John has spent much of his life putting atoms where they did not want to be and describes himself as an atomic anarchist. He has worked in a number of UK universities finishing as Principal of the Faculty of Engineering at Imperial College. He still holds honorary academic positions at a number of UK universities. For a time he was chief executive of the national basic sciences labs based at the Rutherford-Appleton laboratories where he became involved in large international research infrastructures. He has been a consultant to industry, governments and the EC. In retirement he took up the post of Secretary-General of the Association of Commonwealth Universities and he still remains an adviser to several universities around the world. In addition he continues as a consultant to CERN in Geneva.
With his wife Alison, they founded a charity in 1984 based at their home in North Bedfordshire for socially disadvantaged people with mental, learning and other difficulties.
During his varied academic career he has become an honorary citizen of Cluj-Napoca in Romania (capital of Transylvania), picked up an honorary doctorate from the Kwame Nkrumah University in Ghana, and was made an Officer of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
John is a Reader in the Church of England and likes to relax by reading books on science, history and theology, listening to chamber music and playing croquet.
He joined the Company in 1994 and has served on several of its committees, notably as Chairman of the Industry and Charity Committees.
Robin joined the Company in 1995 and has served on several of its committees, notably as Chairman of the Property Committee which oversaw the Hall's most recent refurbishment and achieved our Grade Two Listing.
The intention was that David would be called David Whiteoak (in common with his paternal grandfather) and so as to avoid confusing future generations, the name Anthony was added before the others. His thoughtful mother was concerned to avoid the nickname "Jackdaw" being applied at school! That was all well and good, until the Registrar introduced the "h" into Anthony; David's father a Latin scholar admired Mark Antony and desired the Shakespearian spelling of the name. David has learned to live with the fact he is a living spelling mistake.
David was a partner in Pinsent & Co (now Pinsent Masons) before joining Holman Fenwick Willan; retiring from the latter in April 2018.
He joined Founders Company in 2006 and has served on several of its committees, notably as Chairman of the Charity, Governance and Audit Committees.
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