Verulam Medal & Prize
The Verulam Medal & Prize is presented in recognition of distinguished contributions to ceramics including refractories.
The winner will receive a medal and £300.00
Lord Verulam was no ordinary man. The metals industries of the world owe a great deal to his energy, wisdom, and leadership - not only the Delta Metal Company Ltd, of which he was Chairman for the last 5 years, and to which he gave so much over the whole of his career, but many others as well.
As the Hon. John Grimston, he was at Oundle School before going up to Christ Church, Oxford, in 1930. At Oundle he developed his lifelong love of choral music, his enjoyment of open air sports, and, undoubtedly, his practical approach to engineering. Oxford gave him nay friends, and the opportunity to fly. He served in the RAF, first in the University Air Squadron and - too soon afterwards - in the 1939 war.
With the war behind him, he resumed his interrupted industrial life in Enfield Rolling Mills Ltd, of which he became Chairman in 1960. In the 1950s, while Managing Director, he had increased the industrial strength of ERM by a series of mergers and acquisitions, including taking over Enfield Cables Ltd, with which ERM had been closely associated since its formation. Thus, in 1963, when Delta Metal and ERM came together, the latter was almost an equal partner. In 1960 he had succeeded to the title on the death of his brother, James, and, as Lord Verulam, joined the Board of the new and enlarged Delta Metal Co.
Throughout this time he maintained his flying skills, and employed them to visit his customers and his competitors very widely. Largely as a result of this energy and diplomacy, the non-ferrous metals industry developed an effective international collaboration, both within itself and also with the world's metal mining industry. His annual flight to East Africa enabled him to renew friendships with all the leaders of the copper industry there, and to develop a real understanding of the problems of the developing African nations.
In 1968 he was appointed Chairman of the Delta Metal Co. Ltd. At the time, things were not going too well, profits had dropped in each of the three preceding years, and the large group of companies that had been assembled by his predecessors showed signed of a need for direction and leadership. Within 3 years he established a Divisional organisation, and provided the sense of direction and urgency which was needed. Together with his financial colleagues, the introduced a strong financial system for reporting and control. With this working, he inspired and invigorated the Group with a radical forward-looking plan, the results of which already show in Delta Metal's more widely-based and more profitable company.
He was Member of Parliament for St, Albans and Mid Herts. for a total of 12 years, President of the British Non-Ferrous Metals Federation, President of the International Wrought Non-Ferrous Council, was member, chairman, or president of many voluntary bodies - and, of great importance to us, was President of the Institute of Metals (1962-3).
As President of the Institute he inaugurated the series of discussions which eventually led to the proposal to form the Metals Society, and consistently supported this action.
Lord Verulam was awarded the Institute of Metal's Platinum Medal for 1972 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the non-ferrous metal industry.
All this success was achieved by honesty, by soft voiced persuasion, by logic, by kindness, and by a tremendous example of commitment to the job.
N I Bond-Williams
Metals and Materials June 1973 p.263