John Constable

1981-1983 - John Constable

Born in September 1919 in Lancashire, his family later moved to Dover, where he attended Dover Grammar School. He commenced his career in 1937 as an articled pupil to the Borough Engineer and Surveyor at Dover, and when war broke out, joined the Royal Engineers, was soon commissioned, and spent time in India and the Far East. Returning home in 1945 as a Major, he was soon demobbed.

Returning home in 1945 as a Major, he was soon demobbed, and returned to civil engineering, completing his studies by correspondence course. He joined the Health Service in 1955, initially in Oxford, before moving to the Birmingham Regional Hospital Board three years later as Regional Engineer.

His suggestion that the NHS lacked specialised training facilities, similar to those provided for telecommunications staff in the Post Office, was taken up David Hughes, Chief Engineer at the Ministry of Health, and an advisory committee was formed with John Constable as a member to advise the Minister.  The committee was delighted when, after a long search, the premises at Falfiled became available, and the Hospital Engineering Training Centre was opened. 

In 1974 John Constable was promoted to Regional Works Officer, responsible for several hundred architects, engineers, surveyors, with an annual expenditure of over £50M. He was also a member of the Regional Management Team accountable for all aspects of the NHS in the five counties around Birmingham with a population of over 5 million and 220 hospitals. He retired at 62, with his services recognised by his appointment as OBE in 1968 and CBE in 1976.