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Mr. Alf Etherington Prof MICME –  May 11th 1949 – December 18th 2018

It is with deep regret that we have to report the death of Alf Etherington, at St. Bede’s Hospice in his home town of Gateshead, after a short illness.

Alf started work as an apprentice Patternmaker at Vickers Armstrong in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1964. He attended Gateshead Technical College on a day release basis where he studied Patternmaking and was awarded a City & Guilds advanced level certificate.

Alf was encouraged by the Company to continue his technical training so opted to go to Bolton Technical College on a 2 year Foundry Technology course which he completed successfully.

After the closure of the Vickers Armstrong Foundry in 1977, Alf joined George Blair Steel Foundry in Newcastle in the technical control department. Within a few years the company was sold to Wm. Cook & Co. Ltd of Sheffield when Alf was then transferred to their Stanhope Foundry in Weardale. Here Alf was appointed as Methods Engineer, a job that he enjoyed, but like many people he would sometimes complain, over a pint or two, about the deadlines he was expected to meet, but meet them he usually did.

He became an expert in making sure that the company quality standards were met, especially for the track links which the company produced for various types of military fighting vehicles as they were classed as safety critical parts.

In 2013 he was offered early retirement, and after a short period of thought, he duly accepted.

Over the next 5 years the company would periodically contact Alf when they were encountering a casting quality problem and he would willingly go to the works to help.

Alf became a member of the Institute in 1986, and was a member of the North East Branch (formed by the joining of the Newcastle and Teesside Branches in 2004), and over the years served as Branch President on 4 occasions. He and his wife Dorothy always supported the branch and for the past 15 years Dorothy has organised the buying of the Tombola prizes for the annual branch dinner dance.

Our thoughts at this time are with Alf’s wife Dorothy and all of his family.

Julia Cartwright

Author Julia Cartwright

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