By Aisling O’Malley, IET Archivist
The IET Archives have received a new acquisition: an album documenting Sir Leonard Drucquer’s Presidency of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE), one of the two institutions that formed the IET in 2006. The album includes photographs, newspaper clippings, and event invitations spanning Sir Leonard Drucquer’s term between 1965 to 1966.
The son of a tobacconist, Sir Leonard Drucquer was born in London in1902. Whilst studying at the public school, Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boys’ School, Drucquer was first introduced to engineering where he conducted radio transmission experiments. Drucquer went on to study at the Polytechnic College of Engineering to become an electrical engineer.
After his studies in 1920, Drucquer joined the British Thomson-Houston Company (BTH). During his time at BTH, Drucquer worked initially as a tester before joining the erection staff on the Outside Construction Department, where he was responsible for the construction and commissioning of the first automatic-traction substation in Great Britain. Drucquer would later work as a switchgear contract engineer at BTH Willesden. During the 1950s, Druquer had moved into management where he was made BTH Director in 1956 and Divisional Director and General Manager of the Associated Electrical Industries (AEI) Heavy Plant Division in 1958, a position he held until his retirement in 1966. Even during his retirement, Drucquer continued to work where he held the position of Chairman of the CEI and member of the Council of Loughborough University of Technology.
Before his Presidency, Sir Leonard Drucquer was heavily involved in the work of the IEE. In 1920, he joined the IEE as a student, became a Member in 1928, and finally a Fellow in 1940. Drucquer served on the IEE Informal Meetings Committee and was a member of the IEE Supply Section Committee where he held the position of Vice-Chairman and Chairman. In 1962, Drucquer was appointed Vice President of the IEE. After his term as President, Drucquer formed the IEE Business Advisory Committee to guide the IEE’s interests in the developments in publishing and information technology.
This piece has concentrated on the career of Sir Leonard Drucquer, yet, from these words, little can be gleaned from a man described as someone with ‘warm humanity and good humour’ and a ‘modest man with a knack of getting on with people’. This newly donated album contains pictures and newspaper clippings of Sir Leonard Drucquer’s duties as IEE President, including his trip to India in 1966 where he visited Indian engineering institutes such as the Indian Institute of Technology. This album puts a face to the accomplished Sir Leonard Drucquer and illustrates his contributions to the IEE.
‘Leonard Drucquer: IEE President, 1965–66’, Electronics & Power, 1965, 11, (10), p. 345-345, DOI: 10.1049/ep.1965.0255. IET Digital Library, https://digital-library.theiet.org/content/journals/10.1049/ep.1965.0255
‘Sir Leonard Drucquer memorial service’, Electronics & Power, 1975, 21, (8), p. 507-507, DOI: 10.1049/ep.1975.0552. IET Digital Library, https://digital-library.theiet.org/content/journals/10.1049/ep.1975.0552
‘New presidents’, Production Engineer, 1975, 54, (9), p. 451-452, DOI: 10.1049/tpe.1975.0203. IET Digital Library, https://digital-library.theiet.org/content/journals/10.1049/tpe.1975.0203
‘Leeds tee off’, Electronics & Power, 1975, 21, (7), p. 451-451, DOI: 10.1049/ep.1975.0493. IET Digital Library, https://digital-library.theiet.org/content/journals/10.1049/ep.1975.0493
February 23, 2022 at 11:11 pm
You might be interested in the below which I wrote a few years ago about Leonard Drucquer for a book on local Crick people. rick was his home from 1956.
Sir Leonard Drucquer 1902 – 1975
Engineer, Industrialist and Parish Councillor
As a young engineer I picked up Sir Leonard, who was no longer driving himself, to our annual Institution dinners in Rugby. I cannot recall what we talked about but he certainly had the knack of easy conversation and an enthusiasm for engineering.
Sir Leonard and his wife moved to Crick Manor in 1956. They were keen on their garden which they opened in support of local causes. Many of us will remember visiting the Manor for the May Day celebrations and wandering away from the events organised on main lawn to admire the many garden “rooms”, the sunken garden and the lily pond. He also took a very active part in local affairs, including membership of the Parish Council which he was Chairman at the time of his death.
He joined the staff of BTH, later to become part of AEI, then GEC and finally Alstom, in Rugby in 1920 and until 1938 he worked in outside construction and contract engineering. He was appointed assistant manager, Switchgear Sales, in 1938 and was manager from 1945 to 1950. From then to 1956 he was manager Home Sales, director and manager Home Sales 1956 to 1965 he was divisional director and general manager, Heavy Plant Division. In September 1965 he was appointed consultant to the Industrial Group of AEI from which he retired in 1968. He was retained as a consultant.
Sir Leonard was an active Fellow of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, now the Institution of Engineering and Technology. He served as a member the Council, Vice-President and became President in 1965.
He was a governor of the former Rugby College of Engineering Technology, which became part Coventry University, and a governor of Loughborough University.
In 1967 he was elected Chairman of the Council of Engineering Institutions. In the same year he was knighted for his services to the engineering industry.
He died in Cross Hospital in April 1975 aged 73 after a long illness. There were memorial services in London and St Margaret’s Church, Crick.
(Fellow, Institution of Engineering and Technology)
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March 7, 2022 at 3:12 pm
Thank you, Jim for sharing.
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