The Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeship at the Rocket Propulsion Establishment

The West Midlands Branch Presents:

The Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeship at the Rocket Propulsion Establishment (RPE) Westcott By David Golby BA (Hons) MCIPS

Speaker:       David Golby

Date:              Saturday 20th Feb 2021

Start Time:   14:00

End Time:     15:15

Venue:          Via Zoom

The MoD Apprenticeship & Training at RPE Westcott was quite rightly viewed in the area as the most prestigious, not least because of the resources and facilities available at the site and that the learning and development of skills for the young people was the priority for their career, rather than the use of available man power.

Not only did it provide the perfect grounding for a career in engineering it also had the benefit of working in highly technical environment of Rocket Motor technology but also learning from people who had unrivalled knowledge and skills.

On the 40th Anniversary of my joining RPE Westcott as an Apprentice in 2015 I took the opportunity to reflect back on the some of the experiences of being an Apprentice Engineer at Westcott by writing a book to share those memories of in particular the Apprentices and those people involved with the Engineering Apprentices rather than the Rocket Technology and Products developed at RPE Westcott.

I reflect back on my 4 years (1975-1979) as an Apprentice as being a wonderful time of great camaraderie, lots a fun and above all a solid Engineering grounding that has stood me in good stead during my working career.

Speaker – David Golby

David Golby grew up in the village of Edgcott near Aylesbury and attended Waddesdon Secondary School. After leaving school at 16 years of age he joined RPE Westcott in 1975 completing a four year Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeship and gaining a City & Guilds Full Technological Certificate in Production Engineering to be followed later with an Honours Degree in Business Management from Worcester University. After completing his Apprenticeship he began working as an Engineering Craftsman in the Engineering Development Section and then joined the Quality Assurance Department holding a number of Supervisory and Management positions in both the Engineering and Solid Motors Divisions at Westcott before joining the Chevaline Programme Office in 1988 as a Project Officer. In 1991 he was then invited to take up a position as Project Manager at the Royal Ordnance Rocket Motors Division Headquarters location at their Summerfield site in Worcestershire, managing the Production Contracts for the Seadart and Seawolf Rocket Motors, ultimately becoming Programme Manager for all Naval Programmes. In 2006 he was then offered the position of Procurement Manager within BAE Systems Munitions at the former Royal Ordnance Ammunition Factory site Glascoed in South Wales responsible for sourcing propellants & explosives worldwide and later to become the Head of Procurement for the entire BAE Systems Land UK Business based at Telford.

In 2017 he returned to Roxel UK Rocket Motors after 11 years to join the Senior Management Team as Head of Supply Chain & Logistics which is where he is today and completes a career in Rocket Motors from Apprentice to the Board with 45 years’ service and counting.



  • 13:55 – The meeting is available to join
  • 14:00 – Welcome
  • 14:05- The Mechanical Engineering Apprenticeship at the Rocket Propulsion Establishment (RPE) Westcott By David Golby
  • 14:35 – Questions and Answers (we enable everyone’s microphone to allow an interactive Q&A session)


So, here’s the Plan/Joining Instructions!

  1. Register for the Talk using the link below
  3. Before the event, we will send you an email with the joining link for the meeting.
  4. On the day, click meeting link (and follow the on-screen instructions to install Zoom if prompted)


Please Note

The Conference Call and Q & A sessions will be recorded (which may capture your name, picture, voice or video) and made available via the West Midlands Facebook group and possibly via the BIS HQ website. You consent to this by registering for the Conference Call/Q & A sessions.

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