Neil Haydon’s new member talk
Neil Haydon gave his new member talk on Monday 10 April 2017.
Neil was born in Berkeley near Bristol (England). His Dad’s family were from Scotland and his Mum’s originated in Wales. His Dad was a geotechnical civil engineer, and specialised in designing the foundations of nuclear power stations including the one being built at Berkeley. It is now de-commissioned, but the core will be radioactive for 2000 years [we all hope his Dad’s work was excellent and will last 2000 years].
As a child, Neil was enthusiastic about taking things apart. To encourage this enthusiasm, his Dad bought him a junior electrical engineer set, which helped set his life’s course. He went to Bath University, and studied electrical and electronic engineering.
He met his future wife, Ellie, when he signed up for a cycling trip around the Netherlands. She had been brought along by a female participant he knew (and had fancied). Ellie attended Bristol University.
Ellie and Neil got engaged and bought their first house just after leaving University, but like most young people starting out did not have much money for furniture straight away so took advantage of their membership of a local drama group and offered to store all the theatre group in their house so they could use.
Neil worked for several companies (Marconi, BAe, and EDS) in research and development on the electronics used in weapon systems used by the UK Military as well as test systems for automation and manufacturing. Over the course of time he ended up working Hewlett Packard based in the USA in a variety of technical and managerial roles. This gave opportunities to travel extensively across many countries in Europe, Middle East, Africa, America’s, and Asia, despite having 2 children. That in turn led to opportunities to work in other countries sometimes for short period or in the case of Berlin Germany, relocating there with the whole family for 5 years.
After a long career working in High Technology electronics Neil and Ellie decided to come to New Zealand to start a new life where they could spend more time with family, rather than take up another role in the USA. Neil had some distant relatives of his Dad’s and some Kiwi friends and they helped convince Neil and Ellie that coming to New Zealand was a good idea. Neil joined a small company in Wellington where he could offer his skills and experience to assist them in growing. The move has given him and his family a better lifestyle, time for amateur dramatics, cycling and having time together as a family [and of course time to also join Johnsonville Rotary].