Dr J C (Cec) Bickley has retired as honorary secretary treasurer of the UK section of the Society of Leather Technologists and Chemists having joined the society 56 years ago (1947). He was elected to the council 43 years ago (1960) and was president 30 years ago (1973). In more recent times he was minute secretary for 13 years and has held the position of secretary/treasurer for the past nine years. Cec Bickley joined Richard Hodgson & Sons Ltd (later to become Hodgson Tanning Products Ltd, then Hodgson Chemicals Ltd, and now part of Clariant UK Ltd) in the laboratory analysing tanyard liquors.

Following his degree he went to Leeds University Proctor department where he obtained his PhD. After progressing through various research and management positions to become works director and finally technical director at Hodgsons until retirement in 1990. Thereafter he was employed by Hodgsons’ for some years as a part-time consultant, which included participation in SLTC affairs.

Under his presidency the society changed its name from ‘The Society of Leather Trades Chemists’ (reflecting the change of emphasis away from chemistry in leather technology) and started to hold annual conferences away from the traditional venue of Leeds University.

Bickley also participated in making the IULTCS more global as, up to that time, it had been dominated by the UK, German and French leather industries. He will remain as an active member of the SLTC.