My Life as I Remember it
Caveat: Our memory can be very fickle, and there is now evidence
that, every time we recall something, we delete it and re-record it together with any
mistakes and embellishments. Thereafter we "remember" the re-recorded version as
fact. In what follows I have done my best to be factual and I have written what I
"remember", but I would be amazed if there were no errors.
Milestones - Events, work and locations
- I was born on March 24th 1930 in my parents' home, "The Poplars". This was a
two storey semi-detached house in Ladies Lane, Aspull, Lancashire, a few houses north of
the boundary between Aspull and Hindley. My parents were Herbert Henry Whittle and Dorothy
Wanda Whittle (née Taylor). I was told that I weighed 10 pounds (4.5Kg).
- My parents built a single story two-bedroomed house which they called "Selwyn"
after the house that my father was in at boarding school, and we moved there while I was
still a toddler. "Selwyn" was also in Ladies Lane but about 25 yards south of
the Aspull/Hindley boundary, so we didn't move far.
- In 1933, at the age of three, I flew for the first time on a joy flight with Sir Alan
Cobham's Flying Circus. It is probably my earliest memory.
- I initially went to school in Chapel Hill and walked there with one of the teachers who
lived in Ladies Lane.
- After about a year I was moved to Saint Peters primary school near the central
cross-roads in Hindley.
- In 1939 I passed an exam and moved to the Hindley and Abram Grammar School south east of
- In 1947 I started the Honours Physics course at Manchester University and graduated with
second class honours in 1950.
- In early 1951 I started my National Service basic training at Honiton on the edge of
Dartmoor in Devon.
- Later in 1951 I did officer training at Eaton Hall near Chester in Cheshire and was
granted a Commission in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (R.E.M.E.).
- I completed my National Service in early 1953 and started work in the Health Physics
department at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell in Berkshire.
- Early in 1954 I met Ruth Kendrick, who worked in Administration at A.E.R.E., and we were
married on October 9th of the same year. We set up home in Susan Crescent, Wantage, about
seven miles from Harwell, and, while there, brought our first four children (all boys)
into the world.
- In about 1955 I changed jobs to work for the Medical Research Council's Radiobiological
Unit just outside the Atomic Energy Research Establishment's security fence.
- In late 1961 Ruth, the children and l moved to Melbourne in Australia and in February
1962 our daughter was born. We lived initially in Gordon Street, Newport in Melbourne's
west, but moved after six months to Grace Street, Mont Albert in the eastern suburbs.
- From 1962 to 1967 I worked at the Ministry of Supply Defence Standards Laboratory at
Maribyrnong in the west of Melbourne.
- From 1967 to 1977 I worked in the Computer Centre at Monash University in south east
Melbourne. During this time, in 1970, our fifth son was born.
- From 1977 to 1979 I headed a team of programmers writing a hospital pathology system.
- From 1979 to 1986 I worked for the Australian branch of Newmont Mining Corporation in
their head office in central Melbourne.
- In 1984, Ruth and I set up Whittle Programming Pty Ltd, with me doing the software
development and Ruth doing the marketing. Before long, our fourth son David joined us as
Business Manager and we took on programmers and office staff. We specialised in developing
and selling optimization software for the mining industry. Initially we ran the business
from home but, as the company grew, we moved into offices of increasing size in Balwyn
East and then Box Hill, both suburbs of Melbourne.
- Some time later our second son, Gerald, joined us to set up Whittle Consulting Pty Ltd
with the aim of using some new mining optimization software that I had written but had not
put on the market.
- In 2000, Whittle Programming and Whittle Consulting were floated on the Stock Exchange
under a holding company called Whittle Technology Ltd. Whittle Technology was not
successful as a public company and, by 2002, Whittle Programming had been sold to a
Canadian Mining Software company called Gemcom, and Whittle Consulting was back in private
hands. David moved to Vancouver with his family and, among other things, ran Whittle
Programming for Gemcom. The listed company Whittle Technology Ltd changed its name and now
plans to breed barramundi!
- Although, in theory, retired, I continue to develop the software used by Whittle
Consulting on a part-time basis.
Still under construction