Don Bootle Marine Engineer & BP Training Officer, Engineering Apprentices and Cadets

Graham Wallace
3rd March 2009, 19:59
I have just heard from Andy McCall (E/C 1971) that Don Bootle has passed away, I have no further information at present but will post it if I do.

I came across Don in June 2003 in my searchings for Engineering Apprentices. I had never heard of him before as I was well into my apprenticeship before he came 'aboard', he gave me some of his background and I have copied some of it below.........

Quote:
I joined BP Tankers in 1952 as Junior Engineer having served a five-year
apprenticeship with Royal Small Arms at Enfield. I made rapid progress in
gaining my 2nd Class Cert and was appointed Second Engineer without having
sailed either as 4th or 3rd. On gaining my 1st Class Cert I was recruited
by Dan Alcock in Nov 1957 to work with Mr Webb and Mr Young in HQ and I ran
a Summer Vacation course at Poplar Technical college for about 20
Apprentices. At the end of that I joined HO as an Ass Supt in the
engineering dept and after 6 months Webb and Young retired and I was
appointed as Training Officer looking after Engineer Officer Training and
Development which also embraced overseeing the development of the Cadet
Training Programme. Although working to Dan Alcock I was very much involved
with the restructuring of the training programme, from the early days of how
you did it to all the eventual changes that took place not only in BP but
Nationally. Whilst in the BP job I was also used as Technical Adviser to
General Council of British Shipping and was responsible for developing all
the Heavy Marine Training Centres established at all the major marine
colleges throughout the UK. All of these were mainly equipped with pumps,
motors and other machinery and equipment taken from BP Tankers sold for
scrap. An interesting time!

I retired form BP in July 1984 as a Personnel Manager with responsibility
for seagoing staff and sadly my last 2/3 years I spent making staff
redundant as the fleet size shrunk. Many staff of course I had recruited as
cadet and oversaw their subsequent career development. Shortly after I left
all seagoing staff were outsourced to an IOM Manning Agency. I suspect that
apart from your group I had an involvement with every engineer cadet
recruited by BP. Sadly, whilst many will no doubt remember me, I have lost
contact with most of them although surprisingly I still came across ex
cadets at the Institute meetings and other events that I still go to and I
do maintain contact with some who have become friends and colleagues, a
number of course being in the BP Society.
Unquote:

Don Joined BP as a J/E on the Energy in 1952

In recent years I have accidentally come across Don on the internet I believe he was writing some books but cannot remember the topic.

I wonder if any others have recollections of Don and his memorable boss DG Alcock. He was known as Duggie (?) so I'm told. I did not know any of his names at the time ( other than the ribald ones after getting a dressing down)...............I thought it was 'God'

These two guys must have done a hell of a lot for our profession

Graham

Duncan112
3rd March 2009, 20:20
Don's Obituary was in the March 2009 IMarEST "The Marine Professional" - only got it at the weekend and no e-version yet.

Sadly his Obituary did not mention his time as Personnel Manager or indeed anything on his career with BP.

Duncan

george jackson
4th March 2009, 10:13
Hi Graham, I remember Mr. Alcock, he interviewed me at head office in 1954 when I applied for an apprenticeship. I recall that he had a habit of wrinkling his nose and baring his teeth at the same time and I thought that he was smiling so of course I smiled back every time he did this. He must have thought I was a dozy sod and quite fit to be an engineering apprentice and subsequently I was accepted!!!!

david freeman
4th March 2009, 20:28
Hi Graham, I remember Mr. Alcock, he interviewed me at head office in 1954 when I applied for an apprenticeship. I recall that he had a habit of wrinkling his nose and baring his teeth at the same time and I thought that he was smiling so of course I smiled back every time he did this. He must have thought I was a dozy sod and quite fit to be an engineering apprentice and subsequently I was accepted!!!!

The Bolton Lads named Alcock Brer Rabbit due to his mannerisums.

JohnBP
22nd March 2009, 20:26
Remember Alcock, he did the seminar in Glasgow that convinced me to join BP, he had a movie which showed a prop shaft turning and was very proud to explain that the ship was not moving, they just changed the position of the lights. Months later I was the only BP eng app doing the 3 months at BTH (British Thompsom Houston) in Rugby UK, and Bootle visited me, very kind to a nervious app. and spent time with me and the supervisors. Time passages, make the best of life....

Graham Wallace
14th December 2010, 21:38
Digging through some old copies of 1978 BP Fleet News I came across the following article about "The success story behind Engineer Cadet Training" written by Don Bootle

A little miffed that there is no mention the scheme was originally titled the Engineering Apprentice training and not until 1965 was it changed to Engineeer Cadet !

Dan Alcock is in the photograph, not exactly how I remember him.

Over my years of searching for Ex Engineering Apprentoces/Cadets I have bee in touch with a few of those people in the photo.

That was 1977 (25 years anniversary) , now it is 2010 and 58th anniversary, I wonder how many Engineer Cadets are now inducted each year? females included.

Graham

david freeman
16th December 2010, 12:13
Graham, sad to see Don's demise, he did a lot for BP: He was the sunny side of Mr Alcock who gave you the 'b#####s'. Don in his later life after BP contibuted a great deal to the Insitute. An era of mis spent youth for me personnally.