27 July 2022

Obituary – David Raymond Oldham CEng Hon FIMMM

David had a long career in the coal mining industry and was a former President of the Institution of Mining Electrical and Mining Mechanical Engineers (IMEMME)

David Raymond Oldham CEng Hon FIMMM

David was born on 23 February 1937 in Sutton in Ashfield, UK, to parents Dorothy and Arthur. David met his late wife, Patricia, at a local market which led to them frequenting dances together. They married in 1958 and lived initially on the Ladybrook Estate, Mansfield. In 1966, they moved to Rainworth, Nottinghamshire, UK.

As a young teenager, he worked helping Colin Ashley, a local electrician, to rewire houses and also had paper-rounds delivering papers on a flat barrow for six bob a week. 

David left school at 15 and was given an apprenticeship with the National Coal Board, Rufford Colliery, Nottinghamshire, UK. He continued his further education at West Notts College, Mansfield, UK, which led to him being accepted onto the national Coal Board’s Management Training Course, subsequently becoming an Assistant Colliery Electrical Engineer at Rufford Colliery.

David’s career progressed to Colliery Electrical Engineer at Rufford Colliery, then to Group Electrical Engineer and finally Area Chief Electrical Engineer in the Nottinghamshire Group. During this time, he became a Chartered Engineer, and President of the local Midlands Branch of the Institution of Mining Electrical and Mining Mechanical Engineers (IMEMME).

He became Senior Vice President of the Institution in 1993 and President in 1994. In September 1993 he was awarded a Silver Medal by Nottinghamshire and North Derbyshire Branch of the Institution of Mining Engineers (IME) for his paper, Electrical generation from waste mine gases. In 1995 he was actively involved in the negotiations when IMEMME merged with IME. David always had entrepreneurial skills which were much recognised.

After leaving his employment with British Coal, he helped to form a company called Coal Gas, developed to extract coal mine methane from closed collieries to generate electricity. This became very successful. The company was floated on the stock market and renamed Alkane Energy UK, achieving further success before finally being taken over by an established national company.

Bob Siddall FREng CEng FIMMM