One of the most outsized personalities

I’ve grown to admire and, yes, like, Christopher Hinton, the engineer who built Britain’s reactors from 1946 to 1957. No one who met him forgot him. I enjoyed reading the resume Hinton provided a senior civil servant. Here’s an extract summarising his wartime role:

In 1941 I was transferred to the Filling Factory organisation first as Deputy Director in charge of Engineering and later as Deputy Director General with responsibilities for all aspects of operation. We had, for a time, a pay roll of 150,000 and for the greater part of the War the pay roll was over 100,000. We were responsible for the filling of all explosive stores and pyrotechnics and I think that we can claim to have raised the efficiency of the organisation to a very high level. Closing down of factories and dispersing 70,000 operatives in a period of 4 months without a labour dispute at the end of the year was not the least task!


Hinton, Christopher. 1953. Hinton to Akers, Jan. 17, 1953. AB 19/38, National Archives, Kew, United Kingdom.