Many of you will have had the pleasure of working with Gary Purnell. A universally popular, gentleman of the industry, earlier this year Gary finally decided to call time on a spectacular 52-year career in the geotechnical industry and retire. Gary has spearheaded the CC Ground Investigations Limited (CCGI) business development and tendering team since joining in 2012, but this is only part of the story.
Gary started his working life in the aircraft industry studying metallurgy while working at Bristol Siddeley Engines Ltd, but careers in the aircraft industry were ‘dodgy’ at the time so when a friend told him of opportunities at a new company opening up in Tuffley he made some enquires. This was Geotechnical Engineering Limited (GEL) and after an interview with the late founding Managing Directors, Tony Milne and Sven Ronnback, Gary started his career in geotechnics. This was August 1966.
During the decades that followed Gary immersed himself and developed a huge range of experience. This included working on drill rigs, in the soils laboratory, site supervision and geotechnical engineering before finally heading up the Southern Division of GEL as Managing Director.
While forever very grateful for the opportunities and advice he was given by Tony, Sven and others including Ted Wilson and Colin Thomas, and more recently Andrew Milne, in 2012 Gary retired from GEL. Those who know Gary well will not have been surprised that he wasn’t quite ready for the golf course and jumped at the chance to join CCGI. Since then Gary has been passing on his experience and enthusiasm to all at CCGI and put together thousands of tenders for a huge range of clients, many of whom he has known their entire careers.
While sad to see him leave, all at CCGI wish Gary a very happy retirement and congratulate him on a wonderful career. We know that he will drop in regularly to catch up on the ‘news’, especially on those days when there is a good chance of cakes being served. The only thing sighing with relief at Gary’s departure is the photocopier…we have halved the company paper consumption!