Bob Poole, who died on 3 June 2007, aged 93, was a lifelong member and supporter of the Royal Society of Chemistry and was proud to receive a certificate marking 70 years of membership in 2006.
On leaving school at 16 in 1930, Bob Poole joined Ever Ready, the battery manufacturers, as a lab assistant, later rising to chief assistant in the Analytical Laboratory. While working full time during the day, he studied in
the evenings at the Northern Polytechnic in Holloway, where he obtained a first-class honours BSc degree in chemistry from London University. According to a reference written for him by the head of his department, it
was exceptional for an evening student to obtain first class honours.
His speciality became the examination and analysis of materials, and as such he was in a reserved occupation when World War II broke out. He was assigned to the Chemical Inspection Department of the Ministry of
Supply, moving house around the country at least seven times in five years. Immediately after the war he was appointed a chemist for the British Intelligence Objectives Sub-committee and sent to Germany where he was part of a team interviewing German scientists and assessing their expertise in the field of silicones. For this he needed military status and was given a temporary commission as a Captain in the Berkshire Regiment, assigned to areas controlled by the British Army of the Rhine.
In December 1946 he took up an appointment in the Ferrobestos Development Laboratory at Ferodo in Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire.
Ferodo was part of the Turner & Newall Group, and he was eventually promoted to production manager in the plastics division, but his move to Wigan was postponed owing to a serious illness which left him with a fused
hip joint, a disability which he refused to allow to rule his life.
Eventually he was able to return to work as production manager in the Plastics Division research laboratories until he left Turner & Newall in 1965. He ended his working life teaching maths, physics and chemistry to adult
students at Stockport College of Technology, a time he greatly enjoyed, but changes in the education system disillusioned him, and he took early retirement. In the mid-1980s he and his wife moved to Newport in
Pembrokeshire, where his wife died in 2000. Bob stayed in Newport until May 2005, when a broken shoulder persuaded him to move to Bedfordshire to live with his younger daughter, where he remained until his death.