William John Lloyd, B.Sc. (London), A.M.I.E.E.
Electrical Engineer
Aberdare Boys’ County Intermediate School, 1928

W.J. Lloyd

W.J. Lloyd, (1964)

Although W.J. Lloyd was a pupil at the County School for just six weeks, his career details and background are nevertheless both interesting and routed in Aberdare. We are pleased therefore to place him in the list of former pupils of Aberdare Boys’ County School.

William (Billie) Lloyd was born in Abersychan on 30 January 1916, son of William Lloyd and Margaret née Evans. Soon after his birth the family moved to 12 Belmont Terrace in Aberaman, where he attended Blaengwawr Elementary School. He, together with his four sisters, also attended Gwawr Welsh Baptist Chapel, where his grandfather was a deacon for many years. Leaving elementary school in 1928, he went to the Aberdare Boys’ County School entering Form 1A on September 8th of that year. His father William Lloyd, worked in the Bwllfa Colliery as Chief Electrical Engineer, but was involved in an accident there when he suffered serious burns.

Following the accident, the family moved from Aberaman to Hackney in East London, and took over a small dairy, which they ran. WJ helped with milk delivery and with preparing the cooked meats for sale.

He completed his secondary school education at the Highbury County School, finishing in 1935 with five subjects, gaining distinction in Elementary Maths and Mechanics.

He then entered University College London, and eventually graduated with a B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering, after which he embarked upon a three-year post graduate apprenticeship with B.T.H. Ltd in Rugby.

Whilst there, on 4th November 1939, he married Mary Gwenllian Chesterton at Rugby Baptist Church. Mary was also a University College London graduate, attaining a B.A. degree in Old English and History in 1939. Prior to getting married she had found a job in Production Planning at a local factory in Rugby to be near to her future husband.

Following his apprenticeship he returned to London and joined the research department of the BBC where he worked on the War Correspondents Midget Portable Disc Recorder1, for which his work was formally recognised.

After the war he was employed for a while by Guy R. Fountain Ltd., (Tannoy), where he was responsible for setting up the public address system in Canterbury Cathedral. From there he progressed to Philips Electrical Ltd (Eindhoven), although he worked in the UK, and became the Chief Engineer of the Amplifier and Public Address System department.

Electron Microscope

Handing over by W.J. Lloyd of Philips Electron
Microscope to the Wright-Fleming Institute, (1952).
Left to right: Sir Alexander Fleming, FRS
Prof. Robert Cruickshank, MD, FRCP, & W.J. Lloyd.

With Philips he set up the public address systems for the 1948 Olympics, and, in 1953 at Westminster Abbey for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. However he changed direction, whilst still with Philips, and started working in high technology on the new electron microscopes. This culminated with him presenting a microscope to Sir Alexander Fleming.

He also worked for some time at AEI Ltd. and later on with Messrs Short and Mason Ltd, where he was a Director. In 1959 he started his own business called Lloyd Instruments Ltd, which dealt in research and the design of specialised and bespoke hospital equipment. One of his last commercial contracts had been with the Llandough Hospital in Penarth.

In 1965 at the age of 49, W.J. Lloyd died as a result of injuries sustained in a car crash, leaving behind his wife, Mary, and 4 children at their home in Woodford Green in Essex. His widow, Mrs Mary Lloyd, and their elder son Mr Hywel Lloyd, carried on with the company for some years until Lloyd Instruments Ltd was purchased by a larger commercial company that sold laboratory equipment.

1 BBC R&D have archived several of W.J. Lloyd’s papers. The report on the Midget Portable Disc Recorder can be found here:

W.J. Lloyd, b. Abersychan 30 January 1916; d. Horton General Hospital, Banbury, 8 April 1965.

Acknowledgement: The writing of this account of the life of W.J. Lloyd was made possible using information supplied by his daughter Eirlys Lloyd Chesterton to whom we are most grateful.

CR 31 July 2020