleagues pressing for separate council, separate councils also in Wales and England. Invitation to chair Joint [Nature] Conservation Committee. Magnus Magnusson chaired Scottish National Heritage. Comments on arguments when NCC was broken up; realisation that separate parties disliked joint committee. Story about argument in Scotland due to a farmer's claim. [00:14:36 – 00:23:33 SECTION CLOSED UNTIL 10-09-2021] Mentions invitation to be Chairman for Northumbrian Water. Mentions invitation from Sir Bob Reid to join British Rail main board, chair East Coast main board, and assist with building Channel Tunnel rail link. Comments on this high point. Mentions plaque at Durham station. Remarks on plans to build another high speed rail in Britain; costs of Channel Tunnel. [27:30] Mentions British Rail privatisation and joining board of Go-Ahead Group. Comments on accident at Ladbroke Grove; Cullen inquiry. [29:20] Comments on takeover of Northumbrian Water by Lyonnaise des Eaux; subsequent takeover by Suez. Comments on environmental policies. Comments on selling of Northumbrian Water. [32:26] Mentions joining National Heritage Memorial Fund chaired by Lord Martin Charteris. Story about failed funding bid for Durham Castle Gatehouse, comparison to Oxford and Cambridge funding. Worked for National Heritage from 1980-1991. Comments on funding provision. Mentions artists Holbein, Rembrandt. [39:34] Mentions joining Newcastle stockbroking company, Brewin Dolphin takeover, split capital fund scandal. Comments on low point as Chair. [00:40:33 – 00:43:23 SECTION CLOSED UNTIL 01-01-2071] Mentions having a slight stroke and giving up role. Reflects on career; wishes for tombstone inscription.

  • Description

    Life Story Interview with Fred Holliday, former chairman of Northumbrian Water Group

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