James Watson obituary


My husband, James Watson, who has died aged 76, was a pc specialist within the civil service. His profession spanned the development from room-sized mainframe computer systems via to laptops and the web.

Early in his profession he labored on the LEO (the primary enterprise pc) and extensively on ICL 1900s – such that he might later inform a specialist on the Nationwide Museum of Computing in Bletchley why their rationalization of how one operated was not precisely right. He regarded again fondly on serving to to usher in decimalisation in 1971.

Born in Newcastle upon Tyne, Jim was the son of George, a Scot, who served as a police officer, and his spouse, Margaret (nee Jameson), a midwife. He went to Rutherford grammar faculty in Newcastle earlier than becoming a member of the civil service after A-levels on the age of 18, starting in 1965 on the Ministry of Pensions and Nationwide Insurance coverage, the place he labored on pension preparations with Eire.

In 1970 he was posted to the Ministry of Transport in Harmondsworth on the sting of London, the place he discovered to program the LEO machine and labored on payroll methods, in addition to the introduction of decimalisation. In 1972 he moved with the division to Hastings, East Sussex, and two years later again to Newcastle, till late 1978, when he moved all the way down to Studying, in Berkshire, the place he stayed for the remainder of his profession.

Initially Jim labored there on computerisation of the fully guide and paper-based methods used for supplementary advantages (now revenue assist), later doing comparable work on unemployment advantages. From 1990 till his retirement in 2007 he labored for the Intervention Board for Agricultural Produce (from 2001 the Rural Funds Company), the place he was IT undertaking supervisor for methods delivering the European Union’s frequent agricultural coverage funds to farmers and merchants in England.

Jim lived within the south of England for half a century however by no means misplaced his accent. A completely good man, forthright and sincere, he had many associates from all walks of life.

He beloved all music and had a eager curiosity in sport, particularly biking and rugby league (he supported St Helens). For worldwide matches his Scottish heritage got here to the fore.

Jim and I lived collectively from 1985 onwards and had been married in 2001. I survive him, as does our son, Alec, his daughter, Samantha, from his first marriage, to Linzi, which resulted in divorce, his grandsons Dylan and Taylor, and his sister, Marjorie, and brother, Angus.


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