Lloyd’s Register depends for its reputation upon the men and women who work for it, whether they are surveying ships or oil refineries, inspecting components for power stations, revising the rules and conducting research or delivering essential administrative support. The Lloyd’s Register Foundation strives to share the knowledge and expertise of the group for the wider public benefit.
A glimpse of some of the personalities who have worked for Lloyd’s Register over the last 253 years shows how they helped it to grow from a handful of staff scattered around the UK in the 1760s to one employing over 8,000 men and women of many different nationalities all over the world.
Bernard Waymouth (1824–1890)
Waymouth joined LR as a surveyor in 1853 after experience in an Admiralty dockyard and a private shipyard. Five years later, he was appointed the Senior Surveyor for London. He was an accomplished naval architect, designing two of the fastest clippers, the Leander (1867) and theThermopylae (1868), composite ships made from an iron frame with wooden planking.
As Secretary, he took an active part in expanding the Society's operations overseas and developing its approach to new technologies. His influence has been described as fundamental in establishing uniform standards for the construction of ships from steel. He was deeply interested in the welfare of staff and he was instrumental in establishing the Society's first pension scheme in 1884.
Bernard Waymouth believed that a combination of practical and theoretical training delivered the best surveyors. Lloyd's Register began sponsoring scholarships to British universities offering relevant courses from 1877. But Waymouth, speaking in 1873, was also clear that 'you cannot make a surveyor in a day … the best thing our committee can do is to take young men, well educated and well grounded in the theory and practice of their profession, and then put them with good experienced surveyors, and in the course of a few years they make first-class men'.
Sir Wesctott Stile Abell (1877–1961)
Westcott Abell was Professor of Naval Architecture at Liverpool University when he was appointed Chief Ship Surveyor in 1914. Among many holders of the post, he was the most outstanding. Helpful and encouraging to those around him, he was not one to suffer fools gladly. The year before he joined LR he was chairman of the sub-committee appointed by the Board of Trade to examine the internationalisation of load lines, for which he was awarded the James Watt Gold Medal in 1919.
During the First World War, he helped to direct the efforts of the merchant shipyards and merchant fleet and supervised the construction of auxiliary craft for the Admiralty. In recognition of his services he was knighted in 1920.
Abell was aware of the technological advances that war had brought and revised the Rules and employed a number of gifted graduates, who would later rise to eminent positions within LR.
He left the Society in 1928 to take up the chair of naval architecture at Armstrong College, then part of the University of Durham, now Newcastle University. He was probably the foremost naval architect of his time.
Joyce Cork joined LR in 1950 straight from school and studied for her mathematics degree at night school. She later studied for a second degree in metallurgy.
She was involved in technical work from the beginning, assisting surveyors in the Engineering Research Department, which later moved to Crawley. During this time she wrote programs, one of which was used for the first time in strain-gauging the Farnborough wind tunnel during a pressure test.
This program converted readings from hundreds of strain gauges to stress levels, something that she used to have to do by hand when she attended pressure tests on sites like Calderhall, Dounray and Chapelcross nuclear power stations.