D551 - Oliver, Mr O. J. - 1946-9

The student papers comprise mementos of University and Faculty events, and academic work relating to the honours degree course in Civil Engineering at the University of Liverpool, 1946-9.

Main Creator: Oliver, Oswald John
Archive level description: Sub-sub fonds
Physical Description:3 boxes and 1 roll
Summary:The student papers comprise mementos of University and Faculty events, and academic work relating to the honours degree course in Civil Engineering at the University of Liverpool, 1946-9.
Reference Number:D551
Accruals:There are no anticipated accruals.
Access Conditions:Access is open to bona fide researchers.

The collection has been divided into two sections:

  • D551/1University and Faculty events
  • D551/2Academic work

The papers have been arranged chronologically.

Custodial History:Previously in the custody of Mr O. J. Oliver. Received from Mr O. J. Oliver, 23 Jan 1991 and 9 Nov 1993.
Finding Aids:A finding aid is available in the reading room.
Related Material:Archive of the University of Liverpool, Faculty of EngineeringSee also the Archive of the University of Liverpool: Papers of Graduates. Particularly relevant are the papers of Civil Engineering students, such as: D632 Student papers of R. G. CowieD523 Student papers of S.P. HuttonD455 Papers of Douglas G. RobertsonSee also the following papers relating to the Civil Engineering department: D776 Professor J. Alan ProudloveA41 Materials collected by Mr P. L. Kemp towards a History of the Faculty of EngineeringD77 Photographs of the William Rathbone (Bronze) Medal for Engineering awarded to John Henry Leck
Separated Material:A casting mould of fourth quality pine, made by Mr O. J. Oliver (1946/7), has been placed in the care of the University of Liverpool Heritage Collections. The mould was created for an iron-taper pipe during a Saturday morning workshop session.
Access Restrictions:Reproduction and licensing rules are available on request.
Biographical/Administrative Information:

In 1946, at the age of 18, Oswald John Oliver entered the University of Liverpool to study Civil Engineering. He had won a County Major Scholarship of £120 per annum from Worcestershire, which was later increased to £150 per annum. While at the University Oliver demonstrated academic distinction, becoming the Hele-Shaw Prizeman in 1948 and William Rathbone Medallist in 1949. He graduated in July 1949 with a First Class Honours degree.

Although the Second World War was over, it still had its effects on many aspects of student life in the late 1940s. There was a considerable mix of ages of undergraduates at the University of Liverpool - ranging from 18 to 30 - which was largely due to the fact that many ex-servicemen had returned to complete their higher education. Oliver, and others of his age who had recently left school, felt that they benefited greatly from the mature outlook of the older men.

Rationing was still in full force, which meant that food at the Union - and in general - was not very interesting. To compensate for this, Oliver occasionally ate at T. J. Hughes, where the meals were more varied and not too expensive. Entertainment was also quite hard to come by, particularly for a student with not much money to spend. Being fond of classical music, however, Oliver did make special trips to concerts at the Philharmonic Hall, and to the Empire to see the D'Oyly Carte. The Faculty of Engineering itself had quite a lively calendar of events - academic, sporting and social. These included lectures from guest speakers, inter-Faculty sports matches, socials, dances and dinners. There was also the annual Panto Day Procession, for which students dressed up in costumes and paraded about the town in order to raise money for charities. The Engineering students were known to participate in this with tremendous enthusiasm.

Oliver was unable to take part in all of these events, however, due to the demands of the Engineering degree. In addition to lectures and laboratory classes, there was a substantial amount of coursework, and Oliver spent most Saturday mornings in the workshops or drawing offices. During the summer vacation, students were expected to find work placements, in order that they might relate their theoretical study to the real world. Oliver's placements were at the Corporation Waterworks Department (working for six weeks on the Nyrnwy aqueduct); Mersey Docks and Harbour Board; and the Dunlop Rubber Company's Structural Department in Birmingham.

Following graduation, Oliver returned to Worcestershire to work as a Junior Assistant for the County Council. He later worked for the Warwickshire and Wiltshire County Councils, in both cases as a Senior Engineering Assistant. In 1969 he was appointed Assistant County Engineer to the Buckinghamshire County Council, where he remained until he retired in 1990. During his career, he came to know well two fellow graduates of the University of Liverpool School of Engineering: Denys Charnock joined the staff at Worcestershire after Oliver had begun working there, and Ernest Pye was the Chief Engineer to the Milton Keynes Development Corporation while Oliver was in Buckinghamshire.