Imperial College London

Mr Michael A.E. Adams (Civil Engineering 1950)

Provided by Mrs Jennifer Adams, and Michael Walker (latter originally published in "The Study of Old Bath").

Provided by Mrs Jennifer Adams.

Michael Alexander Ernest Adams

5th September 1925 - 31 October 2008

Michael was born in 1925 and attended Dulwich College Preparatory School and then Dulwich College. He was called up and joined the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, reaching the rank of Captain. The time he spent with the West African Frontier Force opened his eyes to the developing world and initiated a lifelong love of it.

Mike subsequently studied at Imperial College, graduating with a BSc in Civil Engineering. In 1952 he married Jenny, his wife for 56 years, and they had four daughers. He was a grandfather to eight grandchildren.

Mike's own career took him and his family all around the world: Ghana, Guyana, Nigeria, Swaziland, Sudan, Western Samoa, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal and Bhutan.

Professionally, Mike wanted to make a difference to people's evetyday lives. He made a positive impact on local communities, enabling them to raise and maintain a higher standard of living and quality of life. Mike's unique expertise was in his ability to relate to people; to identify what they needed and then put it into place for them. He was a compassionate and principled man - showing empathy and support to those around him .

Highly intelligent, he had an enviable breadth of knowledge and his ability to recite poetry at length was admired by many. His ongoing passion for the outdoors was reflected in his fascination with cartography and maps, housing a collection that covered the whole of the UK. No matter where he went, he would always have a map of the area to which he would refer.

He had the gift of original thought - he made up his own mind - and others sought his opinion, knowing that he offered an impartial and uncompromising view.

After retirement in 1991 he settled in Bath. stewarding in Bath Abbey which he considered to be an old friend and volunteering to help in the charity "Save the Children".

Mike was creative, a fine draughtsman, an active gardener, he could identify birdsong, was a wonderful dancer, a craftsman boat-builder and a bell-ringer. He had great abilities of research and analysis - updating his family tree, re-writing his gandfather's and his own diaries and life stories, researching and enjoying all to do with the old railways and steam trains. He collected, and meticulously catalogued coins, and stamps - always careful and thorough in all that he did.

Mike was a gentleman. He lived a full and rewarding life, dearly loved and respected by his family and friends.


Written by Michael Walker for the magazine for the study of "Old Bath" of which Mike (Adams) was a friend.

The death of Michael Adams (Mike as he was always known) in October 2008 left a big hole, not only in the lives of his family (wife Jenny, four daughters and eight granddchildren) but also in the many organisations (including the Friends of the Survey) to which he contributed his polymathic gifts and concern. By career a Civil Engineer, with particular expertise in water resources and irrigation, he worked in more than ten countries around the world, particularly in Africa and the Far East.

He had a great ability to relate to people, and a passionate concern to understand communities and to raise their quality of life. His skills and talents ranged from the literary (a massive retention of poetry) to the artistic (a fine draughtsman and designer) to the practical (a craftsman boattbuilder) to the intellectual (for instance, in cartography, ornithology and historical research) and of course to the social: in his seventeen years of retirement in Bath, he shared his wisdom and his concern particularly in stewarding at the Abbey, and also in his volunteer work with the charity "Save the Children".

On a personal note, I was always grateful for Mike's concern to still the milling crowds in the Abbey as I sought as a Chaplain to share prayers on the hour, and Denise was always encouraged by his affirmation of her flower arranging.

Michael Walker April 2009.

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