Where Are You Now?

David Payne

David Payne     

Sandwich Degree in Applied Physics 1969

MSc Solid State Science 1973

After a working life in science and engineering and a spell as a local politician, David Payne decided to do new things in his retirement.

He is now Chairman at YES Energy Solutions CIC, President of Huddersfield of Musical Theatre Company, Chairman of Huddersfield Theatre Users Association, Vice Chair and Governing Body of Salendine Nook High School Academy, Secretary of Friends of Holmfirth Library and Voluntary Steward at Lawrence Batley Theatre.

He said: “I spend time with creative people and it’s stimulating, entertaining and challenging.”

David, originally from St Albans, studied when the University of Sunderland was still a Technical College. It became Polytechnic on his graduation day, in 1969.

The 68-year-old said: “Not coming from a privileged background, I approached local companies for an industrial sponsorship. The Sunderland offer was attractive because it led to an honours degree, it offered a guaranteed income through the year (except for three-weeks at Christmas) and it was a long way from home.”

He continued: “John Stirling joined the then Technical College after retirement from James A Jobling in the town (city status was much, much later). He had a deep knowledge and understanding of classical physics and could rattle off standard proofs without notes. He was supportive and funny and also did a cracking version of “Wor Nany’s A Mazer”.”

Asked about his abiding memory of Sunderland, David commented: “For someone who had never previously been North of Nottingham, it was the culture, the friendliness and the cold wind off the sea as I waited for my bus of a morning.”

David’s advice to current students on how to get a foot on the career ladder is: “Always be doing something. You may not ever get your dream job but if you take opportunities and recognise no boundaries, life will be interesting.”

He concluded: “I have never had a plan -they are stifling and lead to missed opportunities.”

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