David Cassels Gardner CEng FIMMM FIMinE FBIM (Obit)
David Cassels Gardner CEng FIMMM FIMinE FBIM was born into a mining family in Dalserf, Lanarkshire, Scotland, on 29 April 1938. His father spent his whole working life in the mining industry, as had many generations before. It was thus natural that David would read Mining Engineering at he Royal College of Science and Technology (now Strathclyde University).
Collieries and coalfields
Upon graduation, opportunities in the Scottish Coalfields were diminishing so he went to work for the National Coal Board and moved to Staffordshire, where he remained for over 10 years. He worked at a number of collieries in Staffordshire Coalfields including Holditch, Hem Heath, Stafford and Florence Collieries, rising through the ranks in a range of line management roles to culminate in undermanager and assistant manager positions.
In 1973, never frightened of a challenge, David moved to the North Derbyshire Coalfields as Deputy Manager at Arkwright. He progressed to Pleasley Colliery, initially as Deputy Manager and then as Colliery Manager. He spent over 10 years as a Colliery Manager in Derbyshire and Yorkshire, at Pleasley, Whitwell, High Moor and Hatfield/Thorne Collieries, retiring in 1990 after more than 30 years in the coal mining industry.
Throughout his career and into retirement David was an extremely active member of the former Institution of Mining Engineers (IMinE), which was amalgamated into IOM3, joining as a Student Member in 1962. He became a Full Member of the North Staffordshire Branch three years later, and eventually a Fellow. He was Chairman of North Staffordshire Junior Section and one of its Council Members from 1968-71. On moving to Derbyshire David retained his interest in IMinE, becoming a Council Member of the Notts & North Derbyshire Branch from 1983-88, Vice-President in 1988-89 and President in 1989-90.
David won numerous scholarships early in his career including the Sam Mavor and Tom Seaman Travelling Scholarships, which allowed him to study firsthand mining practices in Germany and the USA. His life-long dedication to the industry and IMinE was recognised in 1999 with the Lord Edward Cavendish Medal for Outstanding Service.
David’s interest in mining rubbed off on his three sons Alex, Andrew and David, all of whom entered the industry and remain heavily inspired by their father’s drive and determination.
David is survived by his dear wife Molly, his sons and seven grandchildren. His companionship, humour, drive, hard work, determination and passion were an inspiration to all who knew and worked with him. He will be sorely missed.